According to the bill’s author, Senator James Moylan, Bill 58-35, or the bill’s primary objective of helping public parks, may need to be introduced as an amendment in the next budget measure in order to move the proposal forward. virtual public forum on legislation Tuesday. The meeting was posted on his Facebook page.
The bill proposes a public-private partnership for the maintenance of public parks. It was introduced in March 2019. Moylan is now trying to resurrect the measure.
“Of course we’re trying to reopen Guam for our tourism and we know it’s important that our tourists come here to enjoy our beaches and our community, but when they go to the beaches, they expect something from the beaches. Especially clean parks and safety for themselves while they’re there, ”Moylan said.
Senator Kelly Marsh criticized the bill, saying the measure reduces liability and that there are already other ways to engage in public-private partnerships on parks.
Akihiro Tani, general manager of Fisheye Marine Park, said he supports the idea of attracting private business investment to maintain public parks.
“But I still think I need more sentences in this bill to make sure that everyone in Guam (has) free access to public parks,” Tani said.
The other problem Tani had with the bill was corporate involvement. He said the bill gives the impression that once contracted, the private company has full control.
“Maybe it makes people more reluctant to do it because it leaves all authority to the private side, and I don’t think that’s the way to go for public parks,” Tani said.
He suggested creating a formal organization, such as a limited liability company, so that the government has control during the term of the contract and has access to accounting records. He also suggested requiring audits to ensure transparency.
Moylan noted that Guam now finds itself in a different economic situation under COVID-19 and it is questionable whether companies would still be interested in engaging the government in maintaining the parks.
But Benson Au-Yeung, former chairman of the Chinese Guam Chamber of Commerce, said even before COVID-19, it would still have been a big risk for businesses.
“It’s not sure. It’s also a risk for everyone, for the private sector to be associated with something like this,” said Au-Yeung.