Saipan Mayor’s Office transition is done and ‘went well’


With just five days left before the inauguration of the new administration on Jan. 9, the Saipan Mayor’s Office is now ready and prepared for mayor-elect Ramon “RB” Camacho to take the reins after a smooth transition of power.

On Jan. 9, 2023, at 8:30am, Camacho will be officially sworn into office by U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona in front of the Saipan Mayor’s Office in Oleai. Camacho will be joined by his family. Invitations have been sent to Guam mayors, the Office of the Consulate of Japan, and members of the Legislature, among others.

Lieutenant governor-elect David M. Apatang wasn’t available for an interview or comment, but it was learned from Henry Hofschneider, special assistant to the mayor, during an interview last week that the transition is done and it “went well.”

Camacho’s transition team met with the current team at the Saipan Mayor’s Office about two weeks ago with written requests submitted, then a meeting was held with Camacho to inform him about what to expect when he assumes his role as mayor.

“We just hope the new mayor comes in and realizes that this work is very important to the local community,” said Hofschneider.

The Saipan Mayor’s Office in Oleai. (LEIGH GASES)

Hofschneider also said that Camacho was “very happy to see what this office has done to prepare for him to come in and continue the work of this office. I hope, and Mayor Apatang also hopes, that this mayor-elect, when he assumes office, will continue the work that [Apatang] has been doing. There’s still a lot of new other projects that we want to do, but I think we just ran out of time.”

Hofschneider assured that Camacho will be coming into what he describes as a “turnkey office,” meaning that “there’s very little that he has to do within his first two years in office, other than just maintain what’s available right now. We have heavy equipment coming—in brand new ones. We have heavy equipment that we have now that are working. His field operations crew are equipped, they have adequate tools, safety gear, and everything they need to do their work up there safely. The staff are wonderful. His support staff will be here and they’re going to continue to do their best to support the mayor.”

When asked about Apatang’s two terms in office, Hofschneider, who has worked with him in all those eight years, said, “The transformation of this office from late Mayor Donald Flores has gone from a very neglected agency to a fully functioning agency. Mayor Apatang came in, bought new equipment, bought new tools for the operations group. We got this office hooked up to the internet… “

“Also, I think, with accountability, Mayor Apatang did very well. I can vouch for that because I’ve worked with him for years and he was great, because he constantly asked for our budget status or outstanding liabilities, and all the assets that we acquired. He wanted to know where they are. Are they broken? Or are they getting fixed? And he worked well with the local delegation and, of course, the governor before the election.”

Hofschneider added, “I’d say he did more than anybody else. I’m not putting down the other mayors because times were different and situations were different, but Mayor Apatang came in when the casino law went into effect. That could’ve been a factor for more revenue, but there was more work, more complexity, I think.”

Hofschneider also told Saipan Tribune that he will be stepping down from his role as special assistant this month.

When asked who will be the next special assistant to the mayor, he said it has not been announced yet. “I think anyone can come in and do it. I’ve been doing it and I think it’s pretty easy. But whoever that may be, they must be very resourceful, knowing where to look for information, what resources are out there, and how to get them, and how to use them.”

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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