My opinion on AD


It will come as no surprise to anyone that Mayor David M. Apatang was first out of the gate as super typhoons Soudelor and Yutu retreated from our shores. It’s a generational habit. His years in the military as head of executive departments and in the Legislature trained him to respond immediately and without hesitation. From that moment he was present on the scene, he was working with businesses, families, a small army of local and federal officials, and contractors to dig out of the debris and begin rebuilding many months down the road. That’s leadership.

Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios noticed infrastructure projects were unattended, even with millions of dollars available. With the governor’s support, he convened a task force to get these projects organized, scheduled, and underway. He, too, has had a career that required commitment and results. And his leadership isn’t restricted to infrastructure; there have been many such interventions behind the scenes. That’s leadership.

Much has been said in the heat of the campaign, some true, some false, some great exaggerations, but news archives will reveal who was on the job and who was distracted by other matters. Our team has no such distractions and will focus like a laser on making this community better for our citizens and visitors.

We have long believed that we live in a paradise, but we have squandered opportunities to make it better for our citizens. Access to government services should be the same for all, regardless of connections. These processes should make sense, be straightforward, and timely. Government employees should have the autonomy to make decisions with full support of the bosses, and the aim should be a willingness to serve the public in an effective and efficient manner.

Over the years public trust has been severely eroded; we know this. We pledge to restore faith in island leaders and government in general—by following the rules. There is little need for more regulations. They already exist, we simply have to follow them. This commitment is aided by open lines of communication with the public, government officials and employees, and businesses.

Approachability is important. We are available to talk with anyone about their concerns. There is no better way to bridge differences than dialogue, and anyone who knows us knows we are available to confer on any matter that affects our community members.

There will always be differences of opinion about priorities, the practicality of possible solutions, and the distribution of available resources, that is the nature of politics—competition to achieve desired goals, but those goals vary. First, however, involved parties must be committed to listening to each other with concern and respect. Lt. Gov. Palacios and Mayor Apatang have demonstrated their willingness to do so and work for all the people of our islands.

Our economy offers some hope, but remains small and fragile, yet our needs in education, health care, utilities, and social services are considerable. Only by listening to each other, by working together, to

maximize both our efforts and resources, can we meet the challenges coming in our immediate future.

The team of Palacios and Apatang is committed to doing so, but we need the help of all our residents—we need your involvement—in order to succeed.

Please vote wisely for Palacios and Apatang. They are our leaders that can rebuild back trust in our government.

Virginia C. Villagomez
Former Governor’s Authorized Representative
(Soudelor, Mangkut and Yutu)
via email

Virginia C. Villagomez

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