Pohnpei Legislative Bill 395-06 introduced by Senator Marvin Yamaguchi specifically proposes "Waiving rental payments on commercial leases of public trust lands; and for other purposes."
The tiny bill is worded as follows: "Section 1. Rent and other charges on commercial leases waived. The current balances of rent and other charges due to the Public Lands Trust Board of Trustees on all commercial leases are hereby waived. Future rent payments on existing leases are hereby temporarily waived; PROVIDED that such payments may be reinstated by statute."
Mr. Finley Perman, who was not made aware of the proposed bill until The Kaselehlie Press called him to question on it said that since the beginning of his term as Director of Treasury and Administration in Pohnpei he had been pursuing back payments from holders of the leases. He said that the outstanding lease payments due had dropped during that time from over $4 million to just over $2 million. He said that many of the holders of the leases are trying very hard to meet their payment schedules
One Public Land Trust holder said, "What about us? I'm up to date. Are they going to give me my money back? That's not fair! I paid!"
The bill was introduced on August 30, 2006 and had not been passed by the legislature at press time. It was signed by five senators whose signatures could not be deciphered. The State employee who brought the bill to our attention said that a great number of the businesses in Kolonia have been built on property owned by the government
The Kaselehlie Press tried to contact Senator Yamaguchi for his comments for three weeks but received no response from him despite repeated and exhaustive efforts.