Former secretary general of the Ministry of Rural Affairs Illar Lemetti has enough votes secured to be elected mayor of Viimsi Municipality, as the Reform Party, which nominated him for the position, has been joined by Isamaa and the Social Democrats (SDE), the other two members of the local coalition.
Isamaa representative and municipal council deputy chairwoman Mari-Ann Kelam told ERR that Lemetti left the impression at a meeting with representatives of the Viimsi coalition this week of a reasonable, calm and practical person who is prepared to hear others out.
"He had done his homework beforehand, and answered our questions clearly and without skirting around anything," Kelam said. "There is no reason to vote against him, hopefully he is man enough to implement his ideas as well."
She did admit that Lemetti may have a hard time initially, as he is coming in as a total stranger of sorts to lead the municipality.
SDE representative Raivo Tann said that they likewise have nothing against Lemetti and that he can count on their support in the January 14 vote.
Viimsi Municipal Council includes 21 members, nine of which are held by Reform, three by Isamaa and two by SDE, or 14 votes in total.
Kotka: We had to convince him
Märt Vooglaid (Reform) told ERR at the beginning of the month that the municipal council sought a new mayor that would have leadership experience, an understanding of how state mechanisms function as well as administrative capabilities. "We want effective leadership of the municipality," Vooglaid said.
Lemetti had suggested Taavi Kotka, who was elected to the municipal council as a member of the Reform Party and who himself likewise has prior experience with a government job. Vooglaid noted that Lemetti had not come suggesting himself for the job.
"Rather, we had to put quite some effort into convincing him," Vooglaid added.
Viimsi Municipal Council chairman Taavi Kotka told ETV news broadcast Aktuaalne kaamera last week that Lemetti is an apolitical, hardworking and person with a very good reputation.
Asked whether there wasn't a single person in Viimsi Municipality who would make a good mayor, Kotka responded that he is certain there is, but that most of them aren't willing to serve as municipal mayor.
Viimsi Municipality is electing a new mayor after Reform member Laine Randjärv resigned in December following public and political criticism for firing the principal of a school in the municipality.
Editor: Aili Vahtla