Advertisement WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR TAGSLimerick City and CountyLocal Elections 2019Mayoral electionNewsplebicitepolitics Local backlash over Aer Lingus threat Limerick on Covid watch list Limerick County Hall Chamber. Photo: Cian ReinhardtWHILE much of the national focus is on the local and European elections, Limerick voters will also ballot on the Government proposal for a directly elected Mayor on May 24.Under the Government’s proposals, a directly elected mayor would perform a significant amount of the executive functions currently performed by local authority chief executives.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up They would also prepare and oversee implementation of a programme of office, similar to a programme for government, and ensure that the chief executive performs the functions of the local authority in accordance with the mayor and elected council’s policies.Independent local election candidate for City West, Jim Long is encouraging people to vote yes on the plebiscite for a directly elected Limerick Mayor.A former Mayor of Limerick, he believes a directly elected Mayor would be the people’s choice and the office holder must act responsibly within the role that’s assigned to them.“The Mayor has a duty to the people and to Limerick. The office is seen as a local, national and international window that represents the region and is inclusive in the delivery of transparent business, education, culture, housing and well-being of our citizens,” the Ballinacurra Gardens man told the Limerick Post.“Certainly the Mayor must have an executive role in financial, environmental and planning issues as well as being the impartial chief over the political spectrum on the Council.“There is however some disquiet among chief executives and some politicians in the area of executive power in planning. This is seen by many as controversial as it is the sole responsibility of the Council’s chief executive and there is a low confidence of public opinion with this function,” Long claimed.The function of executive power of planning, he believes, could be shared by the Mayor, Council chief executive and legal adviser.“It has been stated locally in recent days that this position would lead to a dictatorship. This assertion, in my opinion, is present now; this is the reason why change is needed.”However, another former Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Kevin Sheahan sees the whole thing as an “attempt to pull the wool over people’ eyes”.He accused the government of trying to take the focus off the real issues.“I am asking my fellow councillors to oppose a directly elected mayor and to campaign to have people oppose it. I know elderly people who say they won’t even vote in the local elections because they are so confused by the number of boxes they now have to tick on the ballot paper. It is purely an attempt to pull the wool over people’s eyes,” he added.Meanwhile, Limerick Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan has called for a review of the salary and cost of the office of the directly elected mayor.“The total cost of the office is €450,000 for the mayor and two special advisors. I am calling on the Minister to clarify why the office will cost nearly half a million euro a year?“There is a real risk that the cost of the office could become the focal point of the plebiscite and this is due to the Government’s failure to meaningfully engage with the public about this proposal.A directly elected mayor is an exciting opportunity to strengthen local democracy in Ireland and will remove some of the democratic deficit at local authority level as we have one of the weakest systems of local government in Europe,” Deputy O’Sullivan said.Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan said a vote in favour of the Limerick plebiscite next month will provide a catalyst in driving the city, county and the entire Mid-West region forward.“This is the most important role being created in local government because it is about our place – Limerick, our communities and our people. We have seen directly elected mayors work in other cities – the upcoming plebiscite now gives us an opportunity to make this change that will benefit us into the future,” he said.Senator Maria Byrne, who is also a former mayor, said that cities can benefit from strong, visible leadership and international standing that a mayor, elected with a clear mandate, can bring.“We need a strong voice in Limerick to create a strong city to drive the region.“Under the current system, there is no consistency. If for example, the mayor is working towards a trading relationship with a country, by the time they come to meet key stakeholders, their term of office has expired,” Senator Byrne said. Previous articleFresh & Replay on tapNext articlePowPig headliner for quadruple A-side release Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie NewsPoliticsMixed views on €450,000 proposal for directly elected Limerick mayorBy Alan Jacques – April 17, 2019 1313 Linkedin Shannon Airport braced for a devastating blow Email TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! Print Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites Twitter Facebook Is Aer Lingus taking flight from Shannon?
● AL-Sen: Republican Sen. Richard Shelby turned 86 this year, and plenty of politicos are speculating that he won’t see a seventh term in 2022 in this very red state. Shelby himself told Roll Call last year, “We’ll see what happens.”● IA-Sen: Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley turned 87 this year, and he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to announce if he’ll seek an eighth term or not. Grassley told the Iowa Capitol Dispatch back in February that he’d decide eight to 12 months from Election Day 2022.● MO-Sen: Republican Sen. Roy Blunt is up for a third term in 2022, though the 70-year-old incumbent hasn’t announced if he’ll run again yet.- Advertisement – The St. Louis Business Journal’s Dave Drebes wrote last week that there are plenty of rumors that former Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace in 2018, could challenge Blunt in the primary, and that Greitens “has done nothing to tamp that suspicion.” Greitens himself showed some interest earlier this year in trying to regain his old job from GOP Gov. Mike Parson, though Greitens didn’t end up launching a comeback campaign.Drebes also mentions 2016 Democratic nominee Jason Kander as a possible contender, though there’s no indication yet that the former Missouri secretary of state is considering. Four years ago, Kander held Blunt to a 49-46 win even as Donald Trump was carrying the state 56-38.● NH-Sen, NH-Gov: Retired Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc announced Monday that he’d challenge Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in 2022, a move that comes three months after he lost the primary for the Granite State’s other Senate seat by a 50-42 margin. Bolduc, who struggled with fundraising during his last campaign, is hardly the politician at the top of the party’s wish list, though.Paul Collins, who serves as the top political adviser to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, drew plenty of attention when he tweeted last week, “]H]ey @SenatorHassan @Maggie_Hassan, what is it like serving in the united states senate these days? asking for a friend ….” Sununu, who was just re-elected 65-33, himself has been coy about his plans, but he notably didn’t say no when the National Journal’s Zach Cohen asked him about it in late October.When Cohen followed up last week about Collins’ tweet, Sununu joked, “As a three-term governor I’m a little overqualified for the US Senate.” When Cohen asked, “So you’re not going to run for Senate?” Sununu responded with a SpongeBob SquarePants GIF. Yes, that’s the world we live in now. Bolduc, for his part, said of Sununu, “At this point it makes no difference in my plans,” adding, “If the governor is going to run, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”If Sununu does challenge Hassan, it would open up the governorship for the first time since 2016, when Hassan left to successfully challenge Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. WMUR John DiStaso wrote last week that there’s been speculation that Ayotte, who has done a number of local GOP events recently, could run for governor if there’s an open seat. So far, though, there’s no word if Ayotte may be interested in a rematch with Hassan, especially if Sununu opts out.● NY-Sen: Last week, the New York Times’ Astead Herndon asked Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “Is there a universe in which they’re [party leaders] hostile enough that we’re talking about a Senate run in a couple years,” to which she responded, “I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics.” AOC continued, “You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year.” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is up for re-election in 2022.● UT-Sen: While Republican incumbent Mike Lee has sponsored unsuccessful legislation to limit senators to two terms, he hasn’t said if he’ll seek a third term yet in this very red state.One person who expressed interest in taking him on if he does is Steve Schmidt, a longtime nation GOP strategist who left the party to become an independent in 2018 and co-founded the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. Schmidt responded on Thursday to a tweet calling for him to challenge Lee by saying, “Thinking about it. Would be a fun race.” Schmidt, though, continued by acknowledging, “Hard to win. I wouldn’t go into it to win so much as I would be to strip his sanctimony, BS and hypocricy bear [sic].”● VT-Sen: Democratic incumbent Patrick Leahy said in September that he’d decide at the end of 2021 whether or not to seek a ninth term, a milestone that only two other senators, West Virginia’s Robert Byrd and Hawaii’s Daniel Inouye, have ever achieved. If Leahy, who turned 80 this year, remained in the upper chamber, he would pass Byrd as the longest-serving senator in American history in late June of 2026.● WI-Sen: The Democratic primary to take on Republican incumbent Ron Johnson kicked off a week before Election Day when Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson launched his campaign, and plenty of other Badger State politicians may be interested. Late last month, Politico and the AP mentioned Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, state Attorney General Josh Kaul, and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry as possible contenders, though none of them appear to have said anything publicly yet.Johnson, for his part, has yet to announce if he’ll seek a third term in this swing state.● NRSC: On Tuesday, Florida Sen. Rick Scott won an uncontested race to chair the NRSC for the 2022 cycle.Gubernatorial● AL-Gov: Republican incumbent Kay Ivey, who was elevated from lieutenant governor to governor in the spring of 2017 after Robert Bentley resigned in disgrace, is eligible to seek a second full term in 2022, but she hasn’t announced her plans yet. Ivey is 76, and longtime state political observer Steve Flowers predicted in June that she’d retire.● MA-Gov: When a reporter asked Republican Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday if he’d be on the ballot in 2022, the incumbent only responded, “That’s a long time away.” Massachusetts does not have term limits for its governors, and the Boston Globe reported back in 2019 that Baker was putting together a team for a possible bid for a third term.Baker would tie Democrat Michael Dukakis for the longest-serving chief executive in state history if he sought and served out another term, though Dukakis got an involuntary four-year break between his first and second term following his 1982 primary loss.● NJ-Gov: Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is seeking re-election next year in what’s usually a reliably blue state, and Team Red could have a competitive primary.Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who lost the 2017 nomination contest, announced he’d run back in January, and he said he’d raised almost $820,000 through the end of September. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick also recently told the New Jersey Globe that he’d decide after the 2020 elections were over, while the site says that state Party Chair Doug Steinhardt is still interested. (Steinhardt memorably said early this year that he had “no timeline whatsoever because I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t know where I’m going,” which should inspire Republicans everywhere.)Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, who also serves as the county’s party chair, also didn’t rule anything out when asked in 2018, and NJ.com mentioned him as a possible contender this week. That story also name-dropped state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon as a possibility, and O’Scanlon shared the story on Twitter.One person we probably won’t see running, though, is wealthy businessman Bob Hugin, who spent $36 million during his unsuccessful 2018 bid against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez. While a writer for the far-right Daily Caller said last week that he’d take on Murphy, the New Jersey Globe’s David Wildstein quickly reported that this “does not appear to be true,” and that multiple people close to Hugin had heard nothing from him about a possible campaign.Wildstein said that some Republicans had encouraged Hugin to run and that his “friends say that he doesn’t take Shermanesque positions of permanently ruling out an option,” but he otherwise didn’t seem interested. One unnamed county party chair told Wildstein, “We’re close friends. If he were interested, he’d have called me. I haven’t heard from him.”● NY-Gov: Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last year that he’d seek a fourth term in 2022.● TX-Gov: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said last year that he’d seek a third term, and he reaffirmed earlier this month that he’d run for re-election.Uncalled RacesQuite a few contests remain uncalled, but we’re tracking all of them on our continually updated cheat-sheet, and of course we’ll cover each of them in the Digest once they’re resolved.● Alaska: Election authorities in Alaska announced Tuesday that they would tally about a third of the estimated 155,000 uncounted ballots, which altogether will make up about 44% of the total vote, that evening. Here is where things stood in uncalled contests before those new votes were included:● AK-Sen: Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan led Democratic nominee Al Gross.● AK-AL: Republican Rep. Don Young led Democratic nominee Alyse Galvin.● AK Ballot: Measure 1, which would increase the state’s fuel production tax, trailed. Measure 2, which would establish a “top-four” primary system, also trailed.● CA Ballot: Proposition 14, which would issue a stem cell research bond, leads 51-49 with 14.7 million votes counted. Proposition 19, known as the Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment, leads 51-49 with 14.6 million votes counted.● San Francisco, CA Ballot: Proposition G, which would lower the voting age to 16 for local elections, trails 51-49 with 418,000 votes in.Called Races● NC-Sen: Republican Sen. Thom Tillis secured a second term on Tuesday after Democrat Cal Cunningham conceded.● CA-48: Republican Michelle Steel secured victory on Tuesday when freshman Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda conceded. Rouda sounded interested in seeking a rematch, though, adding, “While one campaign ends today, another is just beginning. I look forward to having voters compare my opponent’s two years in Congress with my accomplishments on November 8, 2022.”● TX-24: Republican Beth Van Duyne claimed victory after Democrat Candace Valenzuela conceded on Tuesday.● PA Treasurer: Republican Stacy Garrity flipped this seat for her party after Democratic incumbent Joe Torsella conceded on Tuesday. – Advertisement – It’s all an obsequious effort to stay on Trump’s good side, of course, democracy be damned: Perdue and Loeffler acted, said the AJC, because they were afraid Trump would “tweet a negative word about them and risk divorcing them from his base.” They’re also apparently hoping for some in-person love from Trump, too. Politico reports that Mike Pence is headed down to Georgia (or perhaps George) on Nov. 20 and says “some Republicans believe Trump will eventually follow.”Meanwhile, Democrat Raphael Warnock has released his second ad of the runoff, a minute-long spot focused on his humble upbringing. “People like me aren’t supposed to run for office,” says Warnock, explaining that he grew up in housing projects, raised by a mother who picked cotton and tobacco and a father who was a veteran and a preacher.He then describes his rise “to Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church” after being the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college. He concludes by telling voters, “If you’re looking for a billionaire, I’m not your guy”—a jab at the ultra-wealthy Loeffler. “But if you want someone who’s been through some of the same challenges as you, I’m Raphael Warnock and it would be my honor to serve you.”Senate- Advertisement – Campaign ActionThe Trump campaign and the Georgia Republican Party also sent a letter to Raffensperger piling on with vague aspersions, as did the Republican members of the state’s House delegation. That letter misspelled the state’s name, addressing itself to “George Secretary of State,” and was also signed by two candidates who described themselves as “members-elect,” despite questioning the validity of the very same election they believe has sent them to Congress.- Advertisement –
The outlook for global container port demand growth is now more optimistic and Chinese players are on the acquisition trail in an aggressive and highly confident manner, shipping consultancy Drewry said.Drewry’s container port demand forecast is more positive than in last year’s report, exhibiting a 4% CAGR and adding a further 152 million TEU of port throughput to the global total by 2021. This is a consequence of improved port throughput growth rates in the second half of 2016 and into 2017, and a more positive general global economic outlook.However, there remain numerous risks and uncertainties at present, including tensions in the Middle East and Korean peninsula, the protectionist and unpredictable stance of the US administration, and the impact of Brexit. This is one reason why the global container port capacity is projected to increase by a CAGR of 2.7%, based on confirmed additions only.“While there are certainly some encouraging signs for the demand growth outlook, the risk profile for terminal operators has increased and most of the traditional global/international players remain cautious. The exception to this are the Chinese port companies who are pursuing expansion and investment both at home and overseas in an unprecedentedly aggressive manner,” Neil Davidson, Drewry’s senior analyst for ports and terminals, said.Merger and acquisition activity in the port sector is at a high level. About USD 3.1 billion worth of deals have been struck so far in 2017, driven by Chinese companies such as Cosco Shipping Ports and China Merchants Ports. In the last year, more than half of the acquisitions by global/international terminal operators have been made by Chinese players.Cosco Shipping Ports has moved up Drewry’s operator league table as a result of the merger of Cosco and China Shipping, and will move further up in the coming years due to the acquisition of Noatum and OOCL’s terminals. The China Cosco Shipping group is projected to add the most capacity of any of the global/international terminal operators over the next five years.“The Chinese players are more comfortable with risk than the established international operators right now, and have a geo-political strategy rather than a purely financial one. They are snapping up assets and opportunities and have the appetite and financial clout to take many more in the coming years,” added Davidson.