As a private and taxpaying citizen of the CNMI for the past 20 years, I would like to address this open letter to the leaders of the CNMI, especially that Republican leadership now in office.
I have read in the Marianas Variety, May 8, 2014 issue, the article from DPL justifying the 1 percent fee that Don Pedro wants to charge the Street Market vendors. I also read the letter to the editor by Mr. Edward Peter dated May, 9, 2014, on the same subject. This was also followed by a letter from Mr. Juan Pan Guerrero that appeared in Marianas Variety on May, 15, 2014.
The explanation from Don Pedro Tenorio is that it is fair to charge the 1 percent because it is a prime location. What Mr. Pedro Tenorio doesn’t understand is that the 1 percent is in addition to the $50 that CCA is charging each vendor every Thursday night. If you’ll calculate, $50 times four nights a month equals to $200 monthly, which is what the vendors pay for use roughly for four hours only for a tiny cubicle. It is in fact very high. To put another 1 percent of the gross on top of this already high fee is ridiculous. It is an indication that the DPL secretary has lost touch with reality, especially in conducting business professionally and fairly.
I mention fairly and professionally because if the DPL chief is a sincere and honest individual, how can he allow some big businesses to use four nice cement houses is Marpi for only $100 a year or allow the Kinpachi Restaurant to conduct business at the Paseo grounds adjacent to their business, which is more prime property, for free? The same holds true for all the other businesses around the Paseo that covers the drainage space and use for their own business activity for free.
Leaders, do your homework and see for yourself whether the aging DPL secretary’s logic is fair. Perhaps he needs to be entertained by the small vendors just like the big golf courses that shower him with lavish trips, gifts, free drinks and meals, etc., that might open his eyes since that is his modus operandi.
Another issue that the new leaders should be aware of is the proposed farming fee increase in Kagman by the DPL chief’s brother as director of Agriculture.
Leaders, please if we can waive taxes and give cheap prices for golf courses for outside people, why can’t we give local people a break and give them some incentives since they are not asking for taxes and are already paying gross receipt taxes to the government.
The lesson that I’m trying to advocate is that, retirees like the two Tenorio brothers should not be back on government payroll. They are obsolete. Instead, the government should hire young people that are educated and will bring fresh new knowledge to our government. Please stop hiring reject retirees that are only interested in being given high salaries with lavish entertainment and frequent off-island trips under the guise of attracting new investors. What about the local small vendors and farmers that have been paying their share of taxes and are not asking for a break since they want to support their government, which is supposed to be fair and objective in their operations. I hope that the leaders will take note of the above and have them corrected before the election this November. Otherwise, the Republican Party will lose five votes (me and my family) this coming November.
Manuel A. Castro