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Cork, Limerick, and Waterford mayors will get new powers, but they can also be impeached

The idea of directly-elected mayors for these regions will be voted on in a plebiscite on 24 May.

File Photo: Mayor Quimby of the Simpsons
File Photo: Mayor Quimby of the Simpsons
Image: YouTube

DIRECTLY-ELECTED MAYORS in Cork, Limerick and Waterford will get a raft of new powers and the same salary as a Minister of State. 

The job comes with a salary of around €94,535, which is the basic salary of a TD, plus €35,319, which is added on to the basic wage for Minister of State. The newly elected mayors will therefore get €129,854.

If all three mayors are approved, then the total cost of running the offices in the three regions, will be less than €1 million per year.

There will also be a recall and impeachment procedure to deal with any misconduct by any future mayor. 

Today, the Cabinet discussed the new proposals, which will be put to a public vote in plebiscite, due to happen on the same day as the local and European elections on 24 May.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the policy paper on the new powers, which will be published soon, outlines the nomination process, which Varadkar said is similar to that of someone running for the Dáil.

The powers of the directly elected mayors involves a “significant transfer of powers” to the elected mayor from the council. 

The newly-elected mayors, if the public decide to vote for such a change, will be able to bring forward the council budget and development plan. However, individual decisions on planning will remain with the chief executive. 

The relationship between the mayor and the council CEO is similar to that which exists between a Secretary General of a government department and their line minister. 

The first election will be held in 2021 and the mayors will sit for a two-and-half year term with five-year term kicking in from 2024 

The plan is to roll out the mayors in Cork, Limerick and Waterford first, with the Taoiseach stating that “Dublin is going to take a little bit more work given the fact there are four local authorities involved”.

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