OUTGOING Mayor of Waterford City & County Council, Councillor James Tobin, has called for the Government to address ‘the legacy of Phil Hogan’.
There is growing speculation that the position of Mayor of the Waterford Metropolitan District (which replaced the City Mayor following the amalgamation of Waterford City and County Councils) may be abolished.
Mayor Tobin called on the Government to clarify the situation, saying he believed it was not for Waterford City & County Council to decide upon the future of the role.
He described the confusion which exists as “the legacy of Phil Hogan”.
“It isn’t for myself, the plenary council or the Metropolitan council to change this,” he said.
“I believe this is a government and Ministerial decision. Every decision about the amalgamation came from the government. A body was set up to amalgamate the councils so if Phil Hogan left us with ‘a pig in a poke’, they should sort it out.”
Mayor Tobin also described the embarrassment and confusion which existed as he got to grips with his new position last year, which was originally known as Cathaoirleach of Waterford City & County Council.
“I was the First Citizen going to events where the Metropolitan Mayor was in attendance as well. It was next to impossible for foreign investors, or anybody else for that matter, to try to understand that. Sometimes it actually became an embarrassment for us to have us both sitting there when one of us may have been surplus to requirement. People were very confused.” His title was later changed to Mayor of Waterford City & County Council.
Deputy Mayor of Waterford City & County Council Cllr Jason Murphy said he would find it very difficult to vote to remove the position of Mayor of the Metropolitan Area.
“As a city person, I’d find it hard to get rid of so much history,” he said. Mayoral elections are due to take place next week.
For full interview with Mayor Tobin and Deputy Mayor Murphy, see Page 19 of the June 23rd edition.