| 8.3°C Dublin

We may soon be voting on a city mayor

DUBLINERS could be asked to vote on whether they want a directly elected mayor next year.

If plans for such a vote get the green light, Dubliners could be voting on the issue on the same day as next year's local elections.

The four Dublin local authorities – South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council and Dublin City Council – held a preliminary meeting to discuss the proposals last month.

They have since written to Minister for Local Government Phil Hogan to inform him they will establish a working group to consider options.



The group is due to hold its first meeting in July.

It comprises 16 councillors – four from each local authority – and four executives.

The group is due to issue another report to Mr Hogan in December.

Currently, the role of Dublin lord mayor is held by a councillor who is elected to the position by other elected members of Dublin City Council.

Proposals for a directly elected mayor of Dublin were included in the Government's Action Programme For Effective Local Government and the role was previously brought to the table by the Green Party.

In a letter to current Dublin Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri, Mr Hogan said public support for the creation of such a position will be a "vital consideration".

Such a proposal would also need to show that "increased costs are avoided, but also that savings and other tangible benefits will be achieved", Mr Hogan said.

The working group, said Mr Hogan, should consider the implications of establishing such a position that would have "more far-reaching powers, functions and budgetary capacity".

The group should also look at ways to ensure that the role of elected members is not diminished under the proposed changes.

In the instance that the directly elected mayor is judged to be performing poorly in office, the group should look at ways that such an official can be removed from office.

The group's proposals will be sent out for a public consultation process before being ratified by the four Dublin local authorities before being sent to the minister.