1 August 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Green Party renews calls for a citizens’ assembly on local government reform in Cork
The latest call comes after Cork City Council advertised for the role of an Assistant Chief Executive with a salary of €130,000.
The figure of €130,000 featured heavily during the plebiscite campaign on a directly-elected mayor last may. Opponents of the proposal said it was too much to pay for a mayor when the city already has a Chief Executive to do the job.
Councillor Oliver Moran, Green Party councillor for Cork City North East and spokesperson on political reform, described the advertisement as ‘a slap in the face’.
“This is a real slap in the face for everyone involved in the campaign, and everyone who voted in the plebiscite. The question of the salary of a directly-elected mayor was the single issue that kept coming up during the plebiscite, people kept asking why we should pay someone €130,000 to do a job the Chief Executive should be doing already. Now we have this absurd situation where the people voted ‘no’ but will end up paying the money anyway.”
“The idea of having a citizens’ assembly on local government in Cork was brought up during the campaign and I raised with other parties in Council earlier in the summer,” Councillor Moran continued, “It was agreed to keep an eye on how this works in Dublin and on the experience of a directly-elected mayor in Limerick. This new turn of events should be seen as a further push towards holding one here. This is not what the people voted for.”
In June, the Government approved the holding of a citizens’ assembly in Dublin on the question of a directly-elected mayor for the city. Plebiscites were held in Cork, Limerick and Waterford in May alongside local & European elections, with the votes narrowly falling in Cork & Waterford, carrying in Limerick.