By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik
Newly elected Mayor Lee Eun-Woo of the Gyeryong City of the Chungcheongnam-do Province said, “I think the will of the great citizens of Gyeryong who called me to this place is because of their desire to change Gyeryong, and I will fasten my collar and tie my shoelaces tightly in order to honor this solemn command from the citizens.”
The Gyeryong City was created in 2003 by a split from Nonsan city, following prolonged local discussions.
Approximately one half (47%) of the city's inhabitants are either serving in the South Korean armed forces, or are family of service members.
According to a Wikipedia account, the city hosts several major Korean and international military conferences. It was around 1993 that this area, which was a typical rural area, turned into the best military location in Korea.
A large-scale military facility was opened with the relocation of Gyeryongdae from 1989 to 1993, and military families from all over the country were introduced.
In 1989, the Army and Air Force headquarters first moved to Gyeryongdae. Four years later, the navy headquarters was completed in 1993.
The Gyeryong Mountain, adjacent to the city, is considered the mountain with Gi, spiritual energy, in Korea. It is also the heart of Gyeryong-san National Park. As of December 2020, the total population of the city was 42,822.
The Gyeryong City is one of the newest cities except for new cities near Seoul. The establishment as a city was made in 2003, when it broke from Nonsan.
According to data, Gyeryong city and surrounding area were called "Yeonsan-Gun" in 1896. After Japanese colonization, it was incorporated to Nonsan. Later Gyeryong was chosen as the site for military.
In 1989, Military and Army headquarters, Gyeryongdae, moved to Gyeryong City. In 1991, it was designated as special area by the President. The National Assembly voted and decided via a special legislative bill that Gyeryong city be established on June 30, 2003. Six months later, the city officially came out.
The area currently called Gyeryong city was known to be Sindoan among the older residents. Gyeryong is also known to be a satellite city of Daejeon City due to its geographical closeness.
Here are excerpts from the inaugural speech of newly elected Mayor Lee Eung-Woo:
Respected and beloved Gyeryong citizens! This is newly elected mayor of the Gyeryong City, Lee Eung-Woo.
I am here today after receiving your precious choice and calling. I humbly bow my head in gratitude to the citizens who gave me the opportunity to serve the city of Gyeryong as the national defense capital.
I think the will of the great citizens who have called me to this place is because of the desire to change Gyeryong. I will fasten my collar and tie my shoelaces tightly in order to honor this solemn command from you citizens.
I am about to boldly start a journey to open up a hopeful future by raising the status of my hometown, Gyeryong, to the ranks of luxury cities. Women's administration is my belief and dream that has been consistent for a long time.
We will achieve the people's administration by looking only at the citizens and leaping with a passionate heart and feet.
I do not think that the difference between conservatives and progressives, and the party affiliation is not important in Gyeryong Municipal Administration for citizens.
Now is the time for all of us to unite our will and strength towards the same goal of the development and prosperity of Gyeryong. I will take the lead by communicating with a low attitude.
Although our city, Gyeryong, is a small city with a small population, I have met many citizens and made blueprints, seeing hope and possibility that our Gyeryong can be reborn as a city that anyone wants to live in.
A new era of Gyeryong, full of happiness, will become a reality! We will make Gyeryong with you. I, Lee3 Ung-woo, will dedicate my life to so that the citizens will not have any regrets about their choices and will develop Gyeryong anew.
A ‘Smart Eco-friendly Welfare City,’ our city of Gyeryong, is a very special city. It is a clean area with a clear and clean environment that Gyeryong-san, the spiritual mountain of the nation, embraces.
Using this beautiful landscape as a resource, we will develop a healthy long-living people’s city with recuperation and rest, create a health-healing center, and create a natural recreation forest to make it a livable ecological and rural welfare city.
Gyeryongdae, the headquarters of the 3rd Army, Navy, and Air Forces, which performs a central defense function, is located in Gyeryong, the blessed land of Feng Shui geological features.
We will create a barracks experience center and a military park, and use the infrastructure and successful hosting of the Gyeryong World Military Culture Expo in 2022 to make it the best military culture landmark.
In close cooperation with citizens and Gyeryong University, we will complete a true national defense capital where the private, public, and military coexist together.
Also, our Gyeryong is a charming and historic city with a long history and culture. In line with the trends of the times, we will develop a city of culture and tourism with quality through story-telling of the historical and cultural heritages of Sindoan, and develop into a cultural welfare city that utilizes ecological resources such as the Hyangjeok-san Mountain and Dugye-cheon River.
At the same time, we will do our best to foster a luxury educational city by building a systematic education platform so that all citizens can receive universal education benefits.
In addition, we will make Gyeryong a wealthy city by revitalizing the local economy by nurturing an affluent urban-rural complex city by building a knowledge industry center to attract military material producers, developing Gyeryong special products, and enhancing the brand value of agricultural products.
In addition, we will create a nurturing-friendly city and establish a multicultural family support system. We will expand sports facilities exclusively for the disabled and significantly expand support.
Dear Gyeryong City Officials! Civil servants are called public servants. Please think of it as an errand for the welfare and happiness of citizens.
It is, of course, important to handle administrative tasks on a daily basis, but it is also necessary to have an active public service mindset, which sometimes directly visits the field of citizens' lives.
In most cases of sharp conflicts of interest, the answer lies in the field. Gone are the days when governments dominated and monopolized knowledge and information.
In this age of information overload, we must not forget the idea that public officials are goldfish in a fishbowl. There is nothing to hide and nowhere to hide.
I ask that you maintain the attitude of an honest, fair, transparent, and high-class public official. I believe in the capabilities and potential of our Gyeryong city officials.
Please pour out your public enthusiasm and energy for our citizens. As long as there is no illegality or corruption, I will serve as a folding screen for problems arising from active administration for citizens.
I have no personal relationships with any of our city officials. The doors of opportunities such as rewards and promotions are equally open to all of you.
I, as the mayor, will take the lead in eliminating conflicts through reasonable personnel management based on fairness and common sense and creating a public office environment in which communication, empathy and harmony are united.
Respected and beloved citizens!
I have been listening to the various voices of Gyeryong.
I am well aware of the expectations and concerns of many. What you do well will increase your performance even more.
On the other hand, we will lead the customized administration that will break through the blockages, open the bent areas, and heal the sore spots. As the 6th-term mayor of the Gyeryong City, whose tenure begins today, the vocation of the times given to me is to find and nurture the growth engine of Gyeryong to create a straight Gyeryong that can promise the future of Gyeryong, the land of hope.
With conviction and perseverance, I will become a mayor who runs on my feet, looking only at the citizens, and will do my best for the development and prosperity of Gyeryong, a luxury city, while keeping pace with the Yoon Seok-yeol government who embodies the spirit of the times of fairness and common sense.
Citizens! Please give me strength and courage to do well. A new era of Gyeryong, ‘Yes! We will open ‘Gyeryong’ together with the great citizens. I wish all of you happiness and prosperity. thank you!