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A special meeting of the Council was held this m.>rning, at the Council Chambers. Present —His Worship the Mayor, Cr Harrison, Bullock, Roberts, Parkin, Williamson, Ivess, St Hill, and Friedlander. ANNUAL REPORT. The Clerk then read the annual report, which was adopted. SCAVENGING CONTRACT. Cr St Hill moved that tenders be invited for the scavenging contract for 12 months, the same to be sent pa by Thursday week. Carried.... INSTILLATION OF MAYOR. His Worship then rose and said : I feel that I am vacating this chair with deep regret. Certainly “the hour has come and the man,” and I yield to both gracefully, because I feel that although I value the proud position as Mayor of this Borough very much indeed, yet I value its honorary position much more, owing to the many kind considerations and silent acknowledgements I have, received from you as a Council and the - ratepayers generally- My well intended labors as Mayor during the past two years have been for the welfare of: the Borough, and from the valuable assistance you have given me during my term of office, I have been enabled to take a greater interest in the work of the Borough than I have in my private affairs. (Hear, hear.) - I can assure yon, gentlemen, it was a work of pleasure for me to look after yours and the ratepayers’ interests, and at no time was I more pleased than when I thought I had achieved something for the welfare of the Borough. 1 My whole heart and soul were in the work, anxious to carry out the work imposed upon me to the best of my ability, and I hope that you and the ratepayers are satisfied with what I have done. (Applause.) Taking now a : retrospective glance at the work done by this Council during the past twelve months, I think we may feel satisfied with the result. As you are aware, we were unable to carry out the whole of the work applied for, for want of funds, yet the most necessary ones were done, and I have no hesitation in saying that the money has been very judiciously expended. It is true we have an overdraft, and in the face of this, we could not undertake some of the ratepayers wants. There have been 145 chains of streets and footpaths re-formed, the N. W. and S.E. Belts, footpaths have been formed and metalled to the extent of 100 chains, and sundry other lengths of footpaths formed and improved. Mona Square has been fenced and ploughed and otherwise improved. We have about 50 chains of asphalte footpaths laid in Bast street, and this in itself is, I feel confident a work appreciated by all. Something like 100 chains of concrete channelling has been done, and an encouragement to a new industry, viz., asphlate channelling has been given to a local make, and I am happy to state that so far has proved a thorough success. The introduction of the street channelling has been of great service to tbe town, as evinced by the splendid supply afforded in the sumps, which has proved invaluable at the late fire, and by which means a very large amount of valuable property was saved. I think the most important work the Council has taken in hand during the year is the outfall drain, a brick and concrete sewer about 31 chams in length, and although it has cost the Borough a considerable sum over and above the cost of a temporary drain. I consider that it is a wise outlay, and will be ample for the requirements of the place for, the vnext • twenty .years to .comet)j(Hearji hieaiv)i > Taking into Recount the matter of their

revenue, I will refer to the land endowments which this Borough has received, and which will be found in time to come, if carefully managed, to yibld a splendid return indeed. In fact Ashburton is one of the best endowed Boroughs, and there need be to fear, that like other places, a heavy rate of two, three, or four shillings will be levied, and unnecessary taxation will not take place. (Hear hear.) I regret that my idea of having Baring square west let on lease was not carried out, as, if the site were exchanged for some more suitable site, I believe we should have been relieved from taxation gradually. I fully believe that, though it was the wish of the minority at the time, they will eventually see that by falling in with my view of the matter, greater satisfaction will be felt by the body of ratepayers. Another scheme which I had in hand was the purchase of the Gas Company’s plant, but which was looked upon with some distrust because lam a large shareholder. 1 I yielded to the under-current at work, and the ratepayers will see that I did it with the sole desire of benefitting the Borough. The last balance-sheet of the Gas Company clearly shows that in advocating this purchase the Borough would not lose anything. I have to than* you, gentlemen; for your valuable assistance and courteous manner which has always characterised the feeling of the Council towards me during the time I have had the honor to represent you. I have to thank the officers for the ready desire to carry out their arduous though unpleasant duties, and hope they will continue to enjoy the confidence of, tlm Council. I will riow hand to you, Mr Williamson, the Mayo? elect, the keys of the Borough Seal, and 1 hope you will experience during your term of office the same good feeling as I hayeidone in the past. (Cheers.) From your long

experience in business, and the views you hold, the burgesses could hardly have chosen a more suitable man to fill the Mayoral chair. lam sorry I can hand you only an empty exchequer, as well as a considerable overdraft staring the Council in the face. But this I feel sure you will do—and that is, to make both ends meet. (Applause.) ; ; Some champagne was then' handed round, and Councillor Bullock, in a ; highly complimentary manner, proposed : the health of the late Mayor, Mr Hugo 1 Friedlander,; whom he felt sure had wonI the good opinion of every ratepayer as well as his fellotv councillors during his. term of office, and hoped they would; see ) him again at their meetings as a councillor. ) (Hear, hear.) ~.. ■/, The toast was heartily honored; and very feelingly'responded to by Mr Friedr lander, who then proposed the toast of - the “ Newly-elected Mayor,” after which f he vacated his seat; The Mayor elect then returned thanks,3 and am afraid that in taking the i chair as your Mayor I shall not like the r honor of the seat so much as the feeling i that I have your .kindest expressions of I good will towards me, and I hardly am able to find words which will convey my thanks for your good wishes. The gentlemen who had ; filled the office of Mayor I for the past years had worked hard for the borough, and had received the thanks of the, ratepayers for their able conduct, and, I would be; wanting: in respect if I did not endeavor to do my best 1 and follow their footsteps to the best of 1 my ability. ,It is true that I have taken f an interest in public affairs, but lam more than repaid by being so unanimously elected as the Mayor of this important i town, and on receiving such a very influential requisition asking me to stand for the honorable office. It was an onerous office no doubt, and had its drawbacks,

but as my predecessors filled it very honorably I will endeavor to do the same. I should have preferred to enter upon my office under better circumstances as regards its finance, and perhaps it may make the Council hardly as popular as in the past, owing to the present debt, which I shall'endeavpr to reduce. The health of the must, however,, be considered: vat; all times, and no doubt small sums; will be required for these purposes from time to time. (Hear, hear.) I trust that you will accord me the same assistance required from each councillor, towards the chair, as has been accorded the last Mayor, and this will enable; fne to carry : out. my duties, I hope with satisfaction to the ratepayers and the Council. (Applause) Cr St. Hill enquired whether Cr Bullock had forgotten about the Mayoral chain, and if it was a fact that this councillor intended starting the first link towards it, but we were unable to get the reply. Mr T. R. Hodder proposed, Mr Zouch seconded a very hearty vote of thanks to the Borough Council, for the able way in which they had carried out the works during the time they had been in existence. The Mayor suitably replied, and said he was pleased to find that the efforts of the Council were appreciated by the ratepayers. The toast of the Borough Officers, coupled with the names of the Town Clerk, Mr Braddell, the Borough Engineer, Mr C. E. Fooks, and Mr Davidson, Inspector, was proposed by Cr Bullock, who alluded to' the very painstaking way in which these gentlemen had performed their duties. After these gentlemen had suitably rereplied, the Council adjourned.

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Bibliographic details

ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 514, 21 December 1881

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ASHBURTON BOROUGH COUNCIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 514, 21 December 1881

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