Other local matters


In life as in leadership there are consequences for bad behavior. In public life (office) any leadership decision in violation of the law is usually met with court review. Unless a sitting governor instantly commutes your jail sentence you’re destined to spend time at DOC.

It is the work of these lords of weeds that have destroyed our reputation, shifting from paradise to the Isle De La Corruption. I felt really humiliated and wounded hearing such viewpoint from representatives of Fortune 500 companies. They just headed to jet ways and left!

Why was I so upset? It was a grand opportunity to make a difference over empty speeches about poverty and the lack of clear solutions on self-sufficiency. In either case the prognosis of our fiscal future is in the trash bin. See if you could salvage it. Good luck!

Salt In Air: There’s the scent of salty air in the cool December breeze. It reminds me: Whatever happened to elected public officials who took free trips to Hong Kong and Macau sometime a year or so ago and came back with an instant soba-like casino legislation? Wasn’t an elected official impeached in recent past for allegations of corrupt behavior?

In like fashion, isn’t it fitting that other—to borrow a newly coined term—corruptocrats seek self-impeachment via resignation from office to uphold a standard they’ve held against others? Why the apparent attitude of inconsequence? Why flaunt double standard?

Or are you exempt from the same standards you’ve set yourself? Isn’t a set standard the same as the equal application of laws? Or have corruptocrats find basking in flawed logic their new fad? Governance deserves its Christmas gifts too and we all look forward to “integrity” gift-wrapped in your resignation!

Distrust: The spread of distrust, like terminal cancer, makes firm belief in government basically kaput! Villagers have had to endure hardship hailing from negligence and indifference. Its effect is sheer alienation of the multitude in the villages. Most of our people are discouraged, anxious or just angry! Whatever happened to the now suspect “solutions driven” team? Why employ illogical rhetoric on poverty over hardnosed analysis on real solutions to lift the quality of life here?

Snoozing: Appalling how Saipan legislators have just found out the importance of basic infrastructure emplacement to meet growth here. But then, like I’ve said before, we often derail into “advancing to the rear” which is what’s happening today.

With water aquifer scarce up north, maybe it’s good for DPL to postpone any further land leases until this issue is resolved. Otherwise, investors would have to settle for very expensive RO. What’s the other drawback with RO? Some 70 percent is waste and you can’t just dump it in the open waters. EPA would nickel you to death! That said, it doesn’t mean it could be used advancing to the rear too.

More snooze: This government is broke, saved by the accrual system that permits spending without actual collection. It is still broke! You do the math and figure out that it owes more than a billion dollars. CUC has debts with CDA to the tune of $50 million, it is owed $30 million by agencies and the NMI has to pay the unfunded liability to the Retirement Fund of some $789 million. Now the focus is raiding the MPLT for quick fixes! Insolvency in no longer at the front door! It’s in our living and bedrooms as well!

Ailments: More of our people are being afflicted with heart problems and adult onset diabetes. Both instances have direct links to food and sedentary lifestyle we’ve adopted and honed over the years. To make matters worse, we gobble up food then turn to our new couch-potato culture. It’s the red carpet for obesity, diabetes and heart problems. Why the self-inflicted fatal illness?

Slide: Land compensation is the longstanding issue in the last century. From the lack of resolve among the elected elite to settle it with finality doubled down by the lack of funds it begins to slide into its permanent seat as a longstanding issue in perpetuity or the 21st century. Is it hard paying landowners what’s due them? Nah! It’s the process that people at the helm find difficult resolving in order to get to point “A”. It’s the first hurdle that is hardest to reach.

Unbridled: The House Committee on Natural Resources wants to dismantle DPL like it’s never been done before. I understand where the guys are coming from or issues spinning into denial of political disposition prohibited by the Constitution. The intent is to keep it away from politics. What the House wants is the complete opposite. Politicize and dismantle it beyond recognition then return and engage redundant review. Call it “advancing to the rear.”

Shift: The president of NMC steps down next year. Reasons for her resignation were not explained. The issue, though, isn’t the top post as much as the fact that the board is highly political as to forego nailing the very purpose of NMC as an institution. And so the board’s performance versus its mandate are gulfs apart.

What’s my point? Every successful country in the global village has an institution of higher learning that guides the planning process through thorough research on policy issues. It plays a key role in the formulation of policies from economics to education. Definitely, it includes professionals doing research work and other requisites who are “thinkers” beyond conventional wisdom. Having a master’s degree is insufficient. Must find out your thesis and education the latter to dissect if it has prepped you to be a thinker.

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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