Friday 20 April 2018

Dublin and Cork to vote on directly-elected mayors

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Kyle Ewald

Plans for directly-elected mayors in Dublin and Cork are set to be fast-tracked by the government after both cities vote on the proposals later this year.

A report will be brought to the cabinet in the coming weeks which states different options of power that could be given to directly-elected mayors, the Sunday Business Post reports.

These potential functions include executive duties equivalent to that of existing city managers. While no final decisions have been made on what powers elected mayors would have, options include responsibility for forward planning, economic development and city promotion, as well as the possibility of replacing city council chief executives.

Minister John Paul Phelan is considering a mayor for the greater Cork city area coinciding with the recently redrawn Cork county boundary and an executive mayor for the greater Dublin area and commuter belt including towns Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.

Concerns have arisen on having one mayor responsible for the nearly two million people in the greater Dublin area.

One proposal includes having a directly-elected mayor for the the Dublin City Council region, but with full executive powers over a smaller area.

Another option suggests including delegating responsibility for transport projects in Cork and Dublin to the new mayors’ office.

Plebiscites are scheduled to be held in both cities after one of the options is settled on, creating the possibility of mayoral elections in Dublin and Cork during the local and European elections in May 2019.

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