Interior Minister submits "Municipalities Bill"

Interior Minister Roni Bar-On submitted a new bill Sunday aimed at enhancing the independence of municipalities from the central government. Bar-On said that "the municipality is aware of its residents' needs and priorities [more than the central government] and therefore municipality heads who are given the responsibility will accept it." The bill would divide municipalities into four categories: "independent municipality," "regular municipality," "re-organizing municipality" and "recovering municipality." The bill would also create a dividing line between the elected members of municipalities - those who decide policy, and the executive sector - in charge of implementing the decided policy. This would allow mayors and heads of municipalities to be in direct contact with their residents and to advance the vision of their municipalities, instead of managing budgets and communications. Bar-On said that "the [Interior] Ministry will lend as much independence as possible to independent municipalities, and help with budgets and reform plans for weaker municipalities. This reform is a model for a future reform in central government and symbolizes the need of redefining the interrelationships within it."