The highest decision-making authority in the City of Espoo is held by a Council comprising 75 members. The Council is elected by residents every four years. The Council decides on city matters and is responsible for the city’s economy and operations.
The Council appoints the City Board, which is responsible for the practical running of municipal administration and finances. The City Board is the head of city administration and prepares the matters handled by the Council. It also supervises the city’s interests and represents the city.
In 2010, the Council appointed Jukka Mäkelä as Mayor of the City of Espoo. He serves under the City Board and manages the city administration and economy as well as other operations.
There are a total of 12 committees in Espoo. Some committees also contain several subcommittees. They propose definitions of policy concerning their own domain to the City Board in order to develop services and operations. They supervise and control the operations of their own domain. They also manage the planning, development and monitoring of operations, economy and the organisation.
The Council issues ordinances to determine the organisation of municipal administration. The ordinances specify the basic structure, tasks and management systems of the city’s positions of trust and personnel organisations. The city’s fees and rates can also be found in the rules.
Municipal self-administration has been guaranteed in the Constitution of Finland. The cornerstones of local administration are representative democracy, i.e. municipal elections; direct influence of residents and service users; the right to levy taxes; responsibilities imposed by law as well as the flexibility to organise one’s own operations and administration.