MOU stands for mayors to take over senior centers
by Nick Delgado
Guam - The Administration has made it clear: they will proceed with the MOU the acting governor signed Tuesday, just an hour before lawmakers unanimously passed Bill 431. But it remains unclear if the governor will sign or veto the measure.
"The Administration is moving forward with the Mayors Council to provide the service, it's truly unfortunate and it's sad that we come to this point but we try to avoid this," proclaimed Acting Governor Ray Tenorio. After a brief meeting in chambers with Mayors Council of Guam Executive Director Angel Sablan, Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares, and Sinajana Vice Mayor Robert Hoffman, Tenorio says Public Health did the best it could to continue services in the island's senior centers.
He said, "These are circumstances that we have to deal with in our government not just on Guam but in the nation there is financial constraints, the mayors are willing to operate within those financial constraints where some of the leadership with GGARP/SPIMA was not."
Sablan says the mayor's also met with representatives from SPIMA this morning to discuss the transition, and the option of having SPIMA workers continue working, but under the Mayors Council. "We are not here to throw anybody out. We want to work with them they know what's going on in their centers and the mayors all they are going to do is make it open," he said.
While mayors and the Administration stress there is no intention of showing any disrespect to the manamko, they just want to ensure services continue. Hoffman says it's all about getting the better deal for the seniors, and even if GGARP continued operations - finances are still tight. "If they are supposed to fund at the certain level now based on the financials then it wouldn't be status quo on their side either should they continue the services. Things are going to happen and we want to know what responsibilities reneged," he said.
As for Bill 431, which would extend the now expired contract with GGARP, the acting governor says, "We'll act on it in due course, we've got it in our legal office and we are reviewing the measure, but I've already made it clear."
The mayors' MOU to run the senior centers is for the next 90 days. Tenorio adds as of today he is not anticipating signing or vetoing the Bill 431.