We feel we need to clarify the position on the exorbitant top up payments to chairs of the municipal councils. There has been a bit of mud-slinging as our opponents try and muddy the waters as they attempt to cover their sheer greed and cronyism.
In 2010, Councillor Jennifer Green was the Chair of Dundalk Town Council and as such, was expected to carry out duties as the first citizen which she did on a weekly, if not almost daily basis. For that extra responsibility, there was a provision in the budget for an extra allowance of which she availed.
Fast forward to 2014 and Dundalk Town Council has been abolished and we all fall under Louth County Council. Local Government was to be reformed. This was to be a whole new era of politics.
There are three municipal districts: Ardee, Drogheda and Dundalk. Each district has a chair whose job is to ensure the 11 meetings per year are run on time. They each last between 60-90 minutes. There are no extra responsibilities with that role now and as such, there is no provision in the budget for extra payments. Unfortunately, cronyism is alive and well in Louth.
Last month, the municipal districts awarded their chairs €30,000 in total despite their being no added responsibilities or provision in the budget for this. Sinn Féin opposed this, along with a couple of others but was voted down by the cronies in FF/FG/LAB.
There is only one Chair of the Council who will be asked to carry out this role as first citizen and that is the Chair of Louth County Council, Oliver Tully.
This is a total waste of taxpayers money and we have yet to have an answer from the cronies as to where this money is coming from. Will it come from the roads, disability grants, housing? Who knows?
This year €30,000 of your money is going on brass necks, maybe we should have a provision for that in next years budget.