Commonwealth Constitution : Article VI


LOCAL GOVERNMENT


Section 1: Local GovernmentAgencies of local government shall be established as provided by this article.

 

Source: Original provision (ratified 1977, effective 1978); amended by Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).

Section 2: Election of MayorThe qualified voters from Rota, Tinian and Aguiguan, Saipan, and the islands north of Saipan shall elect a mayor for each island or group of islands.


a) A mayor shall be qualified to vote in the island or islands served by the mayor, at least twenty-five years of age, a resident and domiciliary of the island or islands served by the mayor for at least three years immediately preceding the date on which the mayor take office, and must reside in the island or islands served by the mayor after each election, and shall meet other qualifications provided by law. No person convicted of a felony in the Commonwealth or in an area under the jurisdiction of the United States may be eligible for this office unless a full pardon has been granted.


b) The mayor shall be elected at a regular general election for a term of office of four years and may not hold that office for more than two terms. A vacancy in the Office of Mayor shall be filled by special election if one-half or more of the term remains and otherwise as provided by law.

 

Source: Original provision (ratified 1977, effective 1978); amended by Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).


Section 3: Responsibilities and Duties of the Mayor. 


a) A mayor shall serve on the Governor's Council as established by Section 5 of this article. 


b) A mayor shall administer government programs, public services, and appropriations provided by law, for the island or islands served by the mayor, and shall report quarterly to the governor, relating to these programs and services or appropriations.


c) A mayor may investigate complaints and conduct public hearings with respect to government operations and local matters, and may submit findings or recommendations to the governor and the legislature. A mayor may require information in writing relating to local matters as may be necessary to his investigation under this subsection.


d) The Mayors of Rota, Tinian and Aguiguan, Saipan, and the islands north of Saipan, in consultation with the Municipal Council, shall submit items for inclusion in the proposed budgets for both government operations and capital improvement projects. The governor's budget submission to the legislature shall state his disposition of the budgetary requests contained in the submissions received from the Mayors.


e) A mayor shall coordinate any extension of federal programs extended to the island or islands served by the mayor.


f) A mayor shall act as the principal local official for coordinating activities with disaster control for the mobilization of resources and meeting emergency conditions in the island or islands served by the mayor.


g) The Mayors of Rota, and, Tinian and Aguiguan, shall appoint, in consultation with the head of the respective executive branch department, all resident department heads.


h) A mayor shall perform other responsibilities provided by law.

 

Source: Original provision (ratified 1977, effective 1978); amended by Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).


Section 4: Compensation. 
A mayor shall receive an annual salary, plus an allowance for reasonable expenses as provided by law.


Source: Original provision (ratified 1977, effective 1978); amended by Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).


Section 5: Governor's Council
The mayors elected under Section 2, the executive assistants appointed under Article III, Section 18, and the chairmen of the Municipal Councils shall be members of a Governor's Council that shall advise the governor on government operations and local matters. The governor shall preside over the Council which shall meet regularly or at least four times each year to consider matters concerning the relationship between the Commonwealth and its separate islands.


Source: Original provision (ratified 1977, effective 1978); amended by Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).


Section 6: Municipal Councils
a) There shall be municipal councils for Rota, Tinian and Aguiguan, Saipan and the islands north of Saipan, to be composed of three members, elected at-large in the island or islands to be served and on a non-partisan basis. Candidates for municipal council shall be at least twenty-one years of age, a resident of the municipality for at least three and shall serve for a term of two years. Each council shall adopt its own Rules of Procedures.


b) In the case of a vacancy in a municipal council, the mayor of the island or islands served by the council shall appoint the unsuccessful candidate for the office in the last election for the council who received the next highest number of votes. Otherwise, the mayor shall appoint a person from the island or islands served with the advise and consent of the legislative delegation of the senatorial district for that island or islands.

 

Source: Original provision (ratified 1977, effective 1978); amended by Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).

 

Section 7: Powers, Meetings and Compensations(a) The municipal councils shall meet in regular session no more than twice a month, and shall be paid for each meeting as provided by law. The mayor, or a majority of the members of the council, may call special sessions of the council as needed. The powers of the municipal councils shall extend to all local matters of a predominately local nature not pre-empted by the Commonwealth Legislature, and shall include the following:


1) Assist the mayor in the formulation of the annual budget delineating local needs,


2) At the request of an Executive Branch department head, in consultation with the mayor, the council shall have the authority to approve reprogramming of funds in the approved budget,


3) To confirm all resident department heads which are stationed on their island or islands,


4) When a mayor is unable to discharge the duties of office by reason of physical or mental disability, the presiding officer of the municipal council shall be acting mayor. If the presiding officer is not available, another member shall be selected by the council to serve, and


5) Additional powers and duties as provided by law.

 

Source: Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); amended by Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).


Section 8: Agencies of Local Government. 
(a) The chartered municipality form of local government on Rota, and, Tinian and Aguiguan, is hereby established. Local taxes paid to the chartered municipal governments of Rota, and, Tinian and Aguiguan, and Saipan may be expended for local public purposes on the island or islands producing those revenues. New agencies of local government may not be established without the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the persons qualified to vote from the island or islands to be served by the proposed agency of local government.

 

Source: Second Const. Conv. Amend. 25 (1985); amended by Legislative Initiative 1 (1987).