Municipalities of Gylias
|Municipalities of Gylias|
|Also known as:|
|Government||Direct democracy (Communal assemblies)|
Municipal council and mayor
Municipalities represent the lowest level of local government and administrative division in Gylias. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, municipalities exist mainly for coordination and management purposes, and only exercise the responsibilities delegated to them by communal assemblies.
Municipalities have roots in the state subdivisions of the Liúşai League, and are the immediate descendants of Alscian comuni and Free Territories communes. They were formalised through the Constitution of Gylias in 1961.
The Law on Legislature Sizes of 1989 capped the size of all legislatures to prevent them from growing and usurping the prerogative of direct democracy.
During the popular drafting of the Constitution, "municipality" was ultimately chosen as the term to avoid encroaching on the anarchist connotations of "commune".
While the official French term is municipalité, the variant pronunciation municipauté is also common.
Municipal boundaries are based on population and popular initiatives. Each municipality must have at least 1.000 residents. Municipalities can merge or change boundaries based on local referendums.
Municipalities are classified by population and geography into urban, rural, and natural. The latter are uninhabited and located entirely in protected areas, being governed by special bodies constituted by neighbouring municipalities.
Municipalities complement the communal assemblies in a cooperative dual power system, fulfilling the role of balancing competing interests, ensuring equal representation, and overseeing fair development of the community.
They are responsible for a wide range of local services, and other sectors that have been municipalised. They also organise leisure and cultural activities, and oversee parks, playgrounds, and other open spaces.
Legally, municipalities can take on any competence they wish, as long as it does not disrupt the constitutional foundation of Gylias.
Their responsibilities include:
- Child care and pre-tertiary education
- Primary education and secondary education
- Social services, elderly care, and services and supports for people with disabilities
- Emergency services
- Waste management, sewage treatment, water supply, and other sanitation services
- Urban planning and land management
- Public housing, maintenance, and beautification
- Recycling and local environmental policies
- Public utilities
- Transport and local infrastructure
Municipalities are required by law to hold regular public consultations, separate from but complementing communal assemblies. A notable feature of these consultations is that children are polled for what events and activities they want, based on which the councils formulate annual play action plans.
Municipalities finance themselves through local taxes (of which land value tax and property tax are the most significant), municipal bonds and local currencies. In addition, they receive all taxation levied in their territory at the federal level.
Generally, when a municipality reaches a threshold of 20.000–50.000 residents, it can vote on whether to constitute a municipal government. Those that do so elect municipal councils (conseils municipales). Municipal government members, heading specific departments, are known as ediles (from the Latin aedile).
Most municipalities use a directorial system, where the council collectively forms the municipal government, and appoints a professional manager — often a notable local figure — to ceremonially chair its meetings.
Large cities also elect mayors (maires) separately.
Municipal councils usually have 30–40 members. Larger cities can federate their municipalities into a city-wide city council (conseil urbaine), which preserves the old municipal boundaries for administrative purposes. City councils are slightly larger, in a range of 50–75 members.
Currently, out of 3.175 municipalities, only 179 elect municipal or city councils, of which 40 also elect mayors.
Municipal elections feature strong representation for local parties, residents' associations, and independent candidates. Parties notable for their success at the municipal level include the UM, FLP, IRAM, PPFN, and LND.