CAMACHO, CRUZ TAKE OFFICE ON GUAM

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By Steve Limtiaco

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 2) РThe decisions made in the coming years will determine what happens to future generations of Guam residents, Gov. Felix Camacho and Lt. Gov. Mike Cruz said yesterday afternoon after they took the oath of office during their inauguration ceremony in Hag̴ṯa.

Their four-year term comes as the U.S. military is preparing for unprecedented expansion and spending here, including the transfer of 8,000 marines and their families from Okinawa, and $15 billion in military projects during the next 10 years. Military construction projects related to the transfer are scheduled to begin about halfway through Camacho's term, and the first major transfer of Marines is expected in the middle of the next governor's term.

Camacho and Cruz spoke at length about the economic and social impact of the military expansion, and the need to shape what happens here to the greatest benefit of Guam's residents while retaining their values and principles.

"We must work together in the spirit of cooperation to make sure the military changes are positive and our future remains bright," Camacho said.

"Our goal is to create an economy and a balanced growth that truly meets the aspirations, needs and the dreams of the people of Guam," Cruz said.

Hundreds of residents, friends, family and dignitaries attended the inauguration at the Plaza de España, where Cruz, then Camacho took the oath of office in the plaza's kiosk, which was draped in red, white and blue cloth.

Superior Court of Guam Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena administered the oath to Cruz at about 3:30 p.m. and Supreme Court of Guam Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido administered the oath to Camacho about 15 minutes later.

There was an occasional light shower, and guests gathered beneath large canopies, where they watched on several large flat-screen televisions as the governor and lieutenant governor were sworn-in and gave their inaugural speeches.

Flower leis and inaugural booklets were passed out, as well as lapel pins with the governor's seal.

Camacho during his inaugural speech thanked former Lt. Gov. Kaleo Moylan, who attended the event with his wife, Julie. Moylan ran against Camacho and lost in the Sept. 2 Republican Primary Election. "This gentleman will always have my respect," Camacho said.

The governor became emotional, almost to the point of tears, as he thanked family and friends for their support, then he talked about his first gubernatorial inauguration four years ago, which was held by candlelight because of an ongoing typhoon recovery.

"The goals we set together and the countless hours of hard work we all put in have brought positive changes that many thought we could not achieve," he said, adding that Guam is now in a "season of transformation," with the potential for tremendous economic expansion.

"Even greater than the opportunity is the responsibility to ensure that our stewardship of resources entrusted to us today endures for generations to come. We are here for but a short time, for a season, if you will," Camacho said. "What we do with this time must be guided by a vision that far outlasts our mandate."

Camacho said Guam will give its children the skills they need to have better lives, higher-paying jobs and careers.

"We will transform our economy so investors come to our shores, not simply because of our strategic location and opportunities, but because of our people and their special gifts," he said.

Cruz said during the next four years he and Camacho will build on the progress that already has been made.

There are many challenges and obstacles, Cruz said, "But none of them are bigger or larger than our will to overcome them and to see them through."

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