Mayor outlines priorities for second term

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Mayor-elect Itthiphol Kunplome laid out 14 policies he plans to tackle over the next four years, covering everything from public utilities and education to communications, parks and landscaping.

Itthiphol, who will take office once the Election Commission of Thailand certifies the June 17 poll later this month, said things will be done “differently” in his second term, although most of the priorities on his list were started and left unfinished after his first four-year stint as mayor.

The No. 1 issue on many people’s lists - flooding - ranks almost as high on Mayor Itthiphol’s. He repeated a familiar refrain from the past four years, saying the city needs more pumps and needs to clear blocked drainage canals. The No. 1 issue on many people’s lists – flooding – ranks almost as high on Mayor Itthiphol’s. He repeated a familiar refrain from the past four years, saying the city needs more pumps and needs to clear blocked drainage canals.

Topping the mayor-elects list is the elimination of all dirt roads in Pattaya. The city earlier identified 160 streets to pave and about 80 percent were completed. The mayor pledged city road workers wouldn’t simply slap asphalt over the payment, but also dig new drainage pipes below the thoroughfares. Work would not be complete until sometime next year.

The mayor-elect’s second priority is the city’s waste treatment problems. The Public Health and Environment Department’s landfill in Khao Maikaew needs expansion, as well as additional equipment to better filter out recyclables and garbage that could be used in a waste-to-energy or biogas plant. Studies on both types of power-generation plants have been underway for more than a year.

On education, Itthiphol said he hopes to improve foreign-language studies, with schools teaching not only English, but Russian and Chinese as well. Buildings at many schools also need to be enlarged, most likely by adding additional floors to existing structures.

His plan also calls for standardizing curriculums between schools with rural schools focusing on agriculture and farming; those near temples offering a religious concentration, and urban schools increasing computer and technology studies.

Also, in order to improve the social environment and safety in schools, each institution will form clubs promoting sports and music, and parent associations to keep families more involved in the education process, he said.

The mayor-elect also wants to get the Pattaya Tourism Technological Institute and city Youth Center, already approved by the city council, up and running to increase educational opportunities for older children.

Water distribution and treatment remains a high priority for the incoming mayor, with his fourth policy calling for completion of the proposed second water-treatment plant in Jomtien Beach and new pipelines to the Mapwaisom and Huay Khainao reservoirs.

The No. 1 issue on many people’s lists – flooding – ranks almost as high on Itthiphol’s. He repeated a familiar refrain from the past four years, saying the city needs more pumps and needs to clear blocked drainage canals. He also wants to dig a 12. 7 million baht emergency pipeline to be opened only during heavy rainfall to move water from East Pattaya to South Pattaya.

Related to this is the expansion of the Kaemling reservoir, which can store storm runoff to be re-used later. The mayor-elect complained that private businesses have hampered Kaemling’s pipeline system by digging their own canals to divert water to private farmland and businesses. He pledged to work with government agencies to make the system more efficient.