After completing his second term in office, Republican Gov. Eddie Calvo will hand over the baton to Governor-elect Lou Leon Guerrero, a Democrat, in January next year. It has been a challenging eight years for the Calvo administration, which, not surprisingly, constantly clashed with a Democratic Party-led legislature over several policy issues such as management of government finances, health care and public safety among others. The Pacific Island Times sat down with the outgoing governor for an exist interview in which he assessed his performance for the past eight years.
What do you consider your biggest legacy for the past eight years?
Gov. Eddie Calvo: The fiscal stability for our government, basic services, and improvement on these services. On a more esoteric end, building to the future with the revitalization of the village of Hagatna— restoration of nearly 4,000 years of our island’s history, at the core, Chamorro culture. It’s building a foundation of ourselves and our self-confidence. Hopefully, it continues and even becomes the nervous system of our island.
What are the areas where you consider yourself most successful?
Calvo: Looking at finances, we’ve got the highest credit ratings for both A-credit and business privilege tax. We also now have the highest credit ratings for our airport and port.
Over the past seven years, growth in durable goods — cars, washers, dryers, TV sets, personal computers— went up (a 0.2 percent in 2017 after 0.3 percent in 2016).
Originally, it took years getting tax refund money into the hands of the working people; we shrunk it down to months.
For years, many firehouses on Guam did not have firetrucks and ambulances; we made sure all firehouses have firetrucks and ambulances.