Editor’s Note: Candidates for the 28th Guam Legislature were asked the following questions: 1) Now that we have privatized the first government of Guam agency (the Guam Telephone Authority) what other parts of GovGuam should next be turned over to private interests; in what time frame and with what caveats? 2) Yes or No on Proposition A?



Frank Aguon

1) I do support outsourcing and privatization. But a process that is transparent and involves the players and stakeholders. Any outsourcing must be able to highlight any cost reduction or cost transference and its impact toward insuring enhanced services to our people and the community.

2. I do not support casino gaming activities in any form for Guam. I believe that Guam must continue to capitalize on our economic strengths these include investing additional resources toward expanding our visitor industry (to include enhancing the product through beautifying the island) and creating additional opportunities for growth with our island’s military partnership industry. The expanded efforts over the past several years by the Guam Chamber of Commerce on creating a much more military-friendly environment has directly resulted in Guam now anticipating increased military presence for our island which will result in additional jobs for our people and increased revenues for our government to re-invest in quality of life services for our people. These efforts collectively I believe would be more beneficial to Guam and her people than risking any negative effects and social challenges that may result from allowing casino gaming activities into our beautiful island.


Benjamin “BJ” Cruz

1) I would like to have a moratorium on further privatization of government agencies for at least one year and at most two years. During this moratorium I want to study the success or problems with the GTA privatization. If the successes outweigh the problems then I will be willing to look at the privatization of the Port Authority and maybe even GPA. In the meantime we could all also be studying the privatization of similar agencies in the States and determine whether full privatization of just a management contract is sufficient. The GTA privatization contract also provides us with a template of provisions to study and determine whether we want to include similar ones in future contracts.

2) No

Muna Barnes

Tina Rose Muna Barnes

1) The Port Authority should be next because public-private partnership legislation is already in place. Water Works should also be targeted for a public-private partnership because they can never succeed on their own. The caveat is that our water resources belong to the people of Guam and should never be sold.

Combined bus operations for schools and mass transit are a good target with the contract winners also responsible for maintenance and repair of all bus stops. The Guam Penitentiary and certain hospital and education department functions are among those that can possibly be outsourced.

Privatization outsourcing and public-private partnerships should only be considered when the following conditions are met or benchmarks are achieved: a) There is a net savings to the government; b) There is a measurable increase in efficiency or productivity; c) Affordable health insurance is provided for all employees that is comparable to the government’s health-insurance plans; d) Reasonable pension and other benefit options are available to employees; and e) Provisions are made to positively address the employment status of all employees that will be displaced.

2) Absolutely no. There is no guarantee of more visitors increased revenue or creation of additional employment. We should learn from our past and from all of the social problems that accompanied the establishment of slot machines. Casinos will cause the same and perhaps greater social difficulties than did the slot machines. We should also learn from the example presented by Las Vegas. Less than 20% of the revenue generated by Vegas comes from gambling. The largest share of the state’s revenue comes from other sources including hotel rooms food and beverages shopping entertainment conventions and other services. Las Vegas is a favorite vacation convention and recreation spot because it offers an incredibly wide variety of things to do at a reasonable cost and offers these activities in a small contained area. The average visitor spends only a few hours gambling; the rest of their time is spent on doing other things.

GVB surveys show that our current visitors are not enthusiastic about casinos and don’t want to stay in hotels that have them. This could mean a dramatic reduction in the number of the kind of visitors that spread their spending throughout our island. These visitors could be replaced by gamblers who want to spend all of their time in the casinos offered by Proposition A. Local businesses that are not casinos or their host hotels would all suffer.


F. Randall Cunliffe

1) I have been a supporter and advocate of GTA privatization since I served as legal counsel to GTA. There are current public-private partnerships at GPA and elsewhere in the government. I believe that the model adopted by GPA for the management of the Cabras Power Plants can be used elsewhere in the government such as the Port Authority. Under this arrangement the private partner supervises government employees under the civil service system and it has proven to be a successful approach.

A public private-partnership for the Port Authority of Guam will result in the upgrade of the port’s equipment and facilities the purchase of new cranes new employment opportunities and more technical training and advancement for Port employees. I am the sponsor of Public Law 27-60 which authorizes the lease of the port’s assets and the contracting of terminal operations to a professional port operator. The goal is to increase efficiencies and provide more reliable service for the island while preparing for increased port activity resulting from additional military and tourism.

There is a six-month time line for the port to issue a RFP and due to procurement problems associated with the port’s consulting agreement there has been a delay. I am hopeful that the port board adopts a responsible but expedited time line to ensure that a private partner is secured before the port’s infrastructure especially its cranes deteriorates any further. The end of the year seems reasonable to me.

2) I do not support nor do I oppose casino gaming. However I oppose specific provisions of the Guam Gaming Commission Control Act. I believe that we should be prepared for the possibility of its passage and I am prepared to introduce legislation to amend the act if passed by Guam’s voters.


Judith Guthertz

1) When it comes to privatization I support the concept of competitive sourcing to provide better more-cost effective services to island residents. Outsourcing is one of the possible outcomes of this competitive process.

Government and business would compete with each other to win contracts to provide services. To me it doesn’t matter who wins the competition as long as the winner can do the job and be held accountable. I also believe that it is not fair for the government of Guam to continue to do a job – particularly a non-inherently governmental job that another provider may be able to do better for less money.

In order to properly identify what parts of the government of Guam can be identified for possible competitive sourcing we first need to evaluate the over 6 000 legal mandates that GovGuam is required by law to provide in the form of programs and services. There has been no such evaluation to date even though these mandates have evolved over the last 54 years. I will immediately initiate this review if elected as senator and I will pursue this review as the first step in developing a comprehensive Government Reorganization and Competitive Outsourcing Plan.

Under no circumstances should our government be financing itself in the short term by selling public assets that can enhance the quality of life of our people in the long term. I will support privatization initiatives that benefit all the people of Guam don’t cost the government money and where employee issues are properly handled.

2. No

Leon Guerrero

Lourdes A. "Lou" Leon Guerrero

1) In the absence of a reorganizational and governmental strategic plan it is premature to say and identify other government agencies that should be privatized. Is privatization the most cost effective and efficient way to turn over our government services to private interests? The Guam Telephone Authority’s privatization plans took many months in fact years before we have come to this point. As a legislator I will be following closely the effects of this privatization. We have learned a lot from this process and until I am fully convinced that we can actually improve our services in a cost-effective manner I will reserve my comments on this particular issue.

2) I am against Proposition A. I am against casino gaming as I believe it will negatively impact our island’s basic sources of our economy — tourism and the military. I am convinced that casino gaming will have a deleterious effect on the landscape of our tourism industry that we have struggled to protect nurture and strengthen. Those tourists that decide to come specifically to gamble will not spend their money at our restaurants our retail stores our Chamorro Village and miss out on the real beauty of our island – our water beaches and our people. Statistics show that for every dollar spent from gambling the community has to spend $3 to $4 in hidden costs to keep our people safe and peaceful. We are seen as a family destination both in how we market Guam with the military and tourists. Casino gaming darkens this atmosphere. Proposition A requires that the government spend $500 000 as seed money. This is a considerable chunk of money that we must initially outlay for the operation of gaming. Proponents of Proposition A will tell you that this is so that our island will make more money. They also say that gaming will bring in 1.5 million tourists to Guam. As it stands today we are already bringing in that amount without gaming. Our economy is turning around without gaming. Let’s continue to protect the clean ways of an economy. Vote No on Proposition A.


Ted Nelson

1) The basic objective of privatization is to substitute inefficient and political management of state-owned enterprises by efficient and profit-oriented management by the private sector. The objective is laudable and there can be no dispute that management of any enterprise should be the best and the bottom line in the long run is the ultimate objective for any enterprise. The success of any privatization program depends on its timing speed and sequence. Ill-timed non-deliberate speed and wrong sequence can have disastrous consequences.

We should sell the Guam Mass Transit Authority within a period of two years. It is a known fact that even if government continues to pour money into this entity nobody is likely to bid for it without spending hundreds perhaps thousand of hours of research. Even if it were difficult to sell its management could probably be leased out.

2) No


Adolpho B. Palacios

1) All government of Guam agencies providing public service must concentrate on providing the “core” service for which they are created. For example education is to educate; the hospital is health care. Any function that is supportive to the “core” service must be reviewed annually to see if such service cannot be privatized. This review must be done during the annual budget process.

2) No opinion formed yet. This issue must be decided by the voters of Guam. It should not be decided by the politicians. Placing this issue in the referendum is the correct process.


Vicente C. “Ben” Pangelinan

1) I would support any privatization or outsourcing of services of the government of Guam provided that the fundamental principles of privatization are met: 1) increased efficiency; and 2) decreased costs. The government cannot just privatize for the sake of privatizing. It must guarantee the privatization or outsourcing is a move forward towards better quality services while simultaneously cutting costs to provide such services. The cost reduction must occur from the application of more efficient private sector practices and not be funded by simply cutting jobs reducing pay and benefits.

Further before any private firm assumes control of services that are paid for by tax dollars there must also be specific procedures in place to ensure that operations remain faithful to the people’s interests especially in terms of accountability transparency and availability to anyone entitled to those services under the law.

2) No. I do not believe that casino gambling would provide the people and the economy of Guam the promises that the proponents of Prop A claim it would provide. It is inconsistent with our economic direction and programs.
The people of Guam not only take pride in Guam because of its physical characteristics in nature but also because of its people and culture. Tourists come to the island to escape the busy-ness of life in a big city and to experience the sun sand and the Pacific Ocean. They also witness the closeness of our people and the value we place on family.

Adding casino gambling as an attraction to market Guam to tourists would only deter the efforts made by the tourism industry that Guam is an island paradise. Rather than increasing tourist arrivals casino gambling will only attract a selected few and discourage a wide variety of tourists especially those aiming for a family-oriented trip.

It has been known that in areas where legalized casino gambling exists social problems are dominant. The revenues gained from casino gambling are outweighed by the social costs — increased crime debts suicide bankruptcies divorce demand for more public services -that are in most cases irreversible. The people of Guam simply cannot afford these permanent and expensive consequences. Gambling will not in any way shape or form improve Guam’s economy or the lives of our people.


John “J.Q.” Quinata

1) The issue of privatization is often perceived as a need to reduce expenditure provide more efficient services and downsize. Whatever the perception we must be cognizant that government provides services that cannot be provided by the private sector. Privatizing certain functions in the government of Guam must ensure that island residents continue to receive basic services as mandated by law.

Recent efforts to privatize certain government functions in the government of Guam include the maintenance and cafeteria services at the Department of Education as well as security and janitorial services at the Guam Memorial Hospital. Estimated costs to privatize these government functions far exceed the actual cost GovGuam pays to run these same services.

The privatization of certain government services could occur in the near future as efforts to reorganize the entire government have begun. Although similar efforts are aimed at shifting some government functions to the private sector improving services and saving money there must also be a thorough study of hidden costs required to transfer responsibilities to a non-government entity. Other costs include a layer of bureaucracy to administer the bidding process contracts and monitor results. Additionally tasks performed by GovGuam are not accurately reflected in a contract resulting in increased costs or eliminated services.

While the public supports improving the delivery of government services taxpayers also support laws to ensure the continuity of quality public services. Our efforts in privatizing certain functions within this government must not jeopardize that.

2) No


Rory Respicio

1) First of all although I fully support the privatization of GTA I do not support privatizing agencies just for the sake of privatizing them. Any privatization proposal must make sense in terms of improved services and lower costs for the people of Guam. Some of the more recent privatization proposals that have been floated have actually cost more money than they saved. Secondly for any privatization effort to be successful it has to involve the employees. This is why past privatization efforts of GPA generator plants were a success and the current GTA privatization is on the same success track. The problem with recent privatization proposals for GMH and Guam Waterworks is that these were handed down from above instead of being developed with the involvement of the workers in these agencies. Finally the test for any privatization effort is ultimately the terms of the deal and whether they are fair for the people of Guam who are the true owners of these assets. Whatever the justification we always have be careful to safeguard the public interest and ensure that what belongs to the people is not given away as part of an unfair or sweetheart deal.

2) No


Antoinette D. “Toni” Sanford

1) I believe we could have (should have?) implemented public-private partnerships in Guam Waterworks Authority and the Port Authority of Guam just as was done in Guam Power Authority several years ago. Today we are way behind the curve and we must address these major infrastructure issues immediately. There are certainly methods and precedents for doing so while retaining ownership of our natural resources and protecting our employees and assets. I believe we should avail ourselves of such by eliminating the Consolidated Commission on Utilities while reforming the Public Utility Commission into a Public Services Commission to provide essential oversight authority of these public-private ventures involving GPA GWA and PAG as well as other services such as waste removal and processing.

I also support the pursuit of a public-private partnership to enhance our health-care abilities. This would entail a partnership with a health-care provider capable of assuming management of the Guam Memorial Hospital while developing additional facilities and capabilities that can be supported by Guam as a major regional health-care hub. This partnership should also focus on developing our ability to attract and educate health-care professionals.

Finally we must be cognizant of the need to provide continued public partnership in these endeavors to maximize our ability to attract federal as well as private foundation grants and other funding to supplement anticipated private investments. The government of Guam also must step up to its responsibility for subsidizing those in our community that will ever be needful of healthcare assistance and we must implement a preventive care approach that will minimize the ultimate cost of doing so.

2) No



Joanne Brown

1) As we address the privatization of the Guam Telephone Authority that is up for review before the Guam Legislature the next agency that will benefit from a private partnership is the Guam Waterworks Authority. I am of the position that GWA would operate more efficiently and cost effectively as a private operation. I served as the legislative oversight chairperson for GWA for six years during the 24th 25th and 26th Guam legislatures. During this time GWA experienced tremendous difficulty in addressing routine maintenance of the water and waste-water systems including the maintenance of newly built systems lack of training programs for employees inconsistencies in billing and operational policies and poor customer-service relations. While there have been some operational changes under the Consolidated Commission on Utilities there still remains significant areas of improvement that are needed to insure that we have a reliable water and waste-water system.

The ability of GWA to provide reliable water and sewer service has a direct impact on our people’s quality of life and the economic viability of our island now and in the future. As long as the ownership of the water resources remains in the hands of our people as a public owned resource (as is public law) I am open to the privatization and improvement of service operations at GWA.

2) No


Vince Cristobal Camacho

1) Components of the government of Guam that directly compete with private enterprise should be considered for privatization. Most of these areas would include maintenance security transportation and trash disposal. The premise of these privatizations is not to eliminate jobs but to ensure that government services are provided to the community while stimulating the economic activity on the island. Many of the government employees can be hired by the private companies who in some case pay more offer better benefits and offer incentives for good performance. These privatizations should also be left in the hands of the respective departments and agencies and not in the hands of the legislature unless it deals with the sale of any government assets or property.

The caveat to any privatization however should be that the private enterprise taking over the personnel and services must provide the services at a lower cost to the people of Guam.

2) No


Eduardo B. “Eddie” Calvo

1) We should look to all areas where the private sector already provides like services. Any time frame or potential caveat would be predicated on the government’s plan and timetable for reorganization. It is essential that reorganization and privatization go hand in hand. Reorganization and privatization are a means to an end. And that end should be a higher quality of service provided at the most productive and efficient manner possible.

2) I am not for Prop A.


Michael Cruz

1) One of my major goals if elected to the 28th Guam Legislature is a new hospital. In a community that boasts beautiful five-star hotels and golf courses there should be no excuse for the old and tired building that houses our only civilian acute-care hospital. As a former medical director of Guam Memorial Hospital Authority and private physician I know too well that simply building a new structure without improving operations will only give us a new structure — we must privatize GMH. One only needs to look at the many successful nationally accredited and modern private “