In what has been described as the most significant change in Irish local government since the 19th century, next year could see Dublin's mayor elected by citizens of the Dublin region. As well as having a democratic mandate, the mayor would work with Dublin's four local government authorities and would be equipped with enhanced powers to change key factors relating to the city such as planning, housing, waste management, traffic management and water services.
With the support of a revamped Dublin Regional Authority, the mayor would have a direct role in the city's annual budget. Similar to the mayor of London, the new mayor could promote Dublin, on a national and international level, as a desirable place to live, work, visit and invest in. With greater accountability to the people of Dublin, it is envisaged that the next mayor would have a much higher-profile role than the present incumbent.
Although the new mayor, whose salary is believed to be the same as a government minister, is expected to have a bigger administration, government sources have said the new mayor's office would not accrue any extra cost to the taxpayer. They claim the office has been designed in line with proposed saving measures across local authorities, which in Dublin's case could amount to an annual saving of