Former Labour MP Sion Simon is promising to make city council chief executive Stephen Hughes redundant if he is elected mayor of Birmingham.
Mr Simon intends to carry out the chief executive role himself, saving more than £200,000 a year in wages and on-costs.
The pledge has been delivered privately by Mr Simon on a number of occasions, but he has chosen to set out his proposals in public for the first time.
The former Erdington MP, who quit the House of Commons at the last General Election to focus on his mayoral campaign, said the job carried out by Mr Hughes would be superfluous if Birmingham was to be run by an elected mayor.
He added: “It is fundamental to the nation of an elected mayor that the person who has to deliver the outcomes and is held to account for delivering those outcomes should be the person who is elected and is actually running the organisation. Fundamentally, the mayor should run the organisation.
“At the moment we have a council leader who is not elected and who no one has heard of and a chief executive who is not elected and no one has heard of. Two people who are unelected, yet are making all of the key decisions.”
He said it would be “quite wrong” to have an elected mayor who could not make decisions about hiring and firing key officials because responsibilities for such matters remained with an unelected chief executive.
He admitted that questions raised by the public often involve the additional cost of having an elected mayor.
Mr Simon said: “People are concerned about the extra cost of bureaucracy, but it is important to understand that a mayor will replace both the council leader and the chief executive so there will be a reduction in costs.”
And in a hint that other senior management jobs might go, he added: “I have said that if I am elected mayor I will guarantee that administration costs of the city will decline in the first term.”
Last year Mr Hughes was paid £198,925 to run Britain’s largest local authority, which included a performance-related bonus.
Council leader Mike Whitby received £72,000 in allowances.
While getting rid of the leader’s and chief executive’s salary would realise more than £300,000 in wages, national insurance and pension contributions, the savings would have to be offset by the mayor’s salary. Mr Simon is yet to put a figure on how much he would expect to be paid as mayor.
With a referendum on whether Birmingham should have a mayor less than eight months away, Mr Simon is close to launching a website which he says will enable members of the public to bypass the “controlling and inflexible city council” and have their say on policy issues.
The move is based on an initiative in Turin, Italy, where the city’s strategic plan has been drawn up since 2000 by a non-party political “coalition” of stakeholders, businesses and citizens.
The Torino Internazionale consists of 120 key local organisations, big businesses and the trade unions who constantly refine strategic policy.
The organisation envisaged by Mr Simon will be called Nation of Birmingham, and he is holding discussions with business leaders to get them on board.
However, he is at pains to stress that Nation of Birmingham “is not owned by me and is not part of my campaign”.
It will be an arms-length organisation that “informs the mayor’s policies”.
Mr Simon added: “It won’t be a strategic plan made up in Alpha Tower by the city council and handed down. It won’t be the Chamber of Commerce view, or the unions’ view, but something negotiated over a long period of time by all of the key players in Birmingham.
“Turin is very similar to Birmingham. It has problems associated with industrial decline, but Turin has had a renaissance and gone from strength to strength while Birmingham has gone down. One of the reasons is that Turin had a good plan and continued to refine it.
“One of Birmingham’s biggest problems is that the council is so poor, so controlling and inflexible.
“All of the key players have been alienated.
“Not only do they not talk to the council, they don’t talk to each other.”
He plans a series of public meetings to supplement the website, where questions such as what does it mean to be a Brummie will be discussed as well as grass roots issues like emptying the bins and cleaning the streets.
Mr Simon said: “I am trying to build a coalition of stakeholder and citizen groups under a not for profit organisation. But it wouldn’t work at all if it was seen as party political, or as part of my mayoral campaign. It will inform my campaign, and if I get to be mayor it will be a key player in the new framework governance for the city.
“A mayor will only make a big difference by engaging with all of the people.”