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Minutes of Tainan City Government’s 275th Municipal Administrative Meeting 12/14/2016

 Mayor’s remarks:

1. An open government and digital governance: Innovative smart app Open 1999 garners approval
a. Open government is a path that every democratic society must travel, which is why we have made it one of our administration’s Main Four Traits. Step-by-step, we’ll promote the three pillars of “open data, open services, and open decision-making” so that the democratic value of the entire population participating in government can be realized.
 
b. We’re setting a precedent for the nation by promoting the Open Tainan 1999 Project, which is transforming hotlines for city residents so that they’re compatible with the open services of Open 1999. The home page for Open Tainan 1999’s website was officially launched last year (2015), and its cell phone app was made available to the public at that time as well. The app offers a variety of information, advisory, and alarm services and channels. Furthermore, it takes all the data from dispatch cases and makes it available to the public so that people will be able to know what’s going on instantaneously. It also allows for the government administration to be directly monitored. 
 
A standardized API (application programming interface) began to be provided at that time too, and it gives the general public a template to create apps that can further perfect the notifying process. In addition to earning praise from the online community Open Data/Taiwan, the API also proved useful during the dengue fever outbreak last year, as it was able to help with disease prevention and make visuals out of information and data provided by the joint effort of the public and private sectors. The API has been an effective tool for digital governance, and it garnered the approval of the Smart City Summit & Expo 2017 by taking home an Innovative Application Award. I would like to express my gratitude to Chairperson Chao Ching-Hui and officials at Tainan City Government’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission for their hard work on innovative smart government services.             
c. It’s just like what Executive Yuan Digital Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang said, open data is just the foundation. The goal we need to be working towards in the future is Open API. Open data means more than just being able to read data, but also being able to change data. So, even if it’s a thick stack of documents about budgets, the public can use data visualization techniques so that the budget proposal looks quite appealing, and then a follow-up system can be established. Tainan City has already taken the first step towards open government and digital governance, which will allow it to keep up with the relentless digital era. I expect that all of our senior officials can invest themselves in digital governance-centric ways of thinking, and I encourage my government colleagues, while standing on the current foundation, to continue working hard as we forge ahead on the path to Open API.    
2. Information concerning the beginning of construction work on Tainan Convention & Exhibition Center 
a. Last Friday, I, on behalf of all this city’s citizens, and Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Deputy Minister Jong-Chin Shen signed the agency agreement for the Tainan Convention & Exhibition Center. As a result, preparation work will now begin to take place, and it’s estimated that construction work will start next year in June. By the end of 2020, Tainan City will have its own convention and exhibition center that meets the space needs of a special municipality.  
 
b. The Tainan Convention & Exhibition Center is labeled as a green and smart expo center, and it’ll be located within the same area of the Academia Sinica Biotechnology Center in Southern Taiwan and the Executive Yuan-promoted Shalun Green Energy Tech Park, which will serve as both an R&D center for green technology and a demonstration area. The expo center will be used mostly for exhibitions and conferences about the green industry, and one of its major goals is strengthening and integrating the local area’s characteristics that involve green energy, technology, and agriculture. The expo center will also serve as Tainan Arena,  able to accommodate up to 5,000 people. the center can be used to host sporting activities and events, art and culture exhibitions and performances, large gatherings and parties, and both small and medium-sized events. Once it’s finished, not only will it be the new defining image for the designated area of the city’s high-speed rail station, but it’ll also serve as a new landmark for Tainan.       
c. I would like to give a special thank you to Premier of the Republic of China Lin Chuan and the central government for giving us their full support, as they’re helping turn every step of the plan for THSR Tainan Station’s designated area into reality. This plan will stimulate local development in Tainan in the near future. So, I ask that Tainan City Government’s Bureau of Economic Development along with the city’s other bureaus, departments, offices, and commissions work as hard as they can so that this enormous construction effort, which city residents have been looking forward to for quite some time, will be finished on time.    
Reports
1. Report by the Department of Information and International Relations: “Tasks for 2017 Tainan Countdown Party” (please see written report for more information)
Resolution: Approved for reference filing
Mayor’s remarks:
a. In a little more than 10 days we’re going to wave goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017. 2017 Tainan Countdown Party is a big event with three main activities. In the past five years we’ve incorporated the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area and Siraya National Scenic Area, making Tainan’s New Year’s celebration, which is like nothing else in Taiwan, a trademark event for the city. Simply put, the event has earned quite the reputation, as it has received the recognition of being one of Tainan’s annual feature events. In order to improve viewing quality, this year the Erliao sunrise event will still provide a limited amount of tickets that are first come first serve, and this situation shows just how popular this activity is.          
b. Tainan City is the only city in the nation that doesn’t set off fireworks during its New Year’s Eve celebration. Every year attendance figures are higher than the previous year, and last year set another new record by bringing in over 200,000 people. In addition to wanting to make an annual event that’s fun and relaxing for young people, we also host this 2017 Tainan Countdown Party because we hope that it’ll give our city residents an opportunity to gather with their families and enjoy a warm and caring moment together where all can look forward to next year bringing better opportunities.
c. This year, Formosa Television once again won the bid to host the 2017 Tainan Countdown Party. We’re confident that Formosa TV will continue to be able to raise the bar to the next level, making every year even more innovative and better than the last. We also expect that the company will bring to this year’s party even more defining features that simply can’t be experienced in other cities’ New Year’s Eve events. Concerning this year’s planning report as it currently stands, on top of boasting a strong lineup of hosts and a cast of celebrities, celebrated professional baseball player Chen Chin-Feng, “Taiwan’s Big Cannon” and the glory of Tainan City, has been invited to be on stage so that he can do the New Year’s countdown with the crowd and then take a big swing, launching us into the new year. Many people are very excited for this part of the event. I ask that the Department of Information and International Relations and other bureaus, departments, offices, and commissions that are involved do their best carrying out preparation work and provide help for the event’s other tasks as well. I also want us to give special emphasis to security-related tasks to ensure that this year’s carnival-like event run successfully.       
d. I would like to take this opportunity to invite everybody in Taiwan to come to Tainan and take part in our three-part New Year’s Eve celebration, where we’ll be welcoming in the new and saying goodbye to the old. On that night, together we’ll wave farewell to the setting sun, have a good time while crossing over into the next year, and then welcome in the rising sun. 
 
2. Report by Tainan City’s Cultural Affairs Bureau: “Improving the Reading Environments of Public Libraries” (please see written report for more information)  
Resolution: Approved for reference filing
Mayor’s remarks: 
a. In order to turn the city’s vision of making the Greater Tainan Area to mature an erudite city, ever since the merger of Tainan City and Tainan County, the city government has made promoting the idea that culture is cultivated when the city’s citizens read as one of its major tasks. The city’s Bureau of Education is responsible for education in primary and secondary schools, whereas the Cultural Affairs Bureau is in charge of community education. In the last few years, the Cultural Affairs Bureau has invested more than NT$ 3 billion in construction work on libraries, and NT$ 2.3 billion of that amount has gone towards constructing facilities, including building Tucheng Library, Yuwen Library, and Yancheng Library. Furthermore, work on the city’s new municipal library construction project has begun, and the new library will have its own Educational Activities Hall. The bureau is also striving towards improving the reading environments of the city’s current libraries. I would like to express a special thank you to Cultural Affairs Bureau’s Director-general Yeh Tse-shan as well as the library teams at our city’s libraries for their hard work. I also want to recognize the district offices, as they’ve been proactive about working with us at the city government. These people I just mentioned have helped our city’s residents become more passionate about reading as well as more familiar with different types of knowledge.        
b. Although operations performance figures for our city’s public libraries have risen year-after-year and the reading levels of our city’s residents have experienced significant improvement as well, some of our libraries are limited due to having either outdated equipment or lacking necessary facilities. As a result, some libraries are unable to meet all the needs of readers, so these libraries need to be improved as soon as possible. If we rely on the central government to provide us with financial help, it’s quite plain to see that we still won’t be able to meet these pressing needs. For this reason, we’ve continued to improve the quality of school libraries and public libraries. In 2015 and 2016, we allocated a NT$ 120 million budget for our improvement project that seeks to raise the quality of our districts’ libraries. As of right now, the libraries of five districts have undergone renovation and then been reopened: Rende, Yujing, Sinhua, Beimen, and Anping. Next year, one after another, more newly renovated district libraries will be reopened. Overall, these libraries will offer safer and improved reading spaces for city residents. Fortunately, since these renovated libraries were reopened, the public’s reaction has been quite enthusiastic, and they’ve both approved of and praised our work as well.       
c. In addition to construction efforts, we’ve also focused on the reading atmosphere of our entire city. Therefore, the city government has invested a considerable amount of resources in order to develop innovative methods. One of these methods focuses on raising book purchasing funds year-after-year, which have seen a substantial increase from NT$ 6.66 per citizen when Tainan City and Tainan County hadn’t merged yet to the current figure of NT$ 28.44. In September 2011, the cable television program Must-Read Books: The TV Reading Club began being broadcasted on cable television’s Channel 3 (a public TV channel). In 2013, the TV program earned an NCC (National Communications Commission) certificate for being a TV program suitable for children aged 10-12, and it was also one of the Best Educational or Cultural Program nominees for the Ministry of Culture-organized 2014 Golden Visual Awards. In 2013, the city began giving reading gift bags to every newborn; this effort has resulted in children 3 and younger borrowing more books from the library as well as created a solid reading foundation for young children. A book check-out system that connects all the city’s libraries has also been established, and this has increased the scope of library services to now include businesses and communities. As a result of this hard work, last year (2015) over 7.61 million books were borrowed, which is over 2 million more than 2012 figures. On average, a Tainan City resident borrows 4.04 books a year; this is much higher than the national average of 2.95. Overall, Tainan’s second place ranking amongst the country’s cities and counties for borrowed books per citizen truly is a remarkable feat.   
d. The improvement of district libraries’ reading environments is just the first step towards luring the public into libraries. The next step is figuring out how to enhance operations and management, effectively integrating resources, and providing more complete and innovative services. These improvements are crucial to public libraries’ sustainable operations. The upgrade projects of different district libraries continue to be wrapped up one after another, and following them closely is the opening of the new Tainan Municipal Library. Therefore, I ask that our city’s Cultural Affairs Bureau, public libraries, Bureau of Education, Bureau of Social Affairs, and other bureaus, departments, offices, and commissions showcase the spirit of teamwork, prepare for tasks in advance, and continue to promote diverse reading sources for niche readers. We must ensure that every Tainan City resident come to the new Tainan Municipal Library. Deputy Mayor Wu just mentioned that construction work on some district libraries is still ongoing, and so I beseech everyone to make sure that the libraries are finished on time and meet previously established standards. Furthermore, National Central Library Southern Branch has already been approved to be built on Wengao Land Section 11 in Sinying District, and so I request that the Cultural Affairs Bureau continues to perform high quality follow-up work.