KEEPING THE MOMENTUM GOINGA Weekly Address By Governor Eddie Baza Calvo January 9, 2012
Happy New Year My Fellow Guamanians,
Nothing in 2011 made me happier than seeing millions of dollars in past due tax refunds put back into your pockets a month ago. More than putting an end to the bad practice of government holding your money was knowing that this money went a long way to helping you have a great Christmas and start 2012 on the right foot. Families were able to catch up with bills, put money into savings accounts and of course, buy more presents.
This brought with it a sense of prosperity… of people celebrating the holidays not worried about how they were going make car payments or pay for utility bills. It reinvigorated this administration. It has set the standard for the way we will work and raised the bar for what we need to accomplish for you and your children.
We are inspired to work more and fight harder to make sure that this sense of prosperity isn’t something that happens once every decade. We believe it should always be within reach of every hardworking person striving for the Guamanian Dream.
The gears are in motion and the roadmap to get there is already proving that we can make this happen together.
We all saw how this first part of this bond to pay some of your overdue tax refunds was an overwhelming success. We got the highest credit rating in our island’s history and we were the hottest ticket on the bond market. International investors saw the potential in Guam and her people… even when others in our own community couldn’t see it for themselves.
We believed we could do it then and we believe we’ll see it happen again. We want to make sure we pay the rest of your past due tax refunds through 2011 and ensure that future tax refunds are always on time. This is our commitment to you.
The Series B part of the bond we will seek in the coming days is critical to our fiscal stabilization plan. We’ve will do everything necessary to end the bad practice of putting off financial obligations, especially when it comes to your money. We’re going to eliminate the deficit so that we aren’t paying for last year’s bills with this year’s tax refunds.
And beyond that, we’re investing in you, the people of Guam. You are the most important key to building a better community and a sustainable future. With the leadership of the Guam Economic Development Authority, we’re aggressively seeking new ways to bring more economic activity to Guam.
Last year, I went on a series of trade missions to Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. I met with top-notch investors and business owners. They are already working with GEDA so they can bring more jobs, new products and new services to Guam. This means new opportunities, more careers and a better quality of life. And the administration is committed to making sure that you — the Guamanians who move this island every day — will have the first pick of these new jobs. You will be the pioneers of new industries and the imaginative architects of a better, stronger community.
We’re preparing to roll out new plans and programs to help boost the skills, knowledge and expertise of the local workforce… initiatives that will improve the quality of education for young Guamanians in public schools, create more apprenticeship programs for high school graduates and provide more funding and resources for future professionals studying at the Guam Community College and the University of Guam.
We want you to be prepared. We want you to be able to accomplish every goal you set for yourself. We want every Guamanian to have the opportunity to succeed… to have a successful career and raise a family in a home that you own.
And this is why we’re working closely with the Guam Housing Corporation, GHURA and entrepreneurs in the community to build more homes — homes that every family will be able to call their own. And we’re making major progress already.
Just this last Friday, the Superior Court of Guam approved the agreement between Guam Housing and Maeda Pacific to proceed with the construction of up to 400 affordable homes in the Lada Estates area in Dededo that will be ready for new homeowners within the net six years. In addition, GHURA will begin construction on 10 new affordable homes in Machananao and Guam Housing will begin work on 10 rental properties in the Sagan Linahyan Subdivision; and another 26 rehabilitated homes in the Dededo area.
These are places families can call home until they’re ready to make that first step toward becoming homeowners. Our goal is to start building 3,000 affordable homes in the coming years… and that’s just what we’re doing. There are so many others in our community like the developers of Ironwood Heights who are doing so much to help Guamanians live in comfortable, affordable homes.
We won’t stop there. We’ll keep moving forward.
We’re doing this because of you. You have inspired the Calvo Tenorio administration. Whether we’re fighting for your tax refunds, a better future for your children or for the dream of owning your own home, we are committed to transforming this government so that it works efficiently and responsibly for you.
Join us in this movement. Voice your opinions. Invest in Guam with us. The future is as bright as we can make it and you have an administration ready to work with you, and for you, every step of the way.
Let’s make 2012 even better than 2011. Let’s keep the momentum going.
May God bless each and every one of you throughout this exciting New Year.