Sunday, March 16

"Beyond correction by conventional methods"?

A federal judge has appointed a receiver to take over Guam's solid waste operations after repeated attempts to get the Legislature to make essential and critical decisions regarding the land-fill site.

Chief Federal Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood: "(1) there has been an historical and present lack of commitment by the island’s leaders in addressing this solid waste crisis, (2) the present Governor is committed to coming into compliance with the Consent Decree, and (3) despite the Governor’s best efforts and those of the Department of Public Works ("DPW"), they alone cannot solve this problem without a concerted effort by all sectors of the Government of Guam. The problem of a highly dysfunctional, largely mismanaged, overly bureaucratic, and politically charged sold waste system, which this Governor has inherited from past administrations, is beyond correction by conventional methods."

There are a few people wondering what it would take to persuade the judge to expand the scope of the receivership to cover all of GovGuam -- the schools, hospital, Rev & Tax, the water authority, police and fire services, corrections, mental health, road maintenance...

There are indigenous Chamorro people who should be getting disbursements of Chamorro Land Trust property but the system is like a clogged pipe. Very little or nothing seems to flow in the right direction.

All cynicism aside -- there are some really solid and dedicated people working hard to improve things here. The problem is that these leaders have, as the judge noted about the waste operations, inherited a highly dysfunctional, largely mismanaged, overly bureaucratic, and politically charged system.

We've seen a lot of improvement in the nearly two years we've been on Guam but it is almost as though the improvement happens in spite of everything working against it. And the longer we live on Guam the more I doubt the system's ability to truly self-correct the systemic issues.

Is the whole system "beyond correction by conventional methods"?

No comments: