The return of the Kunplome family to the Pattaya Mayor’s office has rolled back the clock to 2015 at city hall.
Former cabinet minister Sonthaya Kunplome, older brother of former Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, took office Sept. 28 after being appointed to replace Anan Charoenchasri, who has shepherded Pattaya for most of the time since the terms of the city’s elected council and mayor expired in 2015.
He immediately named former Itthiphol Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh as deputy again, along with former Councilman Banlue Kullavanijaya. The other two deputy mayors named were Poramet Ngampichet, a former MP from the Palong Chon Party that Sonthaya heads, and Pattana Boonsawat, chairman of the Thailand Windsurfing Association of which Itthiphol is president.
Together they paid respect to the King Taksin the Great monument at city hall before being welcomed by civil servants, residents and business leaders.
In his opening remarks to the Pattaya City Council, Sonthaya said he was appointed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha – for whom he has been serving as a political advisor – to make Pattaya the center of the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor project.
He said another role is to improve cooperation and unity between Pattaya and the central government in Bangkok and spearhead development of the EEC.
Examples of that include solving Pattaya’s perennial flooding problems, which requires cooperation with the central government and the Department of Irrigation.
Moreover, Pattaya and surrounding sub-districts must work together on an overall water-management plan, Sonthaya said.