The organisational structure of the senior management of Mayo County Council was raised once again this week by the elected members of the council at their April meeting. Fine Gael councillor Jarlath Munnelly questioned what would happen once the current director of services, Paddy Mahon, left the organisation to take up the role as the chief executive of Longford County Council in the near future. Cllr Munnelly said he hoped that each of the four municipal districts would retain a director of services over each area. This view was backed up by councillors of every political hue in the chamber, with Independent councillor Seamus Weir proposing a motion that each municipal district retain a director of services, which was seconded by Cllr Frank Durcan.
However having previously outlined the future proposed new management structures that would be trialled for a time period of a year before, the chief executive of the council, Peter Hynes, went through the proposed changes once more, telling the councillors: "We've had this discussion before, I've outlined what we are going to do. When I was director of services for the west region, before it became the west region it was two districts [Westport and Belmullet electoral areas], I had responsibility for housing across the whole county and I had responsibility for Traveller accommodation and that took a big chunk of time."
He continued: "What we need to do is get the decision making of the authority pushed to a level where it can be accessed in the municipal district, and the decisions that need to be made there are made there. Whether you call that person a director of services and you call the person he or she reports to a super director of services, the authority to make the decisions that you need made on the ground on the day to day is going to be pushed further down into the organisation, to free up and make the best use of the kind of skill sets that we have through this organisation, and give people the chance at all levels to take on responsibility and reach their own potential."