Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday defended the appointment of the former commissioner of Taipei City’s Department of Public Works, Shannon Lee (李咸亨), as chairman of a city-run urban renewal promotion center, dismissing concerns about Lee’s capabilities in crisis handling in the wake of previous typhoons.
Lee stepped down in June over an operational oversight at the Wanfang pumping station amid torrential rains. He had refused to discuss his resignation with the press, sparking speculation that the resignation was forced by Hau to take the blame for the city government’s poor handling of disasters caused by typhoons.
The mayor yesterday said Lee tendered the resignation in June to take responsibility for the operational oversight, but the city government continued to recognize his capabilities and expertise in related fields.
“Mr Lee was a board member in the center, and was elected by the board. The appointment was not made as a political favor,” Hau said at the Taipei City Hall.
The Taipei City Urban Renewal Promotion Center will be formally established next month to serve as a negotiation platform for the growing number of urban renewal projects in the city.
The city government also hopes that the center would increase the public’s confidence on urban renewal and boost their willingness to take part in urban renewal projects, as the Hau team seeks to improve the city’s landscape via urban renewal.
In related news, Hau announced two personnel reshuffles in his team, with the appointment of Liu Chia-chun (劉家均), director of Taipei City’s Office of Commerce, to be the commissioner of Taipei Hakka Affairs Commission, and former producer of the Taipei Flora Expo’s Pavilion of Dreams Yuan Nai-juan (袁乃娟) to be head of the city’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission.
Liu Chia-chun will replace Liu Chi-hsiung (劉智雄) following his retirement next month. Commissioner of Taipei City’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission Wei Kuo-yen (魏國彥), on the other hand, will return to his teaching position at National Taiwan University.