Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ko mulling more public meetings

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

The public might be allowed to sit in on additional municipal government meetings in plans now under consideration, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said on Saturday.

“We are considering whether to allow residents to observe — not participate — or to publicize meeting content through live streaming,” Ko said before mentioning the Urban Planning Commission, Department of Environmental Protection and Cultural Heritage Review Committee as meetings under consideration.

He added that municipal government meeting rooms would be moved to Taipei City Hall’s second floor for the convenience of Taipei residents, as part of an overall rearrangement of government office space.

Urban Planning Commission meetings are open to the public, while meetings of the Environmental Review Commission are partially open and Cultural Heritage Review Committee meetings are closed.

His remarks follow a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily quoting Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) as saying that Taipei plans to spend NT$100 million (US$3.22 million) on remodeling the first three floors of Taipei City Hall by March next year.

Taipei City Hall Management Office Director Tu Ying-hui (杜英輝) said that all but three of Taipei City Hall’s 23 meeting rooms would be moved to the second floor, with two rooms being equipped with galleries for residents.

The floor is to also feature a “TV wall” that would provide a live relay of meetings the government chooses to make public, he added.

Concentrating meeting rooms comes as part of broader plans to reshuffle office space after the first overall review in 20 years.

Floor space per municipal employee is to be shrunk by an average of 20 percent to enable all outlying divisions of Taipei’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Education to be brought into city hall, he said.

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