In addition to voting in the European and Local Elections and the referendum on the regulation of divorce on Friday 24 May 2019, the electors of the administrative area of Limerick City and County Council are also being asked to vote on the Government’s proposal for a Mayor with Executive Functions to be directly elected by the people.
This public vote is called a plebiscite. A plebiscite is an electoral poll consulting the public on a proposal. Plebiscites are also taking place in Cork city and Waterford city and county on the same day.
Electors are being asked if they approve of the proposal that would allow the people of Limerick city and county to directly elect a Mayor with Executive Functions for a five-year term.
At present, the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick is elected for a one-year term by other Councillors.
Under the Government’s proposal, the directly elected Mayor would have significantly more functions (duties) than a Mayor currently has, including:
- Some or all of the functions now performed by the Chief Executive of the City and County Council
- Such other functions as may be provided by or under statute
These functions (duties) are currently carried out by the Chief Executive of the Council.
The Local Government Act 2019 provides for the holding of the plebiscite. The Government decided it would be held on Friday 24 May 2019.
Under the 2019 Act, if the proposal is approved by a majority of voters in Limerick city and county, the Minister will submit a report to the Oireachtas with legislative proposals for an election of a Mayor by the people of Limerick city and county. The Oireachtas will then consider the legislation.
If the law is passed, a direct election for Mayor of Limerick with Executive Functions will take place.
If the proposal is not approved by a majority of voters in Limerick city and county, the current balance of powers and functions in Limerick City and County Council will not be changed without legislation.
The Local Government Act 2019 provides that Limerick City and County Council must provide information to voters on this proposal, including information on its possible advantages and disadvantages.
The Guide in the supporting documents below provides this information (It does not argue for a Yes or No vote).
Other information on the plebiscite is available at: www.mayors.gov.ie.