How to prepare for your municipal vote

Municipalities are responsible for the basic services like care of elderly and young, schools, health care centers, hospitals, public transport, roads, district heating, electricity, waste management and water. These are all big investments and have high operating and maintenance costs. It is thus important that your municipality can manage investments and the operations of these services efficiently and professionally. It is your taxes that cover these costs and so we must demand that investments (schools, hospitals, sewage plants, etc) are cost efficient over their 30 to 50 year life and that staff is productive and efficient.
Before you vote in the coming weeks think about three things:
1. Make sure that private companies that are providing goods and services to the municipality are paying taxes in Finland. Do not vote for politicians that want to outsource to private companies that operate to avoid paying tax here – every company wants to make a profit and they all want to minimize taxation. However, having a service provider that is a subsidiary of a foreign owner that does not pay any taxes is almost the same as employing unregistered workers to cut costs.
2. Make sure that your schools, health care centers, and places where the very young and very old are living are well maintained. Visit these places and take photos with your smart phones. Find out if the party you vote for have this as a top priority. If these places are not in good shape your taxes are being wasted.
3. Make sure that the people working in the town hall, the schools, health care centers and in other public places are helpful and professional. Ask them about their most important performance indicators for different services. Do not be satisfied with fuzzy answers, demand concrete performance indicators.
Do not be afraid to ask these questions in the local newspapers and put the photos on blogs. The more you demand answers to these questions, the more you focus attention on these important topics.