Although one of the alleged benefits to Estonia's nationwide administrative reform was to be more efficient public administration, based on the results in Saaremaa, the creation of a larger municipality at least initially has not significantly affected the total number of officials.
Regional paper Saarte Hääl (link in Estonian) reported that while Saaremaa's previous 12 municipalities included 240 positions, 236 positions remained following the merger into one large Saaremaa Municipality.
According to Alo Heinsalu, chief executive of the Saaremaa merger, restructuring as needed will begin once the new municipality has legally entered into existence.
"The size of the municipalgovernment as an administrative agency should optimally include somewhere around 170 positions instead of the currrent 240," Heinsalu said.
Adding in another 1,513 jobs in various divisions, a total of approximately 1,750 people are currently on the municipal payroll. This total, however, also includes many employees whose pay comes earmarked directly from the state, such as teachers.
Editor: Aili Vahtla