Mixed views on the state of the island
Written by Nyah Joe on March 8, 2021
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero is giving her State of the Island address tonight.
PNC News reached out to some of the island’s leaders to ask what they think of the governor’s performance.
Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio naturally supported the governor’s performance and told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo that he expects the governor to chart the way forward for the island.
“I think that the governor is going to be able to very clearly express the path forward for the next year. You know, we’ve been doing quite well with all of the little metrics that are tracking the coronavirus and its impact here. But I think that we’re certainly prioritizing and pivoting into economic stability and such. So I expect that the governor will be able to give the people of Guam some good confidence that our administration is very clear with our direction going forward. And we’re very focused on the economic recovery of our island,” Tenorio said.
Republican Senator James Moylan gave credit to the governor for continuing to lead in the face of an unprecedented crisis.
But that doesn’t mean that he completely approves of her performance.
“First of all, I don’t envy the situation the governor was placed in. She has to govern the island through a period of a lot of uncertainties. And for that, I commend her for her tenacity. So that was really good. However, as for how I would rate the administration, I would rate it as a 5. And particularly for the lack of transparency. And we’ve been talking about the transparency issue for quite some time,” Moylan said.
Along with issues of transparency, Moylan said he questioned many of the governor’s decisions such as the roadblocks she implemented early on in the pandemic.
He also wants more details about how federal funds were spent as well as more details about the governor’s economic plan.
Moylan’s concerns about transparency and accountability have been echoed by other members of the Legislature’s Republican minority.
But the Republicans aren’t the only ones who were concerned about those issues.
Speaker Therese Terlaje, of the Legislature’s Democratic majority, for the most part, expressed support for the governor and praise for her response to the pandemic.
But she did acknowledge having similar concerns about transparency and accountability early on.
She also questioned the rationale behind roadblocks, which businesses remained closed, which ones were reopened, and other issues.
She said that keeping the community informed and involved is an important lesson that can’t be forgotten…as the island moves forward.
“Unfortunately, I think we had to learn the hard way in our most challenging times, when our positive cases were at their highest, and public outcry was at its loudest, that including more of the community in the decision-making process, and bringing the public along is the only way to gain their trust and their confidence to follow the guidelines in place to keep us all safe,” Terlaje said.