HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 1) - Dear Santa: To make this Christmas merry and bright, and make the new year a much better one than we've seen in a very long time, we want you to bring our community the following:

· Leaders and statesmen instead of politicians. Too often, important matters aren't resolved and necessary action isn't taken because of petty politics. We need elected officials at all levels of the government to exhibit and practice leadership. They need to display the kind of commitment, dedication and cooperation that we are seeing from parents and businesses, who are picking up the slack of the government.

· A smaller, much less expensive, and much more efficient government. The people of Guam simply can't afford to maintain a large, overly costly government. Hand-in-hand with this is the need to prioritize government services. The most important services must be funded first, and when we reach the budgetary point where the cost of services equals projected revenues, all priorities under that level must be cut. We also need strong statesmen who are ready and willing to privatize government agencies and services.

· Real progress in improving the educational system. We have the responsibility to provide our schoolchildren with, and they are entitled to and deserve, public schools that will deliver a real quality education. They need safe and clean facilities, adequate numbers of qualified teachers, as well as textbooks and supplies. The community also needs the members on the school board to truly make students the top priority, which will be shown by their decisions and actions.

· A stronger sense of community pride. We need our citizens to care more about their island, so we can clean up the litter and trash, and get rid of graffiti, junk cars and derelict buildings. This is a necessity if we are to recoup numbers in our tourism industry. This renewed sense of pride also will mean more residents will get involved and make their voices heard in the issues that matter most to this community.

We know that this is a tall order, but it will make this Christmas, and many Christmases to come, very merry and very bright for all of Guam.


There will be coconut milk and guyuria waiting by the tree.

December 1, 2003

Pacific Daily News:


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