JFK controversy heard in court
by Nick Delgado
Guam - The crisis surrounding the construction for a new John F. Kennedy High School made its way to the courtroom today. The JFK community fears that the issue may drag on for an even longer period.
The Guam Community Improvement Foundation, represented by Attorney Randy Cunliffe, was scheduled to present the arguments for its alternate writ of mandate before Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas. GCIF filed an appeal with the court after the Guam Office of Public Accountability denied its protest finding there was nothing wrong with the procurement process for the contract awarded to International Bridge Corporation.
JFK High Task Force Member Eunice Aflague argues that this is once again a delay tactic, saying, "This is our last hope. It rests on Judge Barcinas and the OPA and Mr. Camacho to completely end this for good."
Attorney Anthony Camacho represents the Guam OPA, who was expecting to provide its opposition, however Cunliffe requested that the court give them more time to obtain the transcripts form the OPA hearings. Camacho argued that the transcripts from all hearing regarding JFK have been posted on the OPA's web site. Judge Barcinas then expressed his confusion with the GCIF's filing, saying the parties need to clarify what they want the court to do with the matter.
Camacho contends that the OPA does not have to release IBC's proposal, or disqualify IBC and award the contract to the GCIF. "In our opposition to their alternate writ of mandate, we explain in great detail to the fact that no duty exists for that type of relief and that GCIF had no right to take that type of relief," he said.
Judge Barcinas says he is giving both parties until March 5 to file their briefs before any motion to dismiss can we considered. In the meantime, the problem Aflague says is causing the students to go even longer without a permanent campus, noting, "The other party had two months to prepare for this, and to come to court today and say we need additional time was uncalled for...we're going through the same process we went through at the OPA side. It drags and drags and drags, we just want this to end. They want the school to be built."
Aflague adds that while they are struggling on a funding source for the interim campus, she urges Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. to reconsider his measure that would free-up funds from the 2009 Solid Waste Management System Bond proceeds for the new campus as she feels it will only hold up the construction process even more. She said, "It doesn't guarantee that him changing the funding source that we're not going to have to go through this whole process again/ he just changing the funding source, but he's not changing GHT procurement laws."
Now while the next court hearing is not scheduled until March 12, along with the dozens of signs posted on the fence of the Upper Tumon campus, the main one ask that the judge put the students first.