By Lee Webber
The election has passed and this one proved to be like most, a blood sport for those in the game and their respective supporters.
For some people, their “Gayu” (rooster) won and for others it was relegated to “Kadu” (soup)!
For Guam, the bottom line is, will things improve?
Did the people win or did they simply get what they desired/asked and voted for and in turn deserved?
Like it or not, it is the latter. If you didn’t come out and vote, you have little to no room to complain.
I voted for some who were elected and did not support others who were elected as well. It’s the way of the Republic!
Now, there is always that chance that maybe, just maybe, the people of Guam do not desire or expect better or different results. Right?
But for Congress, attorney general and a few seats at the legislature people did in fact vote for change.
In fact, in Congress, it was the first time in around 30 years that a republican has represented Guam in the U.S. House of Representatives. The last republican was Marine General Ben Blaz.
As noted, in those few instances the people decided to try someone different but in the vast majority of others they re-elected the same people.
The same people who have permitted little or no forward movement for the island as a whole and in far too many cases actually made no real lasting positive change.
In some instances, they have actually had us slide backwards. Even to the point of locking us down and supporting what amounted to unconstitutional roadblocks.
Always remember, as Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
One of the critical realities of all this is that we can’t afford to wait two or four more years to stop the constant flow of methamphetamine into our Island.
We can’t stand by and watch the number of homeless children (now in excess of 600) wait in search of foster homes because their original homes have been destroyed by the deadly scourge of methamphetamine and the crime and other behavioral problems it brings with it.
We can’t wait two or four more years to lower the crime rate on our tiny island home.
We also need to maintain and publish current crime statistics making them available to the general public in a timely and regular manner.
We can’t wait through another two to four years for our elected officials to be open, honest, forthcoming and transparent (as was previously promised) with all government information and the spending and application of our hard-earned and contributed federal tax dollars.
We can’t wait for the island’s news organizations – print and broadcast – to wake up and begin doing their appointed jobs of being the true “watch-dogs” on island government as opposed to their pet dogs.
Island media need to take on their proper, historical and appointed role as the “fourth estate” in our Republic keeping island residents properly informed about the goings on of their government and elected officials.
They need to firmly hold elected and appointed officials accountable for their individual behavior, the proper application of our laws and use of our tax dollars. Once that part of their job is done, they can then turn to look toward entertaining readers and listeners.
We can’t suffer through another two to four years of our elected officials and their respective appointees dragging their feet to repair, maintain or replace the public schools for our children and grandchildren. Not shuffle these impressionable young minds between crumbling and unsafe buildings.
Teaching them modern day woke social principles rather than history, math and science.
We can’t live through another two to four years as violent, repeat offenders rotate through the current “catch and release” programs being run on this island. Placing the entire community at greater risk of harm.
We can’t wait another two to four years for some form of tax relief whether it be in the form of reduced GRT in general or the abolishment of GRT for food and medications, long term reductions in fuel taxes and reducing the size and improving the efficiency of our island government.
We don’t need any more departments, directors or professional (hired guns) staff. We simply need smaller more efficient and effective ones.
We cannot suffer through another two to four years of no real public plan of action to address the size, scope and quality of our Department of Corrections. This needs to be done not only for the safety of the community but the well-being of the inmates.
We can’t languish another two to four years with a public hospital that has been historically used as a political dumping ground and far too many times ignored when it came to general and critical structural repairs.
We are in a fight for our very freedoms and must do everything within our power to fight for our rights to live and live freely – literally.
We cannot allow these soap opera political shenanigans to occupy our lives and distract us from being the free and functional citizens our republic was established to allow us to be.
Let’s all hold public officials accountable, hold open the doors of government and keep the public informed of what its government is actually doing to improve the overall quality of life on Guam.
Let’s Make Guam Great Again!
Lee P. Webber is a businessman and civic advocate, the former publisher of the Pacific Daily News, a former president and publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser, and a former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia