New Taipei City Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Hung Chia-wen (洪嘉文) is to be appointed the new Department of Sports Affairs commissioner, the Taipei City Government announced yesterday.
“I’m crazy, but I’m not jumping into a pit of fire,” Huang said in response to media inquiries.
The position has been viewed as a “hot potato” since former Taipei City Department of Sports commissioner Yang Jong-her (楊忠和) resigned after only one month in office following controversy that erupted over plans left behind by the previous municipal administration for the 2017 Summer Universiade.
The Universiade is a bi-annual international sports competition for college students organized by the International University Sports Federation, which describes it as being second only to the Olympics.
Hung is an associate professor and PHD graduate of National Taiwan Normal University’s physical education department.
He said that while he has not talked with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) about the details of the Universiade, including controversies over the event’s athletic village and the Taipei Dome — which is set to host the event’s opening and closing ceremonies — he would seek to keep guarantees the event stays on par with international standards while minimizing costs to city taxpayers.
In response to questions, Ko yesterday said Hung’s appointment demonstrates the value of an open selection process in which anyone can apply for a government position before applications are sifted by a selection committee and presented to the mayor’s office for consideration.
He added that he would consider using a similar process for selecting his Universiade chief executive officer, along with the third deputy mayor who is to assist in arranging the event.
In related news, Ko met with Sports Administration Director-General Ho Jow-fei (何卓飛) last night for the first time since he took office on Dec. 25 last year to talk about how the city government and the administration could set up a channel of communication for the organization of the Universaide.
However, Ko seemed displeased when he saw the conference room filled with reporters.
Ho said after a closed-door meeting that both agreed they would communicate directly using a hotline to coordinate over practical matters about the sports event, so some of the urgent issues could be solved quickly.
Ho said they did not talk about the construction of the Taipei Dome, one of the major venues to be used at the Universiade.
Additional reporting by Shelley Shan
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