Saturday, September 23, 2023

Will Kalervo Kummola become the oldest municipal boss in Finnish history? Thus commented the Chancellor of the Exchequer


Tampere city council today appointed 77-year-old Kummola as mayor.

Who doesn’t remember Fredrik Sacklen, mayor of Tampere from the middle of the 19th century. He left his post in 1861 at the age of 71.

Saklen became Tampere’s first mayor in early 1830, when the city’s magistrate’s office and court of appeal were established. Even before this, Sacklen had handled similar functions for some years, i.e. orderly and financial affairs in Tampere with the title of orderly.

It has been more than 160 years since Saclen met its conqueror – that is, a man as old as Tampere’s supreme authority. The winner, of course, is Klarvo Kummola, who will become Tampere’s mayor on Monday at age 77.

Kummola can also be called a man of order. After all, the surname of the great hockey player, who also served as a member of parliament, is Rautakansleri.

If Kummola leaves the job of mayor after the next municipal elections in 2025, he will be 79 years old when he leaves office.

Between Saklen and Kummola, Tampere had 14 different top officials, i.e. either mayors or city managers. On average, they were about 58 years old when they left their jobs,

Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, who will hand over the mayoral mantle to Kummola on Monday, was 46 when she left office. Ikonen (Koc) was elected MP in the April parliamentary elections.

Ikonen’s predecessor, Lauri Lillie (SD), who also entered parliament, had time to retire as SAK president in 2016, before he became the holder of the highest office in Tampere. The term as mayor ended with the spring 2021 municipal elections, where the Coalition overtook the SDP to become the city’s number one party.

Lilly was 68 when she resigned as mayor. So one of the oldest in Tampere’s history.

But you don’t want to find municipal bosses bigger than Kummola anywhere.

How does it feel to start work as Kallarvo Kummola, perhaps the oldest municipal leader in Finnish history?

– I guess it doesn’t sound weird more than anything else, says Kummola.

– I think it was a very stupid question, because when he was the leader of the municipality, he had to retire at the age of 68. There is no age limit for mayors.

Truth. The position of mayor is a position of trust, while city and municipal managers act in an official capacity.

Kummola herself does not see age as a hindrance. Kummola reminds us that people much older than President Joe Biden have been elected to high positions in the United States. Biden is now 80 years old and is seeking a second term in next year’s presidential election.

Let’s fight against ageism and change the system in Finland too, admits Kummola.

In Finland, currently seven municipalities have mayors. Apart from Tampere, the larger cities Helsinki and Turku have mayors. In addition, the position of mayor is exercised in Karkola, Pirakkal, Puolanga and Tusula.

At the end of May, the mayor of Helsinki, Juhana Vartainen, turns 65. Born in 1974, Minna Arve from Turku is still a long way from retirement age.

At least according to Wikipedia, there is no one in Helsinki that compares to Kummola’s age as municipal boss. On the other hand, a challenge can be found in Turku, as the mayor of the municipality, Baltasar Schultz, has a recorded birth year of 1650 and his last year in office is recorded as 1727. Therefore, at the time of his resignation, he must have been 76 or 77 years old. ,

However, Schultz’s year of birth is uncertain, so let’s go to Kummola. After all, he will turn 78 in November.

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