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Bordallo holds town hall meeting

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo held a town hall meeting today in Tumon. Residents attended the forum this afternoon where the delegate gave an update on the various issues she's working on in Washington, DC. With a new Congress in place and the Democratic Party in the minority, the congresswoman says she has to work even harder to bring up issues related to Guam.  

Bordallo spoke today about war claims, veterans issues, the healthcare reform and the Guam military buildup. While some have questioned whether the buildup will still take place even with Japan working to get back on its feet with the earthquake and tsunami disaster, Bordallo says she's still confident that plans for the marine relocation will still go through.

She says she's certain Japan will keep this agreement, noting, "We signed an agreement with them about this military buildup. They haven't reneged on any part of it." she added, "They have a lot of allied countries helping them too, so they're not going to be burdened by the entire cost of rebuilding. So they'll have a lot of outside help. Japan, once they set their minds to agree to assist with this move, they will."

With talks of the military buildup, Eloy Hara from Consolidated Commission on Utilities says he along with the other members will continue to fight for Fena. "Actually, the testimony that we have on Senator Tom Ada's resolution was basically that we believe that Fena should be turned over to the island of Guam," he said. "We are elected by the people of Guam to represent Guam relevant to water, power and wastewater. That is the position that we hold. We should be the only representative to the community of Guam."

In the meantime, in light of the National Defense Authorization Act provision, Republican Senator Frank Blas, Jr. had questioned Bordallo's role. Blas penned a letter to the attorney general requesting he provide an opinion on the legality of a provision contained in the act that mandates the secretary of defense having a 33% vote share in the CCU as a condition for selling navy water and wastewater assets at fair market value on Guam.

Blas had asked whether the congresswoman had been "sleeping behind the wheel". Bordallo reacted to this comment, saying, "Since I've been in Washington, I've never slept behind the wheel. I worked very, very hard, and it depends. Perhaps this person may want to take my job next term."

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