Klitzkie, Won Pat vote against using GTA profits to fund COLA

by Sabrina Salas Matanane, KUAM News
Thursday, December 22, 2005

There were two senators who voted against the approval of the legislation to use $11.9 million from the proceeds of the sale of the former Guam Telephone Authority to fund cost of living allowances for Government of Guam retirees. Namely, senators Judi Won Pat (D) and Bob Klitzkie (R) both have different reasons for their opposition.

Senator Won Pat said, "When the bill first came to us the very first thing I thought about was a conflict of interest on my part and so I went and sought legal advice from both sides the Republican and Democrat legal attorneys. Both basically brought out the law itself and our standing rules whether there is any conflict and legally there really isn't any. It talks about businesses and your legal business dealings for that part there would be no legal but in the eyes of the law there's no legal conflict. However there is another caveat that has been bothering me because I introduced the ethics legislation and because I feel that senators and elected officials should hold uphold the standards of ethics and we should always above that and we're always in the public's eye and we're role models."

To this end, Senator Klitzkie said, "This is not a good thing...the Retirement Fund and the person in the acting director said that the retirement went on record as opposed to this bill the $11.9 million for unfounded liability could be paid to the Retirement Fund this week. Instead we're borrowing $11.9 million that should go into the Retirement Fund. I don't think we should ever borrow from the Retirement Fund. I don't think we should ever borrow money that should go to the Retirement Fund. I think it has to be government policy to properly pay every contribution to the Retirement Fund immediately."

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