Saipan mayor’s office: Municipal council does not have power to pass ordinances

ALTHOUGH it supports the “intent” of the ordinance, the Saipan mayor’s office opposes the landing-permit proposal of the Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council.

Special assistant to the mayor Henry Hofschneider said based on the CNMI Constitution, the municipal council lacks the statutory power to enact ordinances.

He said Public Law 3-77, as amended, enumerated the powers of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation and these include the enactment of local bills and local appropriation or revenue bills.

There’s no law that grants the municipal council the power to enact local laws, he said, adding that only the legislative delegation has that power.

According to Hofschneider, the Office of the Attorney General has also stated that the municipal council lacks the constitutional statutory authority to enact local ordinances.

Municipal council vice chairman Diego Kaipat said his proposed ordinance would give the mayor of the Northern Islands the authority to issue fee-based visitor landing passes for the Northern Islands.

Kaipat said the issuance of a visitor pass would allow the mayor of the Northern Islands to generate revenue for the office of the mayor’s resettlement and redevelopment plan.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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