Mayors scrap resolution opposing Prop 'A' - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Mayors scrap resolution opposing Prop 'A'

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Island mayors have decided not to take a position on Proposition "A", which seeks to legalize for-profit bingo only at the former Guam Greyhound facility. The decision comes as proponents have reached out for the first time to clarify the intent of their initiative.

The leaders of Guam's various municipalities won't be taking a stance in support or opposition of Prop 'A'. A draft resolution that intended to oppose the initiative was scrapped as some mayors like Robert Lizama of Yigo didn't want to be forced to take a stance and instead leave it up to their constituents. He said, "If the Japan group really wants it, then they will make the time to go to the thirteen centers. If the no to Prop 'A' wants to campaign, then put them up on their time give the fair representation."

Others, like Agana Heights mayor Paul McDonald, clearly voiced their disdain with the proposal. He stated, "I don't want a change and for me I suggest leave it the way to is and vote against it."

Up until today proponents have been silent. Attorney Ron Moroni sat at today's meeting willing to answer questions from mayors about the proposal. Instead, mayors discussed a letter from Guam Greyhound employee Annette Cruz, who sought to clarify points of Prop "A" by saying it would not be a monopoly and would not impact bingo operations at the island's senior centers

She wrote, in part: "This initiative is primarily about producing jobs for our residents and tax revenues for critically needed services that benefit everyone."

Instead, she contends for profit bingo would be an entertainment option targeted for tourists to help create jobs and raise money for healthcare, public safety and education.

While mayors voted not to take a position on the initiative, mayors will do what they can to educate their respective residents by holding forums with proponents and opponents of the initiative. Ordot-Chalan Pago mayor Jessy Gogue heads the Bingo Initiative Committee, and said, "If you want to invite other members of the community that are not senior citizens and want to ask questions about the initiative then this would be an opportune time to do it."

Sinajana mayor-elect Robert Hoffman, who is also a member of the Committee to Keep Guam Good that has launched a campaign opposing the initiative, says many villages with community centers have already made up their minds. He told KUAM News, "If we have more discussion, I think our people will see the faults in the proposal and see the flaws and be able to make a better decision come November."

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