Marianas Variety

Monday, July 28, 2014-4:19:07A.M.

Last updateMon, 28 Jul 2014 5am



Saipan delegation confirms Blanco zoning reappointment

THE Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation yesterday unanimously approved the re-appointment of Zoning Board Chairman Diego Blanco.

Zoning  Board Chairman Diego Blanco shakes hands with Senate Floor Leader Pete P. Reyes during a break from the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation session yesterday. Photo by Emmanuel T. EredianoRep. Francisco S. Dela Cruz, R-Saipan, was absent but the 20 Saipan lawmakers present voted in favor of Blanco’s nomination.

The delegation chairman, Rep. Ray A. Tebuteb, R-Saipan, commended Blanco for doing a great job, adding that the lawmakers want to hear from the board chairman what  challenges it has been going through.

Blanco told Tebuteb that the main challenge has always been the lack of money to run the zoning office.

Vice Speaker Felicidad T. Ogumoro, Covenant-Saipan, wanted to know what will happen now that Gov. Benigno R. Fitial has vetoed Rep. Stanley T. Torres’s House Local Bill 17-26, which seeks to rezone many areas on Saipan.

She said she thought the measure was important because during deliberations, she learned that there were potential investors waiting to see changes to the current zoning law.

House legal counsel John Cool said if the delegation really wants to amend the zoning law, it has to pass a new bill addressing concerns cited by the governor in his veto message.

Zoning Administrator Therese Ogumoro thanked the delegation for confirming Blanco’s re-appointment. She said Blanco has shown strong leadership on the board.

Saipan Mayor Donald Flores, who was in the House gallery, said he also supports Blanco’s re-appointment. Blanco should continue the plans he has already started for Saipan, the mayor added.