Korb unable to say whether municipalities falling just short of minimum 5,000 residents will be forced to merge
Minister of Public Administration Mihhail Korb visited a number of municipalities and met with local government leaders in Western Estonia’s Pärnu County on Tuesday in order to get a better overview of how the administrative reform is going.
There are currently two local governments in Pärnu County whose populations fall below the minimum 5,000 and yet who are not currently planning on merging with anyone: one is Saarde Municipality, who voted against merging with Surju, Tahkuranna and Häädemeeste Municipalities, and the other is Tõstamaa Municipality, whose residents were against merging with Suur-Pärnu Municipality.
What is to become of these municipalities is yet unclear, but the minister noted that the Administrative Reform Act in force would not be changed, which means that Saarde and Tõstamaa may both be faced with forced mergers regardless.
What will become of municipalities who, despite having merged already, still fall just a few dozen or hundred residents short of the 5,000-resident minimum?
"Each individual situation will be reviewed by the government and I will do a thorough analysis of each case, I will introduce it and we will try to approach it reasonably," said Korb, noting that the coalition is made up of reasonable people who are capable of assessing each situation and recognizing where it may be a matter of simple appearances and where there may be actual problems.