Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- In Finland the term kunta (“municipality”) is used of both rural and urban local government units. The municipalities which consider themselves sufficiently urban may decide to call themselves kaupunki (“city”) but this does not change the applicable legal framework in any way. The citizens of a municipality elect every four years a kunnanvaltuusto (“municipal council”) as a legislative branch of the municipal government, which then appoints a kunnanhallitus to manage the current affairs of the municipality as the executive branch. The council also appoints a number of municipal committees called lautakunta (“board”). The committees have limited decision-making powers in their area of responsibility. The memberships in these bodies are trustee positions. The correspoding bodies in cities are kaupunginvaltuusto (“city council”) and kaupunginhallitus (“city board”).
- The members of municipal and city councils are called kunnanvaltuutettu and kaupunginvaltuutettu respectively. The council members are usually grouped to valtuustoryhmä (“parliamentary group”), which are normally formed along political party lines. If there are any councilmen who are independent of political parties, they tend to form an "independent" valtuustoryhmä. The members of other municipal bodies are called simply jäsen (“member”) of that body.
- The council appoints a mayor to run the day-to-day business of a municipality serving as its "general manager". The mayor may have the status of public official, in which case the office is called kunnanjohtaja or kaupunginjohtaja or it may be considered a trustee position, in which case it is called pormestari. One of most visible manifestations of this difference is that pormestari chairs the meetings of the city board, whereas kunnanjohtaja and kaupunginjohtaja do not.