For a newly elected mayor, Cllr John Maguire holds quite an extensive wish list.
Long standing issues headed by the likes of restoring Granard Town’s historic buttermarket, the restoration of Trumra Road and pushing for the refurbishment of the Town Hall are just some of the items on the Fine Gael politician’s ‘to do’ list over the next 12 months.
Above all else, the softly spoken father-of-two is a proud Granard man.
“It’s a great privilege to have been given the mayorship and for that I thank my fellow town councillors,” he said, following last Tuesday’s annual general meeting of the local authority.
Keen to extend that hand of friendship to the town’s voting public, Cllr Maguire revealed his preference for an “open door” approach, a tactic which he hopes local authority executives and other government bodies also abide by during his tenure.
“It (mayorship) will take up a lot more of your spare time, I’m not afraid of that,” he said stoically. “But it’s also a chance to attend functions that you might not otherwise get invited to and to talk to people that you might not normally do.”
One feature of local government reform the north Longford businessman is anxious to keep a tight reign on is the incesant fear over town councils.
Rather than lash out, Cllr Maguire said it was important government leaders don’t undermine the broader democratic system.
“It’s hard to know what will happen. Obviously I would like to see the Town Council retained because there is real and meaningful work being done. The people of Granard are well represented and if it (Town Council) was to go, it wouldn’t do any good to the town,” he reflected.
Phil Hogan (Minister for Environment) are you listening?