Governor begins cuts - starting with Adelup - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Governor begins cuts - starting with Adelup

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo is moving forward, although disappointed by the Legislature's actions in removing his bond plan to pay past due tax refunds from the budget bill. He spoke before the Guam Contractors Association today on his reorganization plan and his priority to get the money that's owed to the people paid.

As the 31st Legislature continued deliberating on the substitute budget bill, Governor Calvo spoke about more cuts - starting with his office - the chief executive impressing upon GCA members that the government cannot continue spending beyond its means and borrowing from taxpayers.

Dededo resident Eddie Santiago hasn't seen a tax refund since 2006. Owed more than $300,000, he'll have to wait just like everyone else. "The way I see it, a lot of people, not just me, my wife, her children, everybody on this island is waiting for that, and they want it bad, some people need it more than I do," he stated. Santiago is one of the many the governor has referred to that needs their tax refund paid.

"There are people who are crying, it's either because they are dying, or someone's really sick in their family, or they got their power cut or they're getting evicted and they're looking at me and begging me for their money from 2008," he added.

With his $300 million bond proposal to pay tax refunds by Christmas cut from the substitute budget bill, Calvo took the first step in cutting even deeper. Today he issued Reorganization Advisory No. 4, which ordered the reduction of his pay, Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio's pay and their senior staff by 10%. He says the savings generated from these cuts will be dedicated towards paying tax refunds.

Calvo explained, "We made a concerted effort to cut costs in our administration, we're still moving forward with our proposal for a bond indenture to pay off the deficit and moving forward with future year budgets, we want to show people and this legislature that this administration is committed to having to be the first ones to do it, making necessary cuts to ensure that we don't spend more money than this government take in."

Before the GCA, Governor Calvo said since the people of Guam can't directly voice their concerns before the Legislature during a legislative session he was hoping his proposed bond measure would have at least been afforded the opportunity to be heard on the floor. "And if they don't like it then fine but to not even allow this only option as we put on the table to be presented which was a major component of our budget bill, I'm besides myself because I haven't heard any other solution," he said.

On the floor today, Republican Senator Chris Duenas motioned during discussions on revenues to have the government's bond counsel make a presentation on the governor's original $300 million bond proposal and its possible impacts to the numbers in the substitute bill. However, Committee Chair on Appropriations Senator Ben Pangelinan ruled against it, saying the bond was not packaged to support the revenue.  

While any further discussions of the bond issue remain to be heard and more cuts continue to be made to help GovGuam's financial position, others like Santiago's neighbor, Nartur Onopwi, continue to wait for his tax refunds. Having moved to Guam from Chuuk nearly two decades ago, he says he needs his tax refunds that are owed for the past three years for his family including his mom who is in the hospital at the moment.

"I've been laid off from my job, and I need the money because I have a family, I don't have food and sometimes I borrow money from somebody but now I don't pay the one I borrow" he told KUAM News.

Governor Calvo says he'll leave it up to the other government agencies and departments to make their cuts but hopes they are spending what is essentially the taxpayers' money wisely and encourages others to find creative ways to cut costs within GovGuam. Lawmakers meanwhile recessed discussions on the substitute budget bill at around 4:30 tomorrow and will resume tomorrow.

Adelup pay cuts


Position Name Full Salary Reduced Salary

Governor of Guam Eddie Baza Calvo $90,000 $81,000

Chief of Staff Franklin P. Arriola $82,000 $73,800

Deputy Chief of Staff Rose Ramsey $79,000 $71,100

Chief Fiscal Advisor Bernadette Artero $80,000 $72,000

Chief Legal Counsel James Canto $82,000 $73,800

Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark $85,000 $76,500

Chief Education Advisor Vincent Leon Guerrero $70,000 $63,000

Special Assistant on Healthcare and Military Buildup Brian San Nicolas* $10,000 $9,000

Director, Washington D.C. Office of the Governor J. Rick Perez $70,000 $63,000

Special Assistant  Henry Cruz $65,000 $58,500

Director of Constituent Services Jesse Alig $65,000 $58,500

Special Assistant for External Affairs Telo Taitague $65,000 $58,500

Director of Communications Troy Torres $65,000 $58,500

Director of Protocol Sheri Miki Yokozeki $60,000 $54,000

DCA President, de facto Administrator for CAHA and HRRA Joseph Cameron** $15,012 $13,511

Chief Information Officer Ed Cruz $70,000 $63,000

  Total $1,053,012 $947,711


Total reduction for Governor's Office $105,301






*$65,000 of salary covered by Office of Economic Adjustment

**$54,988 of salary covered by Department of Chamorro Affairs






Position Name Full Salary Reduced Salary

Lt. Governor of Guam Ray Tenorio $85,000 $76,500

Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff Dong Choe $70,000 $63,000

Guam State Clearinghouse Director Eric Palacios $55,000 $49,500

IBTF Program Manager Kelly Basilia $50,000 $45,000

Special Assistant Alejandro Gagaring $55,000 $49,500

Special Assistant Leila Uong $53,000 $47,700

Special Assistant Carlene Okiyama $53,000 $47,700

Special Assistant Mermae Cepeda $50,000 $45,000

Special Assistant Taryn Walker $50,000 $45,000

  Total $521,000 $468,900


Total reduction for Lt. Governor's Office $52,100











Grand total in reduction $157,401

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