Leadership: Non-existent


The success of any organization, private or public, is found in its leadership. It is the prime mover in the success of any entity. With it there’s vision, therefore progress. Without it, failure!

While the whopping 80-percent salary increase was met with vicious negative reaction from our people, it would have been a positive shift attracting the more competent folks into public office.

It’s an investment luring the best, brightest and knowledge-based folks (college educated) who are poised to do meaningful policymaking. It would have pushed the needle of progress forward with a sense of integrity and maturity beyond what we have today. It’s an investment in our most promising people.

Bad timing: The issue was instantly trashed for one simple reason: the working class has had to endure more than 20 years of stagnant salaries—the same income without improvement—all throughout the period while struggling to meet a myriad of increases. And the elected elite wanted a whopping 80-percent increase in their annual income?

The most obvious show of incompetency is in their reading deficiency neglecting constitutional mandate of how salaries of public officials are set. The bunch even violated the law prohibiting membership on boards and commissions. We’ve taught them a lesson holding their feet to the fire!

Frankly, I don’t care how much the elected elite is paid as long as they first improve family income NMI-wide by 100 percent! There’s nothing up that alley! The Republican rhinos were too busy cushioning their Cadillac lifestyle, resting comfortably in their nest of complacency. “We the people” could only dream and salivate over their high Cadillac lifestyle!

Arrogance: Appalling your arrogance and apathy, feeding chicken bones to “we the people” while tiptoeing a whopping increase to scaffold your Cadillac lifestyle with more of our taxes! It’s bad enough that the working class had to endure increases in everything from utilities, gasoline, basic goods, and clothing while their income remains the same for over 20 years.

None of the legislators who came out defending the proposed increase was sufficiently conversant to defend it. It was all juvenile garble that descended into humiliating silliness. Then most avoided the issue so fraught with deafening silence. Was this malversation or humiliating reading deficiency or both?

Key players: Sen. Justo Quitugua is the author of the law or advisory commission. Perhaps he was hoping for a perfect tiptoe. He stumbled and tripped on a trashcan in his office that woke up cockroaches in nearby offices.

But Sens. Jude Hofschneider and Sixto Quitugua were illegal commission members who railroaded the measure without a public hearing. What gall! If this were a crime, it was a near perfect straw. It backfired!

Humiliating your collective failure to read and understand the very law you approved. Was it the greedy “tiptoe” syndrome or sheer reading deficiency or both that you forgot to fund your loot? Were you singing, “Joy To The Whirl?”

Raffy Torres and Arnie Palacios treated the measure like a leper at the front door. They tiptoed around it, letting it become law without their signature. It’s obvious they chanced being beneficiaries. Otherwise, they’d have vetoed it without a blink. Hypocrites! I’m sure they know we weren’t born yesterday or “Not yet, already?”

Revolt: The populist revolt against the Washington establishment dealt a heavy blow against arrogant politicians for ignoring the livelihood of 80 percent of the working class across the country. It is a clear rebuke of D.C. types who only care about their retirement and Cadillac lifestyle, ignoring the needs of “we the people.”

It’s here! This sentiment has landed on our shores and would replicate the same powerful sentiment against imperial Capital Hill elite. The voice of “we the people” would soundly bring the hill’s elected elite to their knees next year!

An 80-percent increase in salary sets the elected elite resting comfortably in their laurels; most of us could only salivate as we quietly keep our dignity in destitution. It’s time to show Capital Hill “no mas!”

Interesting the AG’s assertion, “It is my duty as chief legal officer of the Commonwealth to enforce the NMI Constitution.” True! But some consistency is in order, like the inclusion of Biktot Hokog and Larissa Larson in your lawsuit against the MV Luta Mermaid.

After all, aren’t public officials held to higher standards of ethics? I could see your motive but the violation of substantive laws weren’t committed by common folks the equivalence of a traffic violation. Nah! Must begin by teaching narcissistic officials to follow the laws of the land!

The villagers: How mind bending listening to our poorest folks here whose only grace of hope is in their monthly food stamps stipend. I’d quietly quiz how did they get here in the first place and is this the end of their journey?

Their condition is the net result of negligence by the Cadillac bunch. How could you have missed the hardship of your people? Whatever happened to vision, values, and commitment?

Debts galore: The NMI is drowning in debts to the tune of $471 million, per information released by Rep. Ed Propst and legislative fiscal analyst Dave Demapan. Eh, this is one huge red flag the chief navigator on the hill can’t take lightly. The implications are dire all the way around.

What happens if the single but fickle economic engine sputters? Would the NMI consistently keep its debts current including paring down long-term debts? How do we cushion programs like ACA under Obamacare when Congress repeals it? Time to seriously reassess what lies ahead. EVERbody home?

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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