Troy Talks: Episode 11 • Why does GovGuam hate it when people make money off public land?

The people who leased and ran the now-closed racetrack in Yigo had a side hustle on that land by mining some of it. GovGuam hated the idea that someone made money off this public land. So what did GovGuam officials do? They shut down the entire race track.

I’m sure it’s simply a coincidence that illegal drag racing and fatal car crashes involving high-speed clippers increased since then.

Chris Duenas

Some senators would rather families starve in homelessness than be given the right to build even a shack with proper sanitation on property they inherited. Because of existing laws, many people who inherited land up north smaller than a half acre in area cannot develop their land without connecting it to the sewer system, a colossal cost. The law right now forbids the building of septic tanks on these properties under half an acre in area that are on top of the aquifer. The thing is, man’s laws have got nothing on the laws of nature. When people need to urinate and defecate, they are going to urinate and defecate. Hundreds, if not thousands, are doing that in outhouses and holes in the ground in properties up north.

Chris Duenas, a senator, came up with a solution that would allow the implementation of a proven environmentally-friendly underground septic system in lots as small as a quarter acre in area. Even though this solution would benefit the environment and drastically open up opportunity for our crappy economy, some senators are on a pedestal complaining that this will open the door for developers to come in and make money off of affordable housing projects.

So what? Good. We need affordable homes. Everything is so expensive.

Sabina Perez

Mr. Duenas introduced that bill last September. It was referred to Sabina Perez’s committee. Ms. Perez did not hold a public hearing on it until last week. And, she did not allow the testimony of several elderly people via video. How much longer will she take to get this bill onto the floor of the legislature, if she ever allows it to see the light of day?

And why does she hate progress so much?

Joe San Agustin

We are enduring the shaky bridge period that Guam Power Authority and the Consolidated Commission on Utilities are traversing as they lead us to a future of reliable renewable energy. Every megawatt counts during these hot days leading into the evenings as GPA deals with a bunch of its generators going off line here and there. Along the way, Guam International Country Club, which leases Chamorro Land Trust property in Dededo, came up with a business model that will convert the golf course into a solar farm, sell that power to GPA, and pay upfront to the CLTC the entirety of rent for the whole lease period.

Therese Terlaje

That money would be placed into an endowment fund that can only be used by CLTC to get land leases out to applicants. Both the change of that lease and the creation of this endowment are contained in two corresponding pieces of legislation by Joe San Agustin. These bills also were introduced in September and sent to the land committee, which is chaired by Therese Terlaje, the speaker.

One of the criticisms I have heard about this bill goes something like, ‘Oh, someone’s going to make money off that.’

Of course someone’s going to make money. That’s the entire nature of business. What is wrong with that? As long as Mr. San Agustin isn’t tied to any of the companies involved, what is wrong with any of these other people making money?

What’s wrong with us – the GPA ratepayers – getting more of our electricity from a cheaper, solar source? What’s wrong with CLTC applicants having an easier time getting a land lease and a survey because this deal will give CLTC millions of dollars up front?

What’s wrong with people living on Guam making money off the creative use of public land? What are senators saving all this land for? They want to see how many junk cars and broken refrigerators can be tossed on them first?


  • Let’s face the facts here! I’m sure each senator has a “side hustle”! The problem is GREED. They don’t want other people to have a “side hustle” unless they get a cut.

    • Debbie Quinata

        01/12/2024 at 10:44 AM

      Sound about right and as was stated by Senator Terlaje: What wrong with locals making money off of their leased land? Economic development is a necessity for self sufficiency.! Give CHamoru lands in CHamoru Lands for heavens sake!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *