Excellent choice

THE NMC regents have selected the frontrunner for the job to be the new college president. Bravo. Galvin S. Deleon Guerrero, Ed.D., is one of the island’s foremost educators with an impressive educational background, and vast experience as a teacher, administrator and policy-maker. He knows how to run an educational organization, and to run it well. He is familiar with NMC, its accomplishments and challenges, and what it still needs to do to better serve its students and the local community.

Dr. G — as his students, staff and friends call him — is also aware that NMC must work closely with both the CNMI and federal governments, and their officials. He knows the proverbial ropes. He is more than ready for his new tasks.

Since Super Typhoon Yutu, to be sure, NMC has had to deal with one immense difficulty after another, and that was even before Covid-19 shut down the islands and kneecapped a still recovering local economy. But NMC’s administration, led by its capable and dependable interim president, Frankie Eliptico, held it together, and now he is handing over the reins of a community college that local residents proudly call their own.

More artwork on more sidewalks please

MORE lawmakers should participate in the nonpartisan public-private partnership program that aims to clean up and/or renovate the island’s tourists sites, including public parks. To cite one splendid example: the transformation of Paupau’s sidewalk into a colorful artwork that depicts island life. Well done House minority bloc.

Beautifying the island and making it more attractive not only to visitors but to residents as well — who can argue with that?

As an “added bonus,” the more time lawmakers spend in the villages, the less time they  have for passing laws that are, more often than not, either useless, like the anti-littering act, or harmful like fee hikes.

In any case, it may take another year or two before the tourism industry can fully recover from the global pandemic restrictions. This means that the typically heated gabfest on Capital Hill — which will soon be over-the-top as Election Day approaches — will be mostly about how to spend federal funds, and how truly awful the other political party is.

In the meantime, let’s all help keep the island clean and green (if not multi-colored).

Simplify

 A NEW government office has been created to “expedite” the procurement/permitting process for federally funded projects.  The government — the NMI’s premier “industry” since the TT days — has about 4,000  employees, but if it needs to have more so it can spend more federal funds as soon as possible then perhaps the administration should review the procurement/permitting process itself, and find ways to simplify it while still complying with local and federal rules.

The governor also says that the government’s workforce is already “stretched thin,” which may be true, but why can’t even one of the eight — eight! — designated agencies enforce the anti-littering law?

 

Editor

Zaldy Dandan is the recipient of the Best Editorial Writer Award of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the CNMI Humanities Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism. His three books are available on amazon.com

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