Thu, Sep 29, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Commissioners’ resignations Ko’s burden: city councilor

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei city councilors yesterday spoke out over the resignations of Taipei Department of Education Commissioner Tang Chih-min (湯志民) and Taipei Department of Legal Affairs Commissioner Yang Fan-ling (楊芳玲), and addressed rumors that more officials could exit Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) administration.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) said that Tang’s and Yang’s resignations were the inevitable political responsibility Ko had to bear for his political decision to rehire music teacher Hsiao Hsiao-ling (蕭曉玲).

Hsiao, who formerly taught at Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Junior High School, took the Taipei City Government to court in 2007 over former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) “one guideline, one curriculum” education policy.

She was fired in early 2008 as a result of what she called political retaliation by Hau.

Despite the Supreme Administrative Court upholding the city government’s decision to dismiss Hsiao, the Control Yuan in 2013 filed corrective measures against the city and the school, paving the way for Ko to rehire Hsiao at another school last week.

While the facts regarding the Hsiao case would be difficult to ascertain, it was impossible that the school’s decision to dismiss Hsiao could have passed all the obstacles of the complex legal procedure governing dismissals of teachers, Hsu said, adding that she respects Ko’s choice to uphold procedural justice.

Regarding rumors that Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Beatrice Hsieh (謝佩霓) might be the next to be fired by Ko, Hsu said that it would be unfair to blame Hsieh alone for a lack of results from the promotion of Taipei as the World Design Capital this year.

Citing Seoul’s success with the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design-run event, Hsu said that Taipei’s turn was supposed to be a collaboration between the central government and Taipei, but the city only found out that the central government was not enthusiastic about funding the event after it won rights to host it in 2013.

Hsu said that the event has been overseen by three commissioners during Hau’s and Ko’s administrations, but that Ko has said he understood little of the event.

She said that Ko should let Hsieh know his ideas about design in the capital, rather than firing her for a lack of results, so the cultural affairs department could salvage the event by devising ways to bring in work from the local cultural and creative sectors, in line with the event’s motif.

Citing sources, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Chung-wen (陳重文) last week said that Ko expected Tang would resign.

Chen said that Hsieh and Taipei Indigenous Peoples Commission Chairman Chen Xiu-hui (陳秀惠) would be the next to go.

Calling on the city government to stem an exodus of officials, Hsu said that Tang and Yang resigned over the potential legal liability the city might have to shoulder for rehiring Hsiao, and that she could not see any other situations that are so dire that they could make other officials quit.

KMT Taipei City Councilor William Hsu (徐弘庭) said that Hsieh has apparently not achieved much since she took office, adding that most Taipei city councilors do not know her well.

However, with the World Design Capital title to end in three months, Hsieh has to show some results, otherwise she might be asked to leave, William Hsu said.

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