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    Wednesday, June 19, 2019-7:44:02P.M.






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Editorials 2019-January-011

In praise of Junpan

IF not for the term limit set by the Constitution, Herman “Junpan” Tenorio Guerrero could have been easily re-elected to the Board of Education last November. 

He is among the CNMI’s most experienced and most knowledgeable public servants.  The president of not one but two constitutional conventions, Mr. Guerrero is also a former teacher and a former House member. He served as executive assistant to Gov. Lang Tenorio, was board member of the Humanities Council, and president of the Saipan Rotary Club while helping oversee Herman’s Modern Bakery, one of the pioneers in the local business community.

After 17 years on the education board, Mr. Guerrero is leaving behind a public school system that has achieved so much for its students, teachers and personnel. He is one of the most forceful and effective advocates of education, and the last advice he gave to the board and his successor should be heeded: the BOE should set policies, but should not attempt to run PSS — that’s the commissioner’s job for which he will be held accountable and responsible by the board.

On behalf of a grateful CNMI, we thank you Mr. Guerrero for your exemplary public service.

Main task

IT may surprise some people that these small, remote islands with a tiny population and an economy with only one industry is not as modern and prosperous as any of the 50 states of a nation that has the world’s largest economy.

Happily, however, and despite the federalization of immigration and minimum wage, the CNMI can still set policy in other issues that directly affect the local people’s well-being — such as home construction.

The administration is right. “You can’t force anyone to build something…they can’t afford.” In short, the main task for local policy-makers is to help “increase the personal resources of everyone who lives here, so they can afford sustainable housing.” And that requires balanced development and sustainable growth.

The other and more “popular” policy recommendations are basically wishful thinking.

Inauguration Day

IN Jan. 1993,  just two months after a bitter U.S. presidential election, the losing candidate wrote a letter to the winner, wishing him “great happiness.”  The outgoing president added, “There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course. You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”

Of course not all of us can be as decent and gracious as the late President George H.W. Bush, but we can at least acknowledge that many, if not almost all, of  the candidates who sought office last November truly want to serve the Commonwealth and its people — and that the success of the newly elected officials will be the CNMI’s success.

To the administration and the Legislature: Good luck. We are rooting for all of you.