Itthiphol Kunplome looked back on his eight years as mayor with a speech lauding his administration’s accomplishments before being replaced by an Interior Ministry appointee last week.
In a June 10 speech to public officials and private-sector groups, the former mayor said he tried to focus on improving the economy, society, environment and tradition of Pattaya during his latest term, which expired June 16.
Itthiphol and the entire 24-member Pattaya City Council was dismissed by the military regime following expiration of their political terms. Former Deputy Permanent Secretary Chanatpong Sriwiset was named to replace him and a 12-person board will be named to replace the council.
The appointments were made as no election, local or national, is allowed under junta rule.
Itthiphol said his economic goal was to make Pattaya a “city of opportunity” that attracts both foreign tourists and investors. He said it is known for having strong transportation connections, but not the “skytrain” rail system he long had wanted.
On the social front, he said Pattaya has become a “benefit to society” with 37 local volunteer groups coordinating with police and authorities to support issues on a 24-hour basis year-round.
He said the 1337 Call Center line has proved a great success as a conduit for reporting crime, complaints and obtaining information. Pattaya also has a great health system with dedicated measures to support local and foreign visitors, he said.
The ex-mayor also asserted that Pattaya has become a true “green tourism destination” with natural attractions such as the beach, mangrove forests and clean public areas.
Tradition also is strong in Pattaya, Itthiphol said, with old historical places having become tourist attractions where visitors can learn about the culture of Pattaya.
Itthiphol maintained Pattaya was managed in accordance with HM the King’s “sufficiency economy” principles.
Other than being a major tourist destination, the city is well-known for being a beach, conventions, sporting and “smart” city.
“Pattaya will eventually become ‘Pattaya New Horizon’, a stable place, a place for us and a place for everybody, with a bright future for all,” he said.