GovGuam leaders impressed with Calvo's speech - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GovGuam leaders impressed with Calvo's speech

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In his eighth and final major speech as island's chief executive, Governor Eddie Calvo delivered his State of the Island Address Tuesday night. Dozens of island officials and government heads filled the seats of the Session Hall at the Guam Congress Building.

Numerous issues were brought up, as he said, "Tonight, I stand before you to report that the state of our island is strong, however, in the next few days we'll have to face decisions that will determine whether we continue this great progress already established or if we allow forces that have come from outside, decisions made thousands of miles away, to erode the accomplishments we've built."

It was seven years ago when the Calvo-Tenorio administration first took hold of Adelup and Governor Calvo highlighted some of issues that have been rectified under his leadership: strengthening public safety, increasing employment, renovating schools, promoting tourism, and of course - returning tax refunds. "To date, we have put more than $1.3 billion in tax refunds into the pockets of our people and we're returning your money," he shared.

In his final State of the Island Address, Governor Calvo mentioned some critical issues facing our island and its people, including federal policies, tax reformation, hospital funding, and decolonization. Additionally, throwing out his own proposals on how to rectify them and emphasizing the importance of the people.

KUAM caught up with local officials after to get their reactions to the chief executive's speech, Like Guam Memorial Hospital director Peter John Camacho, who said, "The governor's speech was very well-said. He had wonderful points and I think closing out where he talked about taking care of the hospital's needs and also the government's needs. I mean it's all about the people of Guam."

Guam Police Chief J.I. Cruz aldo stated, "I think the governor's speech very much depicted his sentiments of his legacy over the last seven years. I really appreciated how passionate he was about the people of Guam and how everything he said this evening was about supporting the employees of the Government of Guam."

And Department of Corrections director Tony Lamorena shared, "It was quite powerful. It brought it home that a lot of the economic issues that we currently face are a result of unfunded federal mandates. The governor's on point in regards to saying to the federal government, 'Look, if you're going to require us to follow your federal mandates, you need to assist us.'"

Governor Calvo's words made an impression on GovGuam officials and despite differences, so did his call for unity among the branches of local government.

Included in his speech, the governor called for a special session with him and the legislature in the near future. We got input from them as well, like Senator Mary Torres, who said, "I think he highlighted that we have a lot of work ahead of us. He called for unity which Guam has been very good at when times are good and especially when times are a little threatening so we look forward to working through and continuing to be together as one island."

And Speaker BJ Cruz said, "I was very happy - at the end he acknowledged the fact that we are going to have to work together to prevent us going off this fiscal cliff and I look forward to meeting with him tomorrow morning. I guess he's announced that he's calling us into session."

It looks like officials are hopeful that coming together as "One Guam" will bring us through the challenges we face.

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