The City Council, which is elected by the city’s residents, exercises the highest authority in the city. The City Council is elected for a four-year-term in an election taking place every four years.
The Turku City Council has a total of 67 councillors during the term of 2017-2021. In accordance with the Finnish Local Government Act, the number of councillors is determined by the number of inhabitants in the city. For their work, councillors may form political groups, of which there are a total of nine in the Turku City Council.
The Chairperson of the City Council is Elina Rantanen (The Greens in Finland), the First Vice Chair is Pentti Huovinen (The National Coalition Party of Finland), and the Second Vice Chair is Seppo Lehtinen (The Social Democratic Party of Finland), the Third Vice Chair is Sauli Saarinen (The Left Alliance of Finland), the Fourth Vice Chair is Alas Ali (The Centre Party of Finland). The secretary of the City Council is Ari-Pekka Korhonen.
The City Council assembles at City Hall (Aurakatu 2). The public may observe Council meetings from the gallery, as live online broadcasts, and as video recordings published online after the meetings. Council discussions may be followed on Twitter with the identifier #tkuvaltuusto.
Tasks of the City Council
According to the Local Government Act the tasks of the Council are:
- decide the main objectives for the activities and finances
- determine the principles for administration
- determine the financial principles, and the principles for funding and for investment activities, and approve the budget
- determine the general principles concerning payments charged for the municipality’s services and for other tasks performed by the municipality
- decide on the operating and financial objectives set for municipal companies
- decide on granting a guarantor’s undertaking or other security for another party’s debt
- elect members to the municipal decision-making bodies
- decide on the principles concerning the financial benefits of elected officials
- appoint the auditors
- approve the financial statements and decide on granting discharge from liability
- decide on other matters that are laid down for the decision of the local council