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The Municipal Council
The purpose of the Municipal Council is to sort out municipal matters through its deliberations, giving its opinions and ruling on matters concerning the municipality and its residents.
Its members are elected by the residents every 6 years in municipal elections. The number of councillors is proportionate to the number of residents.
53 elected members of the Municipal Council
The elected members of the Municipal Council represent, by definition, the municipality's entire population. They have significant responsibility. They define municipal policy in every field - and there are many - which comes under the municipality's authority.
Their role consists, in particular, of passing the municipality's annual budget, administering municipal property, carrying out municipal personnel administration, setting up and managing the public services needed to ensure the city runs smoothly, and signing public contracts.
Noumea's Municipal Council therefore has 53 members: the Mayor, Sonia Lagarde, and 14 deputies who form the "municipal corporation", and 38 Municipal Councillors.
Under the law, the Municipal Council must meet at least once a quarter, but the Mayor can convene it whenever he deems it necessary. Any citizen may attend public sessions of the Municipal Council. The agenda for public sessions includes cases and documentation presented by the Mayor and his deputies. These public sessions are prepared in committees.
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How is a Municipal Council meeting run ?
After a role call is taken of the elected members, the various agenda points are debated and voted upon. Voting is by a show of hands (or a secret ballot for electing the Mayor, his deputies and Municipal Council representatives for various organisations, or if a third of the members present request this). Resolutions are passed by absolute majority of valid votes (abstentions are not taken into account) and are enforced by the Mayor and the deputies, assisted by the municipal offices.