- We don't know exactly how much it will cost and, at a time when key public services are being cut, I don't believe we should be spending money on unnecessary reforms.
- We don't know exactly what powers will be vested in the mayor. I believe these will be decided at a later date - when it will be too late for any of us to change our minds.
- Although the process of electing the mayor is democratic, it will shift power from the whole council to the hands of one individual and her/his handpicked cabinet.
- The mayor will be able to push through her/his budget on a mere 30% vote from council, as opposed to the majority approval currently required.
- The election process will favour candidates put up by the major political parties (politicians/councillors past their sell-by date?), entrepreneurs backed by (and beholden to?) business interests, single issue campaigners and celebrities. I can't see manygenuinely independent candidates being in a position to mount a successful campaign.
- The party political impasse in the council chamber is cited as reason to elect someone who will be able to cut through the wrangling, but I can't see that a mayor of one political persuasion would fare any better with a council of another.
- I am anxious about suggestions that we might lose recourse to central government in issues such as planning.
- I'd be grateful for a mayor who drove through projects that I believed in, but what if s/he were to drive through ones I objected to?
- I am suspicious of top down localism.
- While Bristol's mayor might negotiate a favourable deal with central government, where does that leave communities who have not been offered a mayor, or who have declined the offer. Will this not lead to two tier cities?
- It's not impossible, but nonetheless very difficult, to get rid of a bad mayor.
As for the rest of you. Are you being asked to vote for a mayor on Thursday? Which way will you vote? Do you already have a mayor? Are you happy with her/him?
I don't have to make my final decision until Thursday. There is still time to convince me to vote 'yes'!