The election of the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio team was certified on Nov. 23, 2018. Between Thanksgiving 2018 and Jan. 7, 2019, the inaugural committee was able to raise more than $600,000, from private sources, to fund inaugural expenses – and then some.

The Inaugural Committee was co-chaired by Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares and Sinajana Mayor Robert Hoffman.

Mayor Savares is now the president of the Mayors' Council of Guam and Mayor Hoffman is the chairperson of the 75th Liberation Day Committee. The people of Guam elect their leaders, governors, lieutenant governors, senators, mayors, attorney general, Consolidated Commission on Utilities commissioners, and even Guam Education Board members, based, among other things, on their intuitiveness, ability and talent to think inside and outside of perceived and proverbial boxes.

So why didn’t the Mayors' Council of Guam, especially, and in particular, Mayors Melissa Savares and Robert Hoffman, think out of the box with regards to funding needs for the events of July 21, 2019? As co-chairs of the inaugural committee, Savares and Hoffman quickly thought out of the box to secure more than enough money for the historic gubernatorial inaugural event staged at the University of Guam Calvo Field House on the evening of Jan. 7, 2019.

Many businesses willingly contributed to the pomp and circumstance of Jan. 7, 2019, even though those contributions are not tax deductible. This is irrefutable testimony to the generosity of so many Guam enterprises. The Mayors’ Council, by establishing a nonprofit corporation – similar to the Manenggon Memorial Foundation – for the purpose of the 75th celebration of the Liberation of Guam from Japanese occupation, could have solicited funds as tax-deductible contributions. Perhaps, the same organizations that contributed to the Jan. 7, 2019 function would have extended their generosity toward recognizing the ultimate sacrifice made by nearly 2,000 young men of the U.S. armed forces, and the fortitude of over 20,000 native inhabitants who survived a brutal occupation and recognition of those who did not survive horrific atrocities between Dec. 10, 1941 and July 21, 1944.

Perhaps the circus and horror story created by legislative efforts, to circumvent mandates of the people voiced through official referenda, could have been prevented if elected officials would have thought beyond their individual noses.

Now, perhaps, the electorate should rethink the choices they made in 2018. Perhaps the people should rethink the wisdom of only 15 minds and consciences even discussing and debating an issue so resoundingly rejected through three separate people’s referenda, because apparently – at least to eight senators – a true mandate of the people has very little meaning.


Joaquin P. Perez is a resident of Santa Rita 

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