Controversy surrounds Bill 102 - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Controversy surrounds Bill 102

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Legislation that would have closed the doors to the public has Governor Eddie Calvo pounding to let the public in. Governor Calvo said, "I'm very disappointed with the vice speaker's introducing this is very very dangerous legislation that would put darkness into the proceedings of the Civil Service Commission."

The legislation which was introduced by Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz would allow the Civil Service Commission to hold closed meetings that would ban the public from being present. It would also allow these closed meetings to be done without having audio recordings or transcripts of their discussions. Commissioners would only have to vote in public. "For this particular legislation to come out especially in a time like this I find it very interesting and I'm wondering what the motives of the vice speaker is I think it's important that the mantra this administration is kept and adhered by all those in our administration we want transparency. We want the public to have scrutiny in the operations of the government as far as I'm concerned we want to open up the drapes and we want the sun to shine to every office and to every agencies of the Government of Guam," he said.

During Tuesday's public hearing on Bill 102 CSC executive director Tony Lamorena said that times have changed and that the bill was necessary because commissioners were concerned about their safety.   Governor Calvo says unfortunately, that's part of the job. "If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. So this is something that I would advise all public officials and again if there are some folks who are concerned about security please advise us and we will work with the police department and with other law enforcement agencies to ensure their protection," he said.

Calvo added the CSC's testimony in support of the measure was not sanctioned by the front office, and the action will be dealt with accordingly. Meanwhile during the hearing on the bill former senator and attorney Robert Klitzkie pointed out that the legislation contradicts a decision issued by Sen. Cruz when he was a judge in 1984. Klitzkie says at that time then judge Cruz issued a decision that prevented the CSC from conducting secret deliberations in sessions closed to the public.

Governor Calvo is questioning why Cruz is changing his position hoping he'll pull back the legislation. "But if it does move through I will veto it," he said. "The vice speaker as a judge obviously had a different opinion but now as a senator he's reversed that opinion I'm hopeful he'll look at the statements he made as a judge again when he was  the contrary view point  of the current legislation."

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