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NEWS: Moylan asks why staffers, not the homeless, have hotel suites

By Nancy I. Maanao

(Tumon, Guam) Sen. Jim Moylan ripped into Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero in a scathing letter about another questionable development contract under the public health crisis, and why the homeless have not been housed like administration officials at the Pacific Star Hotel.

Mr. Moylan referred to the Safe Haven Project, which is a contracted improvement of the Paseo de Susana in Hagatna to provide temporary shelter to the homeless population during the COVID-19 crisis. He pointed out to the governor that, "the plans for the Paseo location were canceled due to concerns associated with safety and social distancing, and this was determined after maintenance and repair works was being made (possibly completed), and possibly some procurement finalized. So, our first question is, shouldn't the assessment of safety have been determined prior to expending any monies on the repairs and maintenance work?"

The senator questioned both the veracity and competence of the Leon Guerrero administration, probing at the lack of any answers to questions posed for weeks about the financials and the plans for a project that was canceled after the money was spent.

  • How much has been expended thus far with this project, and would your office be able to release a detailed listing of the expenses?

  • Since no action has been completed for the homeless population since the start of the lockdown, have there been plans for a dedicated testing of the virus for the homeless?

  • What happens next, meaning where does the Safe Haven Project go from here, and what are the timelines?

"We have been inquiring about the administration’s plans to address the homeless situation during this crisis for weeks, hence I would believe that the planning and assessment stages should have at least been completed weeks ago."

Mr. Moylan, like thousands of residents who have lost patience and confidence in Ms. Leon Guerrero, joins a growing chorus of legislators in demanding answers from the governor. She has thus far refused to answer questions directly or at all to island media, and has even snubbed several requests from information from Sens. Therese Terlaje and Telo Taitague, and Speaker Tina Muna Barnes.

The crescendo of his letter of demand calls into question the governor's humanity in leaving hundreds of homeless people out on the streets while her staffers and cabinet members enjoy hotel accommodations at the Pacific Star Hotel.

"The media has reported that the government of Guam entered into a contractual relationship with a hotel to procure 389 rooms, to use as a quarantine facility for incoming passengers. Reports indicate that nearly 200 rooms remained vacant yet, were paid for by government funds. Why couldn't the government utilize these vacant rooms as part of the Safe Haven Project? The rooms apparently came with meals and laundry services, which were also procured by the government, making them more feasible for this project. Is there a reason this solution was not on the table? Reports indicate that the former Chief of Staff and other members of your cabinet have utilized the vacant rooms, which were deemed as "quarantine facilities", hence wouldn't it have been more logical if the homeless were provided that space for 14 days?"
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