Bill asserts mayors can block non-routed roads
by Krystal Paco
Guam - There's an obvious roadblock between island mayors and DPW when it comes to Bill 341.
"With all the vehicles we have on the road we cannot continue to allow the blockage of roadways for purposes like that," said director of Department of Public Works, Joanne Brown, with Sinajana Vice Mayor Robert adding, "The mayors put out the adequate resources to close the roads - the signage, the cones, everything, so it's really our responsibility and our part so we're just asking for it to be codified."
When it comes to road closures, it's obvious the agency and village mayors don't see eye-to-eye. Both were present for today's public hearing on Bill 341, which would give mayors authority to block or close off non-routed roads to accommodate village events. But Brown says with more than 109,000 registered vehicles on Guam, road closures are a hazard for drivers.
Said Brown, "I think the most major concerns are ensuring the safety standards are required with regards to road closures - I mean, DPW tries to minimize the amount of impact of when and for what purpose we allow for road closures." She added, "If the senators are not hearing it, the mayors are not hearing it, our department gets regular complaints as to why we're allowing that practice to happen - particularly with commercial businesses, for example, want to block the lane for particular activities or events they might be sponsoring."
Hoffman says mayors already take on such a responsibility. Despite brown's contentions, he believes that Bill 341 will receive unanimous support, saying, "I think it's going to go unanimously on our part. We have so many things on our plate that we're asked to do and if not, take away that stuff that has to deal with secondary roads and give it back to DPW. Let them be the ones to cut the grass, let them be the ones to fix the pot holes and we can use the money somewhere else."
The public has ten days to submit written testimony in regards to Bill 341 to Senator Barnes' office.