IN PRAISE OF A SELFLESS GUAM LAWMAKER

Editorial

Pacific Daily News

HAGATNA, Guam (Jan. 1) – After two, all-too-short terms as a lawmaker in the Guam Legislature, Sen. Robert Klitzkie has returned to private life. He didn't run in the 2006 election because he never wanted to become a career politician. This is unfortunate for the people of the island, because Klitzkie was exactly the kind of senator Guam needs.

His focus while in office was in being a true public servant. He spent the least amount of money possible to do his work, saving more than $300,000 in public money, which he then dedicated to areas of need within the government, usually related to education.

Even with the smallest staff in the Legislature, Klitzkie's office got a lot done. The senator's Web site, www.bobsoffice.org, was the place to go to for the latest information about the Legislature, from bills to voting records, and it also included a wealth of other pertinent public information and was regularly and routinely updated. He transparently detailed his spending.

He was conscientious about attending public hearings and voting during session. He didn't take any trips on the public dime.

Klitzkie also authored some of the most important legislation passed in the last two years, including the Every Child Is Entitled to an Adequate Public Education Act. He was the force behind getting personnel-related matters transferred from the Civil Service Commission to the Department of Administration, where they rightly belong. The senator also introduced other bills that focused on saving money, improving efficiencies and focusing government spending on priority areas.

If you wanted to talk to Klitzkie, it wasn't difficult. His office was open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and odds are if you called, he was the person answering the phone.

In short, Klitzkie has been the epitome of what a senator should be -- a true public servant.

We can only hope that this next batch of senators -- and other elected officials as well -- live up to the example set by Sen. Robert Klitzkie.

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