Amid controversies over the selection of the director of Taipei City Government’s Department of Labor, independent Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday officially introduced the first 13 officials-to-be in his city government, vowing to strive to fulfill his promise for an open and transparent administration despite the recent setbacks.
“I would like to introduce 13 people who will serve in my city government,” Ko told a press conference. “As I’ve said, my election is not about me winning the position, rather it is about reclaiming power and returning it to the public, and therefore, most of the top officials in my administration — besides the deputy mayors — have been selected by the respective committees.”
“I would like to reiterate that, during my term as mayor, all public servants, including top officials, no longer need to serve any particular political party or ideology, they don’t even need to serve the mayor, and should only serve the people of Taipei,” he added.
The city officials introduced yesterday include the future deputy mayors Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) and Lin Chin-jung (林欽榮), secretary-general Su Li-chiung (蘇麗瓊), Department of Education director Tang Chih-min (湯志民), Department of Sports director Yang Jong-her (楊忠和), Department of Rapid Transit Systems director Chou Li-liang (周禮良), Department of Urban Development director Lin Jou-min (林洲民), Department of Public Works director Peng Jhen-sheng (彭振聲), Department of Civil Affairs director Lan Shih-tsung (藍世聰), Department of Health director Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑), Department of Information and Tourism director Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏), Department of Compulsory Military Service director Fu Yong-mao (傅永茂) and Indigenous Peoples Commission chief Chen Hsiu-hui (陳秀惠).
While most of the named officials have a political background to a certain extent, future Urban Development director Lin Jou-min was a renowned New York-based architect and has no previous political experience.
“Lin Jou-min was picked because he was recommended by the selection committee, and I think his background is interesting,” Ko said when asked to explain his choice. “I’ve been to a lot of cities around the world and always think that Taipei is too, I’d say, ugly, and I think it needs some serious urban renewal.”
“Lin Jou-min has been an architect in New York and is familiar with urban development there, I think he could help a great deal in making Taipei a city that’s competitive with other world-class cities,” Ko added.
Ko said the selection process for the remaining posts is still ongoing.
Asked about his choice for third deputy mayor, Ko said he has talked to a candidate, but is still awaiting a response.
“The political environment in Taiwan isn’t very good and makes people hesitate,” he said, adding that two of the five finalists for the labor department director withdrew their candidacy on Thursday because they had had enough of the negative political environment.
Ko said that because the two candidates withdrew, he would ask Teng to persuade two other well-qualified candidates who did not make it on the original short-list to reenter the race for the positions.
Despite originally having said that she would not be filling a vacancy after being eliminated from the final lshort-list of candidates, long-time labor activist Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that she was on the list after a discussion with the Taipei City Confederation of Trade Unions.
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