A breath of fresh air

“Transparency,” “honesty” and “accountability” are common ingredients of the political ballyhoo often heard on the campaign trail. After the elections, they are stashed back into the drawers of hollow slogans that will be recycled in the next campaign season. A policy of secrecy takes place in lieu of the original campaign promise.

In Yap, by contrast, newly sworn-in Gov. Henry. Falan and Lt. Gov. Jesse John Salalu surprised their constituents with their unprecedented acts of openness.

At their Jan. 14 inauguration, our Yap correspondent Joyce McClure reported, Falan and Salalu received two sparkling gift bags, one of which when opened revealed a bottle of Chivas Regal and crisp $100 bills amounting to $4,000. Salalu only received the bottle of fancy scotch and 10 100s.

“The team was elected on their platform of transparency, honesty and accountability. Although they expected to be confronted with the prospect of this type of ‘persuasion’ since foreign powers that are trying to establish a foothold on the island are well known for giving out envelopes of money freely, they had pledged publicly to not accept outside influence in any form,” McClure wrote in an article published in our Jan. 21 online edition. “Salalu pulled the bottles of liquor and envelopes out of each one, fanning the bills to show that they were indeed real. The audience sat mute. They now had to decide what to do with the money and how to let their constituents know about the attempt to buy their influence.”

Falan and Salalu made it known that the Yap government is not for sale.

Prior to the inauguration, Falan told the assembled group of volunteers that a contingent of foreign investors had been seeking to meet with him. One such group was proposing to build a 100-room luxury resort in the center of Colonia, a project which Falan learned had been approved by th