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    Tuesday, May 21, 2019-8:16:57A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Tinian mayor eyes high-end tourism

TINIAN — Newly sworn-in Mayor Edwin P. Aldan is seeking to turn the island into a high-end destination for world travelers.

But first things first: Tinian needs to rebuild from the  devastation caused by Yutu and this will require the community’s cooperation, the mayor said.

 “Whether you voted for me or not, I will be your mayor,” Aldan said Wednesday after he was sworn into office by CNMI Superior Court Judge Joseph N. Camacho at the Antonio M. Borja Amphitheater.

Click to enlarge
Mayor Edwin P. Aldan, his wife and CNMI Superior Court Judge Joseph N. Camacho share a light moment while the new mayor is sworn in at the Antonio M. Borja Amphitheater on Tinian, Wednesday.  Photo by Junhan B. Todiño

 “I will give you the best I have to give, and I will also give you the opportunity to offer the best that you have to give to our community,” he added.

Tinian’s success as a community, Aldan said, depends on “every single one of us doing our part to make this island the best that it can be.”

The sense of community makes Tinian a great place to live, he said, adding that “our people are taking pride in our island, taking pride in who we are as a people, and taking pride in who we are as individuals. This means taking pride in how clean our island is.”

He said Tinian can invite tourists from different parts of the world, “but tourists don’t want to visit an island that is not clean.”

He asked his constituents to take ownership of the island by helping to maintain its beauty.

“Tinian’s most attractive quality is the beauty of our pristine waters and peaceful way of life,” he said.

Aldan said although he also wants to revitalize the island’s gaming industry, “I don’t dream of having a Las Vegas on Tinian.  I don’t want casinos and strip malls in every corner or the streets congested with cars and tourists. I want to build an industry that focuses on attracting high-end tourism.”

Aldan said tourism must be balanced with “the preservation of our culture, natural resources and way of life.”

To achieve his goal, he said he will collaborate with  the governor and the Legislature to pass legislation that will attract high-end investment opportunities to Tinian through tax incentives, and legislation that will cut through the red tape of regulations that drive away investors.

“We can’t improve our quality of life if we don’t have a private sector economy,” he added. “We cannot attract investment and improve our economy if we don’t change the investment climate on Tinian.”

Outgoing Tinian Mayor Joey Patrick San Nicolas, in his farewell and congratulatory message, said he is “proud of the fact that Tinian will be in good hands.”

His advice to his successor: “First, enjoy every moment of your administration as the next four years will go by faster than you can imagine.”

He added, “Every decision you make or do not make will be questioned, challenged, ridiculed and politicized.  You will at times question your very own strength and resolve.  But don’t worry about criticisms —it comes with the job.  In fact, welcome it and let the opinions of our people make you a better leader.”

One person alone cannot effectively run the island, San Nicolas said. But “Tinian will start the new administration with one of the most senior and experienced delegations in history.”

He said with the support of Gov. Ralph Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios, the Tinian leadership can pursue a very ambitious strategy to provide more opportunities and better welfare for the people of.

Also sworn in on Wednesday were the newly elected municipal council members: Esteven San Nicolas King Jr., Patrick Aquiningoc Manglona and Thomas P. Mendiola. CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro administered their oath office.

Representing Gov. Ralph Torres was Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios who congratulated the new mayor and commended his predecessor.

 “You are a great leader,” Palacios said, referring to San Nicolas.

“These are challenging times for us,” he told Aldan as he also assured the mayor that the  administration, the Senate, the House, and the Tinian delegation “will be there for you.”

The invocation was offered by Father Rey D. Rosal while the singing of the national and Commonwealth anthems was led by Eric Reyes, Javie Decena and Janika Decena.

The Department of Public Safety Honor Guard posted the colors while Alexis Hofschneider Kwon served as the mistress of ceremonies.