SOCIAL Democrats’ local elections candidate for Limerick City North, Kieran Walsh has said this week that a debate needs to emerge on the powers a directly elected Mayor would have.
A plebiscite will be held on May 24 and Walsh maintains there isn’t enough information in the public domain about precisely what functions this new office will have.
In a statement to the Limerick Post, Walsh said: “This could be a historic moment for local governance and provide for clear accountability and leadership to emerge at a Limerick level.
“Imagine a Mayor of Limerick that had executive powers over transport, environment and housing issues across the city and county. It is a very exciting prospect for those of us who want to see effective change in our communities.”
The City North candidate passionately believes in reforming local government, and removing executive powers from unelected officials has to be top of that list.
“The Social Democrats’ have consistently argued at a national level that local decision making powers should be made locally, and we are now being given an opportunity to make that happen.
“Minister John Paul Phelan must, as a matter of urgency, publish the list of executive powers so that the people of Limerick can make decisions on whether they want to proceed with the proposal. The Minister has, by law, until 30 days prior to May 24 to publish the guidelines, but he really needs to do so far in advance so we can all formulate policy positions on this issue.”