GEC calls off GEPB election - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEC calls off GEPB election

by Janjeera Hail

Guam - The Guam Election Commission touched on a number of issues at Wednesday night's meeting, with the most significant being the decision to cancel elections for the Guam Education Policy Board.  A law was recently passed to modify the makeup of the board, but according to the GEPB itself, an election can't be held until 2012.

GEC Executive Director John Blas said, "Because the board is comprised of nine members, there are four members currently serving a four-year term, so that's four members that will continue on until 2012. The law also stated that come January 2011, the governor will be appointing three members. So with the three members you would have seven members on the board. Now, in another section of the law where it talks about vacancies on the board, basically that pretty much leads to where the governor would make an appointment and those members would actually go through legislative confirmation."

The deadline to file to run for the GEPB was last Friday. Peter Alexis Ada and Luis Duenas were the only two to file, with only Ada qualifying.  Duenas didn't have enough signatures from his district.

The board's also working on completing a list of precinct officials that didn't show up on Super Saturday. The board is even considering pursuing legal action against them - violating a sworn oath is a misdemeanor.  But it looks like there are also problems for the precinct officials that did show up.

Said Blas, "We are processing those documents for payment for our precinct officials. However, our understanding is there is a cash flow situation at the Department of Administration, that they are not able to cut those checks at this time."

The board also briefly touched on the issue of the GEC's eviction notice, which was issued to Blas earlier this month.  Landlord GCIC president Steffen Niu says the agency is consistently late on rent. The only way he'll allow the agency to remain in the building is if they sign a six-month lease and pay it all up front.  

GEC legal counsel Rawlen Mantanona said would violate 5 Guam Code Annotated 5007, which states that with the exception of off-island orders of the Department of Education, no procurement shall be made which requires advance payment. The board tabled that discussion - they'll resume talks at another meeting scheduled for Monday.

But right now, no feasible alternatives have been identified.  Blas has already begun the request for proposal process for new office space - he submitted the specs for what he needs to the Department of Administration last week and is waiting for them to put an ad out for the RFP.  The board also spent time discussing how they'll format the ballot and candidates drew numbers to determine their placement on the ballot.

Powered by Frankly