Department of Public Lands advisory board member Henry Hofschneider said they won’t be affected by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ request for officials to submit their courtesy resignations.
Submitting courtesy resignations is a standard operating procedure especially when a new administration takes over. Torres assumed the CNMI governor post after the death of the late governor Eloy S. Inos last month.
“I see no problem with that, on the issue of the courtesy resignation. We’re also waiting for the new appointee of the Gov. Torres,” said Hofschneider, who is also Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang’s special assistant.
Patricia Rasa had been the DPL acting secretary since DPL Secretary Pete A. Tenorio went on leave early last month.
Hofschneider was sworn is a member of the DPL advisory board after being appointed by Apatang, who cited that his vast knowledge in dealing with public lands is the main reason for his appointment. The advisory board acts as the DPL secretary’s conscience where they make recommendations but the final decision still lies with the department head.
Tenorio two weeks ago told press secretary Ivan Blanco that he would submit his courtesy resignation to Torres. Tenorio, a former Washington representative, was appointed by Inos.
Hofschneider said that they have also been waiting for Torres’ appointee to the advisory board as a courtesy to the new governor before they could meet as a whole.
“We’re still four members to the advisory board and we’ve been asking the secretary for a meeting but he has yet to respond. If Gov. Torres still could not appoint his representative, we’ll go ahead with the meeting since there’s already a quorum,” he said.
Dave Evangelista for Tinian, Frank Quitugua for Rota, and William Torres for the Northern Islands join Hofschneider as members of the advisory board that were appointed by their respective mayors.
“DPL secretary Tenorio wrote to the advisory board and there are other things that need to be done. The advisory board needs to get together and meet,” Hofschneider said.
“We know that Gov. Torres is still busy since it is still the transition period but we would schedule a meeting of the advisory board. We need to sit, work a plan and inform the public on what’s going with public lands. We need to discuss a lot of issues that are DPL’s main concern,” he added.
The impending expiration of Kan Pacific Saipan’s lease, the Kan Pacific and Best Sunshine International, Ltd. negotiations, and the military buildup on Tinian and their plan to use Pagan for live training are among the topics that DPL needs to address.
The advisory board is also planning to make an inventory of available public lands with new investors lining up various construction projects.