Guam – DPW maintenance workers crowded the legislature’s hearing room Thursday to demonstrate their opposition to Speaker Judi Won Pat’s “Yellow Bus Procurement” bill.
Bill #528 proposes a lease-back arrangement for 123 new school buses. The cost would be $1.7 million annually which would come from Section 30 funds. And the measure also includes a preventative maintenance package which was heavily criticized by the DPW workers who fear it will cost their jobs.
DPW Maintenance Superintendent Paul Cepeda said that provision would throw the workers under the very buses they have worked so hard to keep running.
Senator Tom Ada, whose committee overseas DPW, wondered why he was never asked to co-sponsor the bill. And he expressed doubt that the financing proposal would work.
He questioned whether any contractor would make the heavy investment of buying new buses on the promise of Section 30 money which may be not be available for the term of the lease.
Speaker Judi Won Pat was not present for the hearing on her bill. She is in Pohnpei attending a meeting of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures.
However a statement from her office says that the Speaker wants to assure the DPW workers that the intent of the bill is not to outsource maintenance repairs. “