On Friday 24th May 2019, the people of Cork City and County will have an opportunity to vote in a plebiscite on a proposed directly elected mayor with executive functions (duties). A plebiscite is an electoral poll consulting the public on a proposal. This is an important opportunity for the people of Cork to decide on the future of Local Government and we urge everyone to study the proposals carefully and have their say.
Voters will be asked if they approve a proposal that would allow the people of their council area to directly elect a mayor with executive functions for a five-year term. At present, the Mayor of a council (called a Lord Mayor in Cork City) is elected for a one-year term by other councilors. Under the Government’s proposal, the directly elected Mayor would have more functions than Lord Mayor currently has, including some or all of the executive functions held by the current Chief Executive.
The plebiscite is taking place through provisions in the Local Government Act 2019. Under the Act, if the proposal is accepted by a majority of voters in a council’s administrative area, the Minister will submit a report to the Oireachtas with legislative proposals for an election of a mayor by the people. The Oireachtas will then consider the legislation. If the law is passed, an election for Mayor will take place.
If the proposal is rejected by a majority of voters in a council’s administrative area, the current balance of powers and functions will not be changed without legislation.
You can read more information on the plebiscite in Cork area HERE.