Guam’s Maga’håga: ‘The era of responsibility is here’

HAGÃ…TÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —  Calling it the honor of her life, Gov. Lourdes Aflague Leon Guerrero took the oath of office as the island’s first female governor, or maga’hÃ¥ga.

“Change is here and change will make us a stronger, better Guam for everyone who calls our island home,� the governor said during her inaugural address.

More than 3,000 people packed the bleachers and chairs at the University of Guam Calvo Field House in Mangilao on Monday to witness history.

Chief Justice Katherine Maraman of the Supreme Court of Guam administered the oath of office to Leon Guerrero, who wore an all-white suit, accompanied by her husband Jeff Cook, and her two children and six grandchildren.

‘Now is the time for change’

“Our challenges are real and many but they weren’t caused by one party or one set of leaders. We won’t solve them all today, tomorrow or even 100 days from now, but we will solve them together,� Gov. Leon Guerrero said. “The era of responsibility is here. Now is the time for change.�

Leon Guerrero announced that her administration has begun a “top-down� review of the government’s financial health, assets, liabilities, cash flow models and budgetary projections.

She assured that her administration will work to make Guam safe, build safe schools and repair those that are falling apart, fix the island’s broken streets and regain accreditation for Guam Memorial Hospital.

Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio took his oath of office administered by Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena of the Superior Court of Guam.

Tenorio said the government must hold high standards and hard choices must be made to build a government that is “responsive, modern, efficient and worthy of the people’s trust.�

He said the new administration has assembled a team that will make strategic improvements to public safety and community health, with a considerable shift toward evidence-based practices — community policing, juvenile justice, substance abuse recovery and true corrections programming.

“I intend to reboot our approach to spending federal funds and play a key role in making government more transparent by embracing technology, simplifying processes and making decisions that are based on reliable data,� Tenorio said. “This is a tall task, but considerable progress can be made with the trust and backing of our government employees.�

‘Rise up’

Tenorio recalled the many people he met along the campaign trail and urged young people in the community to “rise up,� calling them creative, innovative and compassionate.

“Rise up and share your talents. Rise up and put your ideas into action. Rise up and stand up for equality. Rise up to protect our environment. Rise up to move our island forward,� Tenorio said. “We are in the era of the maga’ håga.�

The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration will, for the first time in decades, establish the Guam Ethics Commission to hold government officials to a high ethical standard.

“The commission will serve as a venue for honest complaints, fair hearing and resolution,� Leon Guerrero said.

The new governor also has ordered the Department of Revenue and Taxation to provide daily reports until the tax recovery unit is operational and all outstanding audit findings from the Office of Public Accountability are resolved.

‘We must leave no one behind’

Leon Guerrero also promised to cut “crushing debt� and find a way to bring back prosperity by investing in people and giving them hope. She said her administration will work to reform politics to work more for the powerless and not the powerful.

“We must make the hard choices. We cannot forget our teachers. We cannot forget our nurses. We cannot forget our law enforcement officers. We must not forget our people,� the governor said. “We will do better. We are one family. For our island family to succeed, we must leave no one behind.�

Source: Marianas Variety :

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