Senator James Moylan introduced Bill 58-35 this morning, which is titled the “Public-Private Collaboration for the Maintenance of Public Parks Act.” The legislation would allow the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to enter into contractual relationships with private entities to manage public parks, including the maintenance of bathrooms, lights and other equipment, provide security, and of course, assure that the park is litter-free. The relationship would also allow the entity to invest in any infrastructure, as deemed necessary, to assure that the visitors and island residents enjoy the facility.
“It was vital to seek a solution which wouldn’t further burden the taxpayer’s dollar to improve the standards of our public parks,” stated Senator Moylan. “Many leaders in our tourism industry, including government officials, have expressed their support in venturing into public-private collaborations. We are optimistic that Bill 58-35 may open the window of opportunity to additional relationships for other types of public facilities,” added Senator Moylan.
Our public parks have been ridiculed with issues such as unusable bathrooms, trash assembled on the grounds, or have been areas of heavy crime activity. With the government’s limited financial resources, it is vital to enter into public-private partnerships that would assure these public facilities are well maintained and safe, so all visitors would have a positive experience. The legislation will not cost the government of Guam a single dime and would allow DPR to shift their resources to other public facilities. DPR does have an “Adopt a Park” program, which has been successful, however, Bill 58-35, would allow a greater amount of investment from private entities.
It should also be noted that the Transition Advisory Committee did recommend in the Transition Report to Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, to “reduce the operational and maintenance cost of the park system through Park Adoption, Public-Private Partnership Agreements, and outsourcing of services.”