Newspaper article China Post

Mayor Hau Takes Full Responsibility for Rift

Newspaper article China Post

Mayor Hau Takes Full Responsibility for Rift

Article excerpt

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The China Post news staff --Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin said yesterday he personally shoulders full responsibility for giving the order to demolish two buildings on the site of an urban renewal project in Taipei over the opposition of the owners.

Meanwhile, Premier Sean Chen ([...]#20914;) promised speedy action to review and overhaul controversial rules in the Urban Renewal Act in light of clashes between protesters and police over the forceful dismantling of two old residential buildings Wednesday.

Mayor Hau told reporters that he personally accepts all responsibility for ordering the demolition of the two buildings on the site of the renewal project.

Hau said that he made the decision only after consulting with officials at both the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) and the Executive Yuan (Cabinet) concerning the urban renewal rules and his plan to take all necessary actions that comply with the interests of the majority of households in urban renewal projects.

He conceded that the decision to evict one single dissent household for the common good of all others was a difficult and painful one.

The objections of the owners were the only reason for the two-year delay in the project, he said.

The mayor explained that a majority of 36 households had already moved out and were waiting for the project to proceed for the sake of their common prosperity, but the Wang family refused to take the same action.

Cooling Down

This was a typical case in which the whole project had been shelved for a long time because of one family's difference of opinion versus the majority of households.

Hau said the staff at the Taipei municipal government handling urban renewal projects should not be blamed because they were simply doing their jobs and enforcing the nation's laws and orders issued by the city government.

The mayor said that all sides involved should cool down and review why the well-intentioned urban renewal project, which was aimed at improving the overall well-being of all residents, had now made not just the city government but also the Wang family and its 36 neighbors losers in the controversy. …

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