Matua president says NMI should fix local parks first

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THE CNMI government should fix its own public parks first before taking over American Memorial Park, Matua Council for Chamorro Advancement president Liana S. Hofschneider told Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero.

Guerrero has introduced House Bill 21-119, which will mandate the governor to ask the federal government to transfer the administration of AMP to the CNMI government.

Hofschneider said this is being proposed “in the midst of a national health emergency — the Covid-19 pandemic and economic meltdown, and three months into the midterm elections, why?”

She also noted that the bill was introduced following the enactment of Public Law 21-30, which allows for the establishment and regulation of community improvement districts or CIDs that aim to enhance existing features or create new attractions within a district.

“So is this to allow the pretext to the annexation of Garapan to take away the 50 plus hectares of public lands reserved for American Memorial Park?” she asked.

Hofschneider said  before worrying about the 42 years that the park has not been transferred to the CNMI government, it should first worry about the beaches and parks on Saipan that need a lot of repairs and maintenance. The restrooms, the trash bins and numerous pavilions need to be repaired, too, she added.

Asked for his comment, Guerrero said Sugar King Park in Chinatown is well maintained by the Saipan Mayor’s Office.

“They should go there and see for themselves how the local government is doing a great job in maintaining the park,” he added.

Guerrero reiterated that he is willing to sit down with any member of the community who wants discuss the legislation.

“But the outsiders who don’t really consider this island their home, but are good only in criticizing the people of this island — I don’t owe them an explanation. These are the loud people out there who pretend to know more than the people here. These are the people who can leave the island anytime. They want us to suffer,” he added.

Guerrero said he still believes that the CNMI government can maintain and protect the American Memorial Park.





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