The officers and members of the newly formed Pacific Alliance of Municipal Councils or PAMC recently convened on Saipan for the alliance’s monthly meeting, and to review the draft final language on an initiative for a constitutional amendment under “Article Vl: Local Government” that the PAMC members have been working on in the last several months.
The goal of the initiative is to strengthen, clarify, and expand the constitutional powers and duties of the municipal councils—to introduce and pass ordinances, and be a part of the review and approval process of the mayor’s municipal budget requests from locally generated revenues.
In addition, it is the intent of the initiative to provide constitutional duties to the municipal councils to have direct participation in CNMI and federally funded programs extended to the mayor’s office.
More importantly, the goal of the initiative is to allow the municipal council oversight in the governance of all local matters of predominately local nature within their jurisdiction of the municipality, not pre-empted by any Commonwealth law.
The officers of the PAMC will launch an educational outreach to the community within each of their respective senatorial districts immediately after the proposed initiative is approved by the attorney general and the Legislature. Thereafter, the approved final form of the initiative will be forwarded to the CNMI board of election to be included in the upcoming November 2022 general election.
The members of the PAMC include the 16th Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council chaired by Ana Demapan Castro, 18th Tinian and Aguiguan Municipal Council chaired by Joseph E. Santos, and the 18th Rota Municipal Council chaired by Jonovan H. Lizama. (PR)