THREE former mayors left a pre-budget meeting in disgust after city manager Conn Murray did not show up.
Councillors met on Wednesday night to debate the local authority budget planned for next year, which among other things contains a recommendation the commercial rate fall by 5%.
But Cllrs Kevin Kiely, Jim Long and Pat Kennedy left early on in the briefing once they learnt Mr Murray was not going to be present.
It is understood that Cllr Kiely asked Mayor Gerry McLoughlin, chairing the briefing, where the manager was.
The mayor pointed out that the former Louth boss was “a very busy man”.
This is believed to angered Cllr Kiely, who is alleged to have pointed out he is a busy councillor, and he would not attend any budget briefing if the manager was not there.
He was followed out the door by Cllr Long, then Cllr Kennedy.
Since last Wednesday’s event was only an informal briefing for councillors, Mr Murray was not compelled to be there. At next Wednesday’s final budget meeting, he will be present.
Commenting, Cllr Long said: “I was very disappointed that our new manager for reasons unknown to me, was not pre-budget at the briefing. In my long time on the council, I have never experienced a manager not being present to answer councillor’s questions. The budget is very significant. It means so much to an awful lot of people. It is very disingenuous of the manager for whatever reason, not to be there to answer questions.”
It is not the first time councillors have been angry by the actions of Mr Murray, who became the manager of the joint authority in the summer.
In the County Council, members were upset as Mr Murray had to leave their meeting early to make a meeting in City Hall.
It has now been agreed to hold the county meeting at 10.30am on Mondays.
Mr Murray was not available for comment as the Limerick Leader went to press.