PLANS to amalgamate Limerick City and County Councils are gaining pace with confirmation that a new manager for Limerick could be appointed as early as July of this year.
County manager Ned Gleeson is retiring and his city counterpart Tom Mackey is currently in negotiations about his future as he has just over a year to his retirement date.
The job for the new manager for Limerick will be advertised once negotiations with Mr Mackey conclude. Sources said that could be in a matter of weeks, rather than months.
“The first thing to be done with regard to the amalgamation of both authorities is to appoint a new manager and that should happen by mid 2012. He can then start the work of integrating both councils to ensure that they can be of the best service to the public,” a government source told the Limerick Leader.
It looks likely that the job will be filled by some high- ranking official working with some local authority in Ireland.
Both Mr Gleeson and Mr Mackey are seen by many to have done excellent jobs in their respective roles, but now the time for a new man to unify the city and county councils.
How long the negotiations take with Mr Mackey will determine the timeframe regarding the appointment of the new Limerick manager.
The new manager will decide on the whole integration process and what use will be made of the current City and County Halls.
City and county councillors will stay in place until 2014 when new local elections take place.