Allegations about the misuse of 911 emergency systems funding are sounding alarm bells as they should.
In light of the serious allegations, we urge all government of Guam officials to give a new investigation their full cooperation and support.
After receiving conflicting messages from Gov. Eddie Calvo and Speaker Benjamin Cruz about 911 emergency systems funding, it appears the Federal Communications Commission is looking to the U.S. Attorney's Office to find clarity on the diversion of these funds.
"As I have stated time and again, 911 fee diversion is not a political issue, it is a public safety issue. I am not interested in engaging in local politics in Guam or anywhere else," Commissioner Michael O'Rielly stated in his July 6 letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mikel Schwab.
We urge all GovGuam officials to be forthcoming with information and to put aside the finger-pointing. The attempts to deflect blame have been counterproductive as the confusion has delayed a resolution. Moreover, it is downright embarrassing for Guam.
The FCC shouldn’t have to scold local officials over playing politics. The commissioner is seeking straightforward answers, and GovGuam officials should oblige.
Local officials should know better. They should focus on coming to a resolution and move from blame to accountability as soon as possible.
To be clear, this issue is not just about the misuse of public funds. It is also about public safety, one of our island community’s top priorities. Residents, of all ages, rely on 911 and should be able to continue to do so. Some of us know too well that the emergency system can be a matter of life or death.
We hope that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will settle the issue once and for all. We shouldn’t be wasting time in resolving this issue, especially when lives may be at stake.