Councillors hit out at new City Hall €100k a year management role

Councillors hit out at new City Hall €100k a year management role
Pic; Larry Cummins The national flags of Ireland and France fly together over City Hall, Cork on Sunday 15th November 2015. Cities and nations unite in solidarity against the terrorist attacks.Generic

CITY Hall has been heavily criticised by councillors for creating a new management position which they claim will cost €100,000 a year.

A memo sent by Council chief executive Ann Doherty to representatives last week confirms that the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) has been created and will be advertised before the end of the month.

The position is part of a restructuring process associated with the city boundary extension coming into effect in May and has been approved by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The role will effectively be the second highest executive position at the local authority.

Environment director Valerie O’Sullivan will move to the position of director of operations, while roads and transport director Brian Geaney will become director of infrastructure development.

Fearghal Reidy has joined the local authority as director of strategic and economic development to replace former director of planning Pat Ledwidge.

Councillor Ken O’Flynn (FF) said the COO position is not needed and the salary cost would be better spent on frontline services.

“I am very concerned about this new created position of COO which will operate a layer above the directors of services and below the chief executive of the city. This is quite a big job, I believe over the €100,000 mark in payment.

“It brings another layer of bureaucracy of management into City Council and detachment between officials and directors of services.

“It amazes me that we are bringing in another executive but we only have two plumbers on the northside of the city. It’s too many chiefs and not enough Indians when it comes to City Hall. This is a copy and paste of the HSE management structure and we all see how that has worked out,” he added.

Des Cahill (FG) said councillors have had requests turned down to create positions for lower level services staff.

“It perplexes me that, last month, we couldn’t find €35,000 for a dog warden and we have a shortage of litter wardens. We don’t have enough people on the ground and we are often told ‘there is no money’. I suspect this job will cost multiples of what on the ground staff would cost per annum. We currently don’t have a director of operations and that is what is needed to bridge the gap for the [city boundary] extension. To have three layers of operations and a chief executive, to me, sounds excessive,” he added.

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