Council to confirm Buttimer
Councillor John Buttimer is expected to be nominated as the Fine Gael nominee for the office of Lord Mayor at tomorrow evening’s Cork City Council AGM.
The nomination is part of the ongoing voting pact arrangement between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour, which sees them share the office of Lord Mayor throughout the term of the city council.
“It’s always been a personal ambition for sure,” said Cllr Buttimer, ahead of the vote tomorrow evening.
"I think any self-respecting Corkman growing up would have had two ambitions. One would be to be standing in Croke Park on the third Sunday in September and the other would be to become Lord Mayor. Unfortunately I was never too good at hurling or football, except on the ditch, so this really is an ambition realised.”
It is expected the term of Cllr Buttimer will include a lecture series and an emphasis on bringing communities and groups not usually afforded much public exposure to the foreground.
Cllr Buttimer was co-opted to the Council in 2007 following the election of his brother Jerry to the Seanad. He secured election in the South West Ward in the 2009 local elections, polling 2,070 first preferences.
Cllr Buttimer, who works with the COPE Foundation as a psychologist, will take over from the current chain holder, Fianna Fáil Cllr Terry Shannon.
However, Sinn Féin have confirmed they will oppose what they describe as the “undemocratic method of selecting the Lord Mayor.”
“We will be proposing a candidate for sure, maybe even two, to show our opposition to this undemocratic pact,” said Sinn Féin Cllr Chris O’Leary.
“We would like to see directly elected mayors for Cork, however we are aware of the added cost of that. Why not have the poll topper in each of the wards share the duties over the lifetime of the local authority?”
Such an adoption would have seen Socialist Party Cllr Mick Barry of the Cork North Central ward as the only non-government candidate as Lord Mayor, all other poll toppers coming from Labour or Fine Gael.
“We will be opposing the divvying up of the chairs of committees also,” confirmed Cllr O’Leary.
“They take the positions and the extra money that comes with them and then don’t show up to the meetings. It is totally undemocratic.”
The Annual General Meeting of Cork city council will take place tomorrow (Friday) in the Council chambers at 7.30pm.