Guam – The Democratic Party of Guam has checked the facts of the governor’s state of the island’s address and they say that there are some inaccuracies. PNC news spoke to both the Democrat party leadership and the legislative leadership about their thoughts on Governor Calvo’s state of the island address.
Democrat party Executive Director Carlo Branch says the governor’s statements in his State of The Island Address are not wholly truthful. Branch says one of the most glaring contradictions in his speech deals with the hay study. “Do government employees deserve the hay raises? Of course they do. Was there money for it? No. It was an empty promise from politicians in an election year,” said Governor Calvo. However, Branch found a clip that shows the governor making this very promise to implement the Hay raises during his campaign at the Guam Medical association debate. “Eddie makes a promise during a political event and says I will pay the Hay study then as governor he walks in and says oh I can’t pay the hay study. Now maybe he walked in and there was no money but don’t go up to the legislature and call out politicians for making a promise because Eddie Calvo was one of those politicians,” said Branch.
Branch also points out that the government hasn’t grown smaller as the Governor said it has in his address. “The labor statistics report that you guys reported on two days ago said that the number of local government jobs increased it just went from general fund jobs in line agencies to autonomous agencies,” said Branch. In fact, the Department of Labor report shows that from December of 2010 to December of 2011 the total number of GovGuam jobs increased from 11,870 employees to 11,940 employees.
Budget chairman Senator Ben Pangelinan says he’s not convinced that GovGuam has saved all the money the governor says it has. “We just haven’t seen the savings he says we’ve achieved if we have then as I look at the budget that he submitted we’re not saving any money we’re right up there spending in the same rate,” said Senator Pangelinan.
Committee on Rules Chairman Senator Rory Respicio says he liked the governor’s promise to empanel the Guam First Commission but he questions the governor’s statements on DOE. “Well he talked about DOE being a top priority well if that’s the case then why doesn’t he follow through with Senator Ben’s concern and request and the public auditors concerns and request to release the 15 percent set aside and you can’t on one hand say education is a priority but yet with hold money from the very institution that needs it,” said Senator Respicio.
Speaker Judi Won Pat says that she agreed with several portions of the governor’s speech. For example the unfunded federal mandates with respect to compact impact and the federal restrictions on Guam’s economy. However, she is concerned about the governor’s proposed reform of education and his attack on the Guam Federation of Teachers saying that any reform of education must involve everyone. “I don’t want this to be a heavy handed dictate so to speak because we should never forget that the union was created for a reason and that’s when managers and supervisors of big bosses have actually abused their workers,” said Speaker Won Pat. The speaker did like the governor’s vision for Hagatna and his plans to revitalize the island’s capital.