I read this 'letter to the editor' and thought I would pass it along. It deserves your attention. Story Here
To: Members of the 16th Legislature Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas:
Dear lawmakers: I am writing as a concerned citizen regarding the refusal of the members to even listen to Rep. Tina Sablan’s amendments for the recent austerity bill. She is not alone in her beliefs that the government needs reform. After reading about the session when the austerity bill was discussed, I wondered how you can consider taking more money away from the lowest paid individuals in this community without even considering a reduction in what you take. That is outrageous. We all know our economy is in dire straits. We also know that you cannot solve any of these problems overnight, but you DO have to start somewhere.
One place many others and I agree you should start is with the perks many of you have and guard carefully; namely, the government paid cell phones, car leases, and especially the gas cards.
Secondly, you must modify the definition of what the discretionary funds can be spent on. As it is now, it is unfair and, in my opinion, criminal that many elected officials use my taxpayer money to "donate" to causes where they are then glorified and exalted for their "donation". Unless, every family in the CNMI is getting the same treatment, which I am sure they are not, I do not believe you should be able to pick and choose to whom you give financial aid, picnic tables or even toilet paper. I believe that money should be allocated fairly to the agencies that are already underfunded as it is. I am also concerned about the recurrence of suspending the "rules" at the latest meetings on the hill. As my students would say, "Why have so many rules if you aren’t going to follow them?" Of all places, the Legislature should be following the rules; after all, you wrote them. We are all suffering here; we should all bear the burden.
Leaders lead by example. What example are you setting? Rep. Tina listens to the people, maybe you should too. Do not forget you are public servants. To those of you who are joining the good fight, I thank you on behalf of the people of the CNMI. Thank you for leading by example.
Leila Aldan Fleming Staffler
Kagman II, Saipan
Well said Leila, Now if we could only get them to listen...
I suggest a 2x4 upside the head! wake them up!