Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday announced the appointment of New Party member and sociology professor Timothy Ting (丁庭宇) as third Taipei deputy mayor and said he expected Ting to help with policymaking in educational, cultural and social welfare fields.
The appointment of Ting, 57, comes after Hau’s previous choice, former Taipei City secretary-general Yang Hsi-an (楊錫安), declined to take up the post because of the controversy surrounding his possible link to the Xinsheng Overpass scandal.
Yang is alleged to have abused his powers during the April 2008 bidding process for reconstruction of a portion of the Xinsheng Overpass. It was later determined that the city paid far more than it should have for the project.
Taipei prosecutors filed charges against Yang last year and he was removed from his secretary-general post.
Yang’s decision to decline the appointment on Aug 1 came as a surprise because Hau had repeatedly defended the appointment and his belief in Yang’s innocence.
Introducing Ting to the press at his office, Hau described him as an old friend who had been one of his personal advisers when he was first elected as a legislator and who had participated in the planning of municipal policies. These included the Tamsui River cleanup project and direct flights between Songshan Airport in Taipei and Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport.
“More importantly, Mr Ting is expert on polling and he can help our team have a better understanding of public opinions, so that municipal policies will meet the expectations of Taipei residents,” Hau said.
Ting has also worked as a political commentator and once served as an adviser to Gallup Market Research Corp in Taiwan.
Ting said Hau had offered him the job on Monday and he was confident he could immediately start helping the mayor with municipal affairs.
“I was surprised and flattered by Mayor Hau’s invitation ... This position is more challenging than my previous jobs as a professor and an advisor to Gallup, and I am confident that I do the job well,” he said.
Ting will formally assume office as third Taipei deputy mayor on Tuesday.