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New zoning administrator reports for work

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GERALYN Dela Cruz is the new zoning administrator. She succeeds Therese Ogumoro who resigned in Dec. 2019.

Dela Cruz, a former director for corporate social responsibility of Best Sunshine International Ltd./Imperial Pacific International, is also a former highway administrator/planning and real estate specialist of the CNMI Department of Public Works.

Cruz, who has a bachelor of science in biology degree from Chaminade University, was a commercial property manager of Colliers International in Honolulu, Hawaii.

She started reporting for work at the zoning office on April 20.

The zoning board earlier announced that it had hired Janice E. Castro, the Division of Coastal Resources Management director, as the new administrator, but Variety learned that she had reconsidered the zoning job offer.

Dela Cruz said the zoning staff members are very knowledgeable about their duties, and are providing her pertinent information to ensure that the operation of the zoning office will move forward.

As part of government austerity and Covid-19 emergency measures, the zoning office is open only from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday to Thursday.

She said the zoning office prioritizes the issuance and renewal of business permits to ensure continued compliance.

The zoning office has yet to fill the zoning planner’s position, which has been vacant since December.

But in light of the government’s financial condition, Dela Cruz said: “We don’t know if that’s something we have to do. We must ensure that we keep our expenditures to a minimum while performing our tasks efficiently.”

She said they will “maximize” their current capacity in performing the work of a zoning planner.

“When the load becomes bigger, then we can consider filling up that position,” Dela Cruz added.

Meanwhile, she said their enforcement office will continue monitoring ongoing construction projects and other business activities to ensure that there is no violation of the zoning law.

“We want to inform the community that our office is open to assist them to ensure they could get their projects or businesses in compliance,” Dela Cruz said.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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