Monday, March 12, 2007

Zaldy Dandan's column from Friday

Great couple lines from Zaldy Dandan's column the other day in the Variety:

"Rep. Candy Taman’s legislative initiative abolishing municipal councils is the right step to take, and he should be commended for having the guts to introduce H.L.I. 15-15. Such is the sad state of local politics and governance that it takes courage to propose something that should have been done long ago.

There is no need for municipal councils. The few tasks they’re supposed to be doing could be done by the legislative delegations. But a former council member claims that “giving the people a voice in local affairs” outweighs the need for austerity measures.To which I say, Ha? The people of the CNMI have a governor, lt. governor, nine senators, 18 representatives, three legislative delegations, four mayors, scores of departments, bureaus, agencies, commissions and boards — but they won’t have a “voice” without the municipal councils?On Saipan, the council’s primary job is to hand out resolutions commending anyone who lives here. And I mean ANYONE. Yet the council still found a pressing need to hire a “consultant.”

This is what I love about Z's columns. He is one of the few to highlight and cut through the enormous amount of BS around here.

The scary thing about the rapidly decreasing collections is that the political types have to adjust their own payroll quickly and efficiently, and we all know how that works here. I'm sure there is a lot of fat to trim from the bloated CNMI government payroll, and municipal councils are exhibit A on that concept. I don't think we are close to the bottom for this economy. Few are going to have the courage to do the layoffs, so for this place, Rep. Candy Taman is actually showing a very large set of nuts. Let's hope he wins this round and we subtract a totally pointless layer of government and abolish the municipal councils.


bradinthesand said...

Wow, I complain a little and I get two blogs. Bet the wife does that once in a while to ya. Dude, you're so conditioned.

Enjoyed them both, and while I like to read Zaldy's stuff, he's not the most personable guy I've met on the island.

At least he's a real person, which is more than I can say for "Libra Mae Sparks" of the McDonald's newsletter.

Man, that sounds funny coming from a guy writing for the "Tan Rag," huh?

Jeffrey C. Turbitt said...

I've had him over a couple of times for drinks. You probably just have to get to know him, and he is probably a little aloof to Tribune people out of general rivalry. He is a pretty cool guy, very bright, and he was harassed by the former governor for speaking the truth. I think Babauta tried to have him deported, not that that would have stopped anything in this internet age. When he took a break and they brought in a new editor, that paper went noticably downhill.