The recent news out of Guam makes Governor Fitial look pretty good. Politicians down south are running around in circles like Guam Rails released from a cage after Standard and Poor's put them on a credit watch list.
Now the latest: according to the Marianas Variety, without an amended budget 2,222 employees must be furloughed by April 1. (Don't you wish they could have picked a better day.) Oh, and a thirty-four million dollar line of credit will still be needed, the proposed borrowing that set off S&P to begin with.
Maybe they borrowed the idea: Governor Fitial had to threaten to furlough government employees to get any results. And now, asking for more cuts during an election year is a bigger test. Some legislators just can't pay attention when they've got visions of skateparks and renamed streets dancing in their heads.
Still, Guam facing the same problems adds some perspective to the view from Saipan, and the administration comes off pretty well by comparison.
The furlough story in the Pacific Daily News is also good. I particularly like the 'Storychat' feature following the article. All those comments look pretty familiar, don't they? Just read them this week before they go into the vending-machine (archive).