The only people we can depend on are the people

“There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray. They alone are the safest depository of the ultimate powers of government.” --Thomas Jefferson

Over the past couple of months the people of Guam are learning the truth behind this statement by former president Thomas Jefferson.

It all began with news stories about top managers and attorneys for Guam Power Authority (GPA) and Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) receiving massive pay raises and bonuses behind closed doors. The situation was made worse as the Consolidated Commission on Utilities tried to keep the raises in place, and refusing to release the minutes and recordings that took place illegally in executive session, so the people could learn the basis for those massive raises and bonuses.

This was not an isolated incident. Earlier this year the public learned the Mayor’s Council of Guam (MCOG) gave Angel Sablan, their executive director, a massive $22,000 a year pay raise. What makes this situation appear worse than raises given to the utility managers, is the fact the raise appears to have been given (based on meeting minutes) to soothe Sablan’s sense of jealousy after reading about the new administration’s director salaries in the newspapers. He pointed out to the mayors in their Feb. 6, 2019 meeting, that he was the lowest paid of any government of Guam’s directors. I guess the mayors felt sorry for him and gave him a $22,000 pay raise — at taxpayers’ expense — to make him feel better.

It is not just the cost of the salaries that is a concern. There are also the associated costs for benefits and retirements that are draining the limited cash reserve