27 Aug 2009

Guam senators deplore missing US navy secretary

4:00 pm on 27 August 2009

The 15 senators of Guam's legislature say they are disappointed that the Secretary of the US Navy did not meet them on his recent visit to the territory.

Ray Mabus visited Guam this week, and met local military, the Governor and members of the business community.

8,000 US marines and about 9,000 of their family members are to be transferred to Guam from Japan over the next five years.

The chair of the legislature's committee on the military build-up, Senator Judith Guthertz, says she has written to Guam's congresswoman in Washington, Madeleine Bordallo, to raise the issue.

"We expressed our concern that repeatedly, federal officials come to Guam, and they ignore the policymakers of this territory, which is the Guam legislature. And we asked her to use her good offices to impress upon the Secretary of Defense and all the other armed force units and federal agencies and other congresspersons and senators that when they come to Guam please recognise the legislature."

Senator Judith Guthertz says Guam's Speaker, Judith Won Pat, has drafted a letter to Secretary Mabus, signed by all 15 senators expressing their disappointment.