The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation held a public hearing on Commonwealth Zoning Board members David Blanco and Joe Ayuyu Jr. in the House of Representatives chamber yesterday.
“I’m proud to be appointed. Thank you to the SNILD committee,” Ayuyu told Saipan Tribune. “I’m just looking forward to getting back to the office and doing everything that we can to better represent the people, with all the considerations as far as prehistoric sites and pollution and working together with the different agencies to pretty much have a plan where we go hand in hand towards the same place.”
Saipan Mayor David Apatang, in his comment letter to SNILD supporting the appointees, said that a “correct blend” of professional backgrounds and experiences were needed for the board in order to “adequately representative of every sector” of the community.
“The task of managing and controlling the development of growth of Saipan becomes difficult when the correct blend is lacking: rendering the confirmation of the appointment of Mr. Blanco and Mr. Ayuyu will give the different stakeholders some peace of mind that they will be well represented,” Apatang wrote.
During the hearing, Blanco said he “challenged” all lawmakers to find a way to make Saipan’s beach area “accessible,” calling the three to four miles stretch of Beach Road “pristine beach” that could be made into the “Waikiki of Saipan.”
“It’s a wild idea but I think we can look at that,” Blanco said, suggesting that the road be moved or relocated.
Igisomar told reporters after the hearing that he has “no thoughts” and had not yet time to digest Blanco’s other suggestion to explore Marpi land for commercial use, which Blanco had called “NMD land that was not generating revenue.”
“It’s not something we were entertaining. We are not entertaining the concept, we were entertaining his response to a question in regards to Garapan and the congestion in Garapan,” Igisomar said.
“He was proposing an alternative solution of expansion of investments to go as far as San Antonio or into the Marpi area. He was alluding to Marpi as an NMD location that was not generating funds.”
Igisomar also asked the appointees to work with other regulatory agencies to “stop the confusion where investors are running around in circles” over which government or office to visit first in moving their plans forward.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, in a letter last March 22, announced his re-appointment of board members Ayuyu and Blanco to SNILD.
In his letters, Torres said he is confident that Ayuyu and Blanco are qualified for the post and would continue to devote their time and efforts on this important board.
If confirmed, Ayuyu and Blanco will serve another two-year term.