Finally a dialogue has been initiated between the housing office at Naval Forces Marianas and representatives of the real estate industry on Guam.

The Journal initially covered in January the abuses by some Realtors and owners of rental properties of rental rates to military tenants and secret addenda for maid services yard service and other benefits at taxpayers’ expense. The U.S. government and U.S. taxpayers should never be taken advantage of.

Since the time the Navy empowered its housing officer to take whatever measures necessary to rectify the situation the pendulum has swung the other way perhaps too far. Owners of houses on Guam are entitled to a fair rent — and Navy tenants should not be treated as pawns on the chessboard of the real estate market on Guam. The Navy Housing Office’s disregard for valuations by licensed appraisers is unheard of.

Nobody should belittle or underestimate the situation. This Journal was flooded with phone calls after our most recent story and editorial staff continue to receive phone calls. Most tellingly those phone calls — each caller with a story to tell — come as much from angry and upset Navy personnel as well as Realtors.

Fortunately the Navy after being part of the problem is now part of the solution.

Fortunately after months of standing by and hoping the issue would go away — and thanks to its incoming 2005 chairman the Guam Chamber of Commerce has brought the parties together in a format that Monty McDowell 2005 chairman had seen work successfully in the Armed Forces Committee of the chamber.

This Journal congratulates the parties for their powwow. The open discussion on the situation that occurred at the meeting between the Navy Housing Office and Realtors can only lead to a productive solution.

The peace pipe has not yet been smoked but it is being passed around.