Senate leader to introduce bill to enhance autonomy of municipalities
By The Star Staff
Senate President José Luis Dalmau Santiago presented his vision and proposals to strengthen municipal autonomy in Puerto Rico during the “Meeting of Cities: Innovation, Governance and Future,” held in Río Grande over the weekend.
Dalmau Santiago spoke about the importance of effective decentralization of services and municipalities’ contribution toward improving citizens’ quality of life.
To address the challenge, Dalmau Santiago announced a bill to be introduced in the current legislative session that he said will grant municipalities true decentralization of services. The bill will focus on critical areas that towns want to take over from the central government.
Among the specific powers that would be delegated to the municipalities are:
1. Authorization and construction permits for projects related to public services.
2. Regulation of signs and advertisements.
3. Traffic control on municipal streets and avenues.
4. Maintenance and beautification of municipal public roads.
5. Protection of trees and local natural resources.
6. Urban renewal and housing rehabilitation programs.
7. Administration and maintenance of municipal sports facilities.
8. Maintenance of municipal school facilities.
9. Regulation of parking and lodging.
10. Control of taxis and municipal public vehicles.
11. Local emergency management.
12. Large-scale sports programs.