Halfway through term, Mayor touts track record

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Halfway through his first term, Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome touted fourteen achievements that, he says, have made Pattaya a more-livable city.

About 500 bureaucrats and community leaders gathered Oct. 21 for the mayor’s “state of Pattaya” address. He said in the past two years he has undertaken “five plans, seven creative initiatives, 13 strategies and 14 priority projects.” Many of those are complete, some underway and some still in the planning stage.

Topping that list of priorities was infrastructure, which the mayor claims has seen improvements thanks to the city’s efforts to involve the public. Specific infrastructure projects, such as improving the water supply to Koh Larn (No. 3) and improvements to Sukhumvit Road and connecting sois (No. 5) and paving of dirt roads (No. 10), also made the list.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome hosts a media presentation outlining his administration’s achievements.

Two other infrastructure items the mayor claimed as achievements are more debatable and controversial. Fourth on his list was his pet project to build a downtown monorail, which has drawn considerable condemnation. His claim about better flood prevention and proper water-drainage systems being built would also be roundly disputed by those affected by this month’s heavy rains and flooding.

Itthiphol said other priorities that have made Pattaya a better place are an increase in safety and security (No. 2 on his list) and extension of the 15 years of free education and lunch programs for school kids.

The mayor also celebrated that the city has been spared mass unemployment despite this year’s record slump in tourism.

Other projects put in place during his tenure addressed the needs of the city’s elderly and poor, he said. The ninth achievement on his list was a city program to provide home visits by doctors, adding a virtual 20,000 beds to the city’s health-care system. And the Security Policy Project finally gives poor people a chance to own their own, clean home, he said.

Other projects completed or underway include a new sports facility for the city and continual fairs and markets along the beachfront to provide tourist-revenue and entertainment to Pattaya’s residents, he said.

Finally, he boasted about his administration’s record of keeping the beaches clean and making the oceans cleaner, despite the woeful look of Pattaya’s beaches over the past month.