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The first meeting of the Borough Coun" oil since the election was held on Monday. If there is any truth in the line that “ Coming events cast their shadows before,” and we are justified in accepting Monday night’s meeting as only a shadow of those that are to follow, then the future meetings of the Borough Council are likely to be animated, though the word does not express all our fears. Mr. St. Hill was more business-like and less talkative than ishis wont, while Mr. Roberts had, as usual, supplied himself with a certain number of “ things to see to,” saw to them, and was satisfied. Mr. Roberts has a happy knack of letting his ideas be known through the direct medium of half-a-dozen words. He is a workman who uses no superabundance of tools, but his oratorical work, if not ornate, is very solid. Like the typical John Bull, he goes about his work the shortest way, and does it, and, like the bulldog, he holds on to anything ho undertakes till he is done with it —not till it is done with him. We were well pleased with the work of the two re-elected members ; but we were sorry to see that Mr. Ivess’ recess had not improved him, and that he had not benefited by his travels since last we heard his monotone in the Council Chamber. We hadhopedthathis unhappy experience in the Council before would have had a sobering • influence upon him, and that he would have been careful to to avoid unnecessary and useless clashes with his brother Councillors. But we were disappointed. It must be still quite fresh in his recollection that he resigned his Councillorship on a previous occasion in a childish pet; that before his pet had reached boiling point he had succeeded in rendering himself odious to every member of the Council, and his very name standing opposite a motion was sufficient to prevent a seconder offering. Eor this state of things he had only to thank his own natural “cussedness” of temper and temperament and his inability to see that there were more Councillors in the Ashburton Corporation than. Councillor Joseph Ivess. So intense had the feeling against him then become that his name to a project as its promoter was like the tinpot tied to a dog’s tail—its ruin. He must remember all this without effort and know how true are the words we now write. He must remember, too, that in consequence of the feeling he needlessly raised against himself while posing as an unnecessarily ultra-radical reformer, and revelling in the Ishmaelitish position he cut out for himself, with his hand raised against every man, and every man’s hand against his, that the talents he undoubtedly possessed and offered pompously to his fellowtownsmen were nullified, and placed out of his townmen’s reach for benefit. We could go back over the past and call up many instances of how great a failure Mr. Ivess was, how great a waste he made of his talents, but we know that he is as]well aware of these as we are, and that the task is needless. It was therefore with sorrow that we saw him open a programme of exactly the same character as that which in the past made his name stink in the nostrils of his brother Councillors, and robbed the township of such help as otherwise he might have been- able to give. The entrance of a deputation to the Council Chambers was the signal for him to hoist the rover’s flag, and go full tilt at the Mayor and Council. The opportunity for display was too tempting fox* his weakness, and the result was that he created at once an antipathy to himself, and that was his adieu to peace. Even his friend, Mr. St. Hill, was the first to condemn him. Time after time in the proceedings that followed he came to words with the Mayor, whom he appeared to single out as a target for sparring practice ; but'just as often as Kemade the assault j ust as often had he to eat humble pie, and it was palpable to all that he was a free lance, and not a very jolly one. He made an attack even upon gentle Councillor Harrison, who, however, was equal to him, and knocked him speedily but quietly down, all in one lot. We notice Mr. Ivess’ first Council appearance with regret, but we do it kindly, in the hope that he will avoid in the future any repetition of tlie conduct of Monday last, and that he will be better to the Council and to the township than are our fears, and that he will rise above the littleness of mind he Was betrayed into displaying. Only a man with a small mind or a great biliousness would carp so persistently about minor points of “ order” as he did, while greater matters demanded his consideration. Possibly, his new studies have made nonsuit points, however trifling, an all-absorbsing pursuit with him, and he now follows his all-ruling passion,

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Bibliographic details

THE NEW COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 156, 23 September 1880

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THE NEW COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 156, 23 September 1880