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Marianas mayors hold annual meeting on Guam

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Guam played host this week to the annual meeting of the Association of Marianas Island Mayors. The village leaders met on a variety of common concerns, and also hosted a pair of special guests to speak on key issues.

The mayors, and vice-mayors from throughout the Marianas huddled at the Reef Hotel sharing concerns, and best practices as they do each year to try and improve their respective villages.  The leaders also heard from guest speaker Chase Anderson, whose winding down a 9-year stint running the Guam solid waste system.  

Agat Mayor Kevin susuico raised concerns about his lack of access to the solid waste transfer station within his own village.  Mayors can't use it, and have to travel to the Layon landfill. "Of course," he said, "it's not your problem, because we have a lot of trash. Again, the question that I'm posing to you is - is there something else that can be done to assist the villages on our side?"

Mayors often collect lots of trash in their villages, and hauling it to Layon can be a very time-consuming task.  As Ordot-Chalan Pago's Jesse Gogue explained, even limited access to would help. "It doesn't have to be all the trash that they dump at the Layon landfill. What they're proposing is maybe one dump of one vehicle only and then any additional trash that they dump that needs to be dumped on the same day then has to go to the Layon landfill," said Gogue.

Anderson agreed to a meeting and further discussion.

Another guest speaker was Captain Jesse Grimes, commander of naval installations, who briefed on the military buildup.  Grimes was also asked about North Korea and the safety of the Marianas, to which he replied, "I say that threat is no more than it has been in the past, the rhetoric is very high, we watch that situation very closely," he said.

"Readiness is deterrence. Whether that's the bombers flying over the peninsula, or the submarines operating out of here, it's all that training we've been talking about. If you're ready that is deterrence."

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