This post is all foreign nationals living in the vicinity of Viimsi in order to underline the importance to elect me to our local municipality council on October 17. Keep in mind 185 is my number. As promised, a short summary in English of our key points this election. For more information, please visit www.valiviimsi.ee (in Estonian).
Antoon van Rens (nr 185)
In the almost 80 municipalities in Estonia local elections will be held on October 17 this year. Also all foreigners of 16 years and older who live in Estonia on the basis of a long-term or a permanent residence permit can vote in the municipality in which there are registered. Keep in mind you can vote digitally from home already from Monday, October 11. Transparency of governance, sustainability and education are important issues everywhere.
Viimsi municipality, northeast of Tallinn, has been controlled by the same political parties and the same people for years. The personal interests of well-known real estate developers greatly influence the actions of our local administration. We think that an entrepreneur who plays an important role in local government must be really careful in his or her business transactions and avoid even the impression of conflict of interest. If they are not careful, as have been the case in Viimsi, people lose their trust in the system and its politicians and local development is far from good.
“Vali Viimsi” candidates believe in honesty, competence and transparency in governance. Candidates should make a clear choice immediately before the election and confirm that they do not engage in business which is dependent on decisions of the local government. Rules apply to all; we will open up the books of the public utility companies “Viimsi Haldus” and “Viimsi Vesi”. We will involve stakeholders in the in the initial phase of decision-making processes, not only in the final phase, when all is actually already decided.
During the past twenty years the population of Viimsi municipality has grown 2.6 times, thirteen thousand additional people decided to move here. Perfectly understandable - fresh and clean air and the sea is near. In Viimsi you can enjoy the sunset on the beach and go for walks in the local forests. Everything you need for a comfortable life is close by - schools, kindergartens, a library, hobby schools and sports clubs, swimming pools, shops and even a cinema.
However, Viimsi municipality is not made out of rubber, if the current real estate boom continues at the same volume and pace, there will soon be no more forests to walk in. Infrastructure, kindergartens and schools are overcrowded, even clean water supply is running low.
We value nature and the green living environment. We love our sea, our forests, our parks and we do not allow forests to be cut down just for quick profit. We will maintain the building exclusion zone on the beach and open up the shorelines the pedestrians. We support the preservation of the unique beach and island culture on the islands around Tallinn.
In order to have a high standard of living after ten or fifty years, we will enact a new comprehensive plan for the whole peninsula and its islands taking into account a real and independent environmental impact assessment. We will make sure that all future detailed plans and building permits are in line with the agreed comprehensive plan. All real estate developments have to be viewed through an environmental-friendly prism. The unlimited population growth of Viimsi municipality has to be halted.
Especially the development the centers of Haabneeme and Viimsi has been unfavorable to the quality of life of the people there. Residents of densely populated apartment blocks have almost no access to any recreational area. Our plan is to create such recreation areas for public use next to Viimsi Gümnaasium and in Viimsi Town.
Investing in people
Viimsi municipality has been investing heavily in expensive buildings and roadworks. We need to shift the focus to investments in people. The municipality must provide a school or kindergarten place to all local children. Viimsi Gümnaasium needs help to find ways to significantly alleviate the shortage of gymnasium places and to become an attractive employer, the salaries of our local teachers need to be increased to at least match the salaries of teachers in Tallinn. We will create the position of Estonian language support teacher in all kindergartens to support the language learning by children with another native language. Non-Estonian families need to receive additional support in order to successfully integrate in our community.
Social support should be available to everyone, regardless of someone’s level of digital skills. We need to empower our social workers to be able to provide needs-based assistance to families, not just pay benefits to everybody matching general criteria without knowing how effective those measures are.
Investments are needed in both mental and physical health, supporting school psychologists and our local cultural and sports clubs. In order to alleviate problems in traffic, we need to support the development of environmentally friendly and responsible business in our villages.
The elderly are valued members of our community. We invest in ways to support healthy and dignified aging. We encourage active retirement through various service centers, elderly clubs and participation opportunities for the elderly. We especially need to address the problem of loneliness amongst our seniors.
Viimsi municipality must be a friendly municipality of the LGBT+ community, we condemn all activities hostile to the community. In addition to marriage, we also accept all forms partnership out of love. We take into account all forms of cohabitation in municipal regulations, benefits and administration.
“Vali Viimsi” is not a political party. We founded it as a one-time election coalition united local people, who care about their community and see the need to make our local administration more honest, transparent, inclusive and fair.