Senator Guthertz Denounces What She Calls Fed’s “Attempted Blackmail” Over Programmatic Agreement

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Guam – Senator Judi Guthertz says that Guam lawmakers are angry over what she calls the Federal Government’s “attempted blackmail” over the still un-signed Programmatic Agreement that will govern how archaeological and cultural sites are handling during the buildup.

In a release, the Senator refers to reports that a representative of a federal  historic  preservation  board  is  pressuring  GovGuam  to  sign  off  on  a
“programmatic  agreement”  that  would  cover  issues  related  to  the  Guam  buildup including the handling of the historic Pagat Village area.  

She says the Department of the Navy has given local officials a January 14 deadline to sign the agreement.

Guthertz’s release also refers to reports  today [Tuesday] that  members  of  Guam  State  Historic Preservation Board have been asked to submit courtesy resignations. She says the Board, which is headed by Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Aguon, has continued to resist signing the agreement as written.  

Guthertz, who Chairs the Buildup Committee, is calling on Governor Calvo to make its position clear:

“I caution the Governor not to replace the Guam State Historic Officer or her board in response to these threats, which are, as far as I am concerned, no better than attempted blackmail.”

Newly appointed Department of Parks and Recreation  Director  Pete  Calvo  has said  that  federal  officials  have  made  it  clear  that  the
buildup can proceed with or without the agreement. Without the agreement however, the feds are again suggesting that mitigation projects being proposed to sweeten the deal, such as a Guam cultural center, will not happen.

Senator  Guthertz  claims the reports have  raised  other  issues  such  as  whether  newly inaugurated Governor Edward Calvo is prepared to yield to such pressure, given his previous support and campaign promises that Pagat will be spared from the buildup at all costs.