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Chou sets priorities for Taipei County

Chou sets priorities for Taipei County

Taipei County Magistrate-elect Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) of the opposition Kuomintang yesterday laid out his three top administrative priorities for the area a day after winning the office by a surprisingly large margin.

Streamlining the county's finances, boosting business and industrial development, and taking care of the disadvantaged will be his key points of emphasis after he assumes office on December 20, Chou said.

The legislator, who ended the Democratic Progressive Party's 16-year rule in Taiwan's most populous county by garnering 998,739 votes - more than 200,000, or 9 percent, more than DPP rival Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) - pledged that a "transparent" and written account of Taipei County government finances would be made public one month after he takes office.

Addressing the imbalance in development among the 29 townships and rural townships around Taipei County, Chou said he will see to it that various task forces and teams made up of experts and professionals are organized within three months to help him address the various issues that Taiwan's largest county is facing.

Chou said that he will also try to persuade Taipei City-based industrial conglomerates to relocate their operations to Taipei County to take advantage of the county's huge untapped hinterlands.

In a victory speech at his campaign headquarters yesterday, Chou thanked the residents of the county and pledged to cooperate with friends from all political parties in the most humble manner and fulfill his campaign promises.

He also said he will not move into the existing office of the magistrate in the county government's high-rise building and instead will establish "mobile" offices to make his county government's services more accessible to his constituents.

Noting that there are more than 3,000 artists around Taipei County, Chou said he will let the magistrate's office be refurbished into an activity center for the artists to help boost their creativity.

One of Chou's major campaign promises was to push for the county to combine with Taipei City into one administrative area, so that residents of the county can enjoy the same resources as Taipei residents, instead of being treated as second-class citizens.