What an odd letter the governor wrote in response to the impeachment accusations! We have four crises that must be solved in 90 days, it says. Where does that come from? Ninety days from now brings us to the second week of December. So? What is so significant about that? The shortages of staff, of supplies, of quorums is here, now, today. Was here yesterday, last week, last month. And has been here, in fact, for quite some time. It could have been solved years ago-after all, he’s been in office for six years. So what’s with the 90 days? Besides, the budget is due not in 90 days, but in less than 20!
And the solutions? Wait 45 days for an evaluation of CHC. As though one needed a study to discover that funding is inadequate, that planning is not in place, that the infrastructure is inadequate-nay, that informed, appropriate, effective administration is totally lacking. Why, for example, haven’t the private clinics been called upon to provide support and assistance to CHC? How about establishing a local CNMI Medical Association, and among other things, cooperatively agreeing-at the very least-to help cover CHC’s emergency room in times of need?
For the Retirement Fund there aren’t any: "Resolution of the long-term debt of current retiree benefits will be difficult and will require give and take to balance revenues and costs and this is the next step....I am hopeful that the initial steps of extension of federal programs [Social Security] and voluntary withdrawal will allow us to reduce the outstanding liabilities and identify an acceptable compromise."
For CUC: Rely on the Guam military buildup-which is still a only a plan on paper-which will support a ship repair facility on Saipan, which will require a new power plant, which has already been contracted for, for 20 years no less (!), at enormous cost to the CNMI.
For revenue generation: empty promises. “We are in discussion with” airline services to provide direct service from China; “we are in discussion with” investors for renovation and expansion of island hotels. But wasn’t the governor also once “in discussion with” investors for manufacture of peanut butter, for leather goods, and who know what else? Whatever happened to those promises? What makes these any different?
Someone up there knows how to put words together. But no one up there seems to know how (or care) to resolve the problems. That’s why he needs to be replaced. The sooner the better.
Ruth L. Tighe