Ombre Ga’chong: Vote, and vote wisely

By Lee Webber

In a democracy, unlike many other forms of government, we actually get to speak freely, have the right to defend ourselves, families and property and elect (hire) the people we want to be in charge of where our community goes and what it accomplishes.

Your individual vote is extremely powerful!

As C.S. Lewis said, “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

Or even better, as Albert Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you go to the polls this Saturday to vote. In so doing, hire the employees you decide will do the best job for Guam in the next two years for legislators and attorney general and the next four years for governor.

Guam’s economic and political future will be taking its initial steps forward or backward based on the selections, you as voters, decide to place on the ballot for the general election in November. 

Saturday is a day of reckoning for those currently in office as well as those new candidates running for office.

Those potential employees chosen (people who the voters elect) will then face each other in the general election on the second Tuesday of November.

The questions each and every voter must ask themselves – as they stand/sit alone in the polling booth where no one can see them – is will the people I am voting for/hiring make Guam better for us all in the years ahead?

Let’s take a look at history and then ask ourselves what is happening today and what have the current set of employees (those currently in public office) really done to address those issues?

We can start with the Guam Memorial Hospital. According to Dr. Tom Shieh in a recent news story, four years ago, the current employees in Adelup said they would fix the labor and delivery room areas in the hospital. They said they would “make it happen”.

Here we are four years later and the conditions have only gotten worse although according to Dr. Shieh they did spend around $1 million with architects for design and blue prints for the work.

This is also not a new problem but rather a perennial one that these and other elected employees have failed to properly address for far too many years.

Or what about the constant issues of water leaks and poor water pressure throughout the island. Rarely does a day go by when our cell phones do not ring with text messages warning us of water outages or major repair work that is needed that will negatively affect our lives.

Or what about the growing problems our island is having with illegal drug importation and the associated problems it has caused with increased crime and the destruction of the family structure on island.

Again, according to recent news stories, we now have more than 600 children needing foster care when previously that number has hovered below 100.

What has really been done to address these issues? How often have you read or heard about your elected employees seriously addressing these issues?

Given the seriousness of these issues, much like the hospital, you should be reading and hearing about progress in these areas on a regular and consistent basis until resolved.

Or what about the department of corrections the Guam prison system? When I was married some 53 years ago, I actually lived about two blocks away from what was then and what is now the department of corrections. 

While it now has a higher fence system and a few more buildings very little else has changed. It is over-crowded and in dire need of change for the safety of the community and the living conditions of those incarcerated there.

Or how about the department of education, their crumbling facilities the care and education of our island’s children. Schools like Simon Sanchez and George Washington high school are in need of literal rebuilding or dire need of repair.

What has the current crop of elected employees done to make constructive change and/or improvement in these areas.

Look around you and ask yourself, has our island and your quality of life really improved during the last four years or has it and your family suffered more than in previous years?

Also, remember, the federal government has poured some $2 billion into government coffers during this time. That is $2 billion tax dollars!

Do not allow the current set of elected employees in Adelup, the Legislature and the attorney General’s office to buy their way back into office with last minute cash giveaways, barbecues or more empty promises.

And if that happens, whose fault will it be? Did we as owners of our government and the bosses of these employees push them to ensure they did their jobs? 

Did we as citizens put pressure on the “fourth estate”, the free press, to do their job of acting as the “watchdog” on government?

It is time for change Guam – vote to 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

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