Rep. Joseph “Lee Pan” Guerrero (R-Saipan) plans to bring up the budget concerns of the Commonwealth Zoning Office to the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.
Guerrero brought up the subject during the public hearing held by the Zoning Office last Dec. 1, when a few of the attendees asked why the hearing was held at the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School since the proposed building site was in Koblerville.
“It’s something new to me and I’m glad that the chairman of the Zoning board mentioned that concern about funding for conducting a public hearing. This is uncalled for, that we cannot even appropriately fund them so that they can conduct a public hearing in the different parts of the island,” said Guerrero.
“It’s important that where these projects are going to be built should be [heard] at their respective village, not to conduct a hearing here in the north that relates to a project down at the south. With that, I will definitely reach out to the [delegation] for these types of public hearings in the future,” he added.
Frank Tomokane, a resident of Koblerville, was one of the few who questioned the venue of the hearing.
“Why is [the public hearing] all the way in San Roque when the project is a major development in Koblerville? It doesn’t make sense to me,” said Tomokane, directing his question to the Zoning board.
Tomokane said during the public comments section that his neighbor was planning to attend the public hearing but was unable to do so due to the distance of the venue.
“I’m just kind of curious as to why the public hearing wasn’t held in Koblerville Elementary School or Saipan Southern High School,” he added.
Zoning board chair Diego Blanco then explained why the public hearing was held at San Roque.
“It was actually requested by Rep. Vinson Sablan (Ind-Saipan),” said Blanco, who added that it was also requested by the people of San Roque. “And because of that, we decided to spend our money to come here.”
“We understand your concern,” said Blanco to Tomokane.