Member Story of Ritva Viljanen
What convinced you to join the race for Mayor of Vantaa?
“What appealed to me is that Vantaa is a growing and forward-looking city, in addition to which I have lived in Vantaa for 35 years. It is truly a wonderful opportunity to be able to serve as the Mayor in your own home city. I hope Vantaa will greatly benefit both from my solid leadership experience in public administration as well as from my extensive network.
Did you ever have any second thoughts?
Some journeys are worth the experience even when you don’t know if you will ever make it to the finishing line. This was one of those journeys for me.
What was the application process like?
Municipal application procedures are always fairly arduous. The applicants are interviewed by the council groups and there are eight groups in total – Moreover, several groups interviewed the applicants twice. In addition to this, the wider committee that prepared the nomination for the council interviewed all applicants and naturally psychological tests were administered. But of course, what characterizes the application process for such a position in a big city, is the publicity that is involved. That includes public interviews that you must embrace as an opportunity to share your views with the wider audience and make yourself known.
Can you share with us your vision for Vantaa?
My goal is that the youthful city of Vantaa has the best available services for families. The development we see in employment in Vantaa is exceptionally promising and my hope is that Vantaa will also be known as the metropolis for entrepreneurship. This goal is well supported by the Aviapolis region, which holds the best international travel links in the whole country. The companies within the region are also promising to create 5000 new jobs in the next few years. It is important that Vantaa continues to be a fine combination of cityscape and greenery. Beyond this, I find it of absolute importance that segregation does not take hold in Vantaa, and of course, we must make sure that the important work that has been done to improve the economic situation must continue.”
Ritva, how does it feel to be the Mayor of Vantaa? I am truly glad to be in this position, if only it feels a tad surreal. It is wonderful how many people have rejoiced with me and Vantaa has shown its soul through the many invites I have already received on various occasions. The future is bright.