The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1881. The Mayoral Election.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 430 p. m. j mm»mm ■■la^aWßßga—H—BPCß—■——>B—aPtgPMWace
When any individual member of our local government —we allude, of course, to that well-meaning body our Borough Council —has been found during his public career to have merited a share of the thanks of the commuity for a zealous and painstaking performance of his duties, whether as a Councillor or in the more distinguished of Mayor, we shall not be found wanting in our position as journalists to draw the attention of the public thereto. Indeed it would be an unfair thing to do otherwise, especially when it is so patent to every ratepayer in the Borough that during the past year our late Mayor has signalised his term of office witii no mean record of genuine work for the health as well as the prosperity of the town. Ot course we do not a.,ree with all our late Mayor’s ideas, but to any thoughtlul person they commend themselves, because he had in view the laudable intention of endeavoring to reduce our rates to a very nominal sum by letting one of the vacant squares, and further by purchasing the gasworks and so reducing the cost of street lighting. Both these schemes are sound, financially, and with a Council composed of men like Mr Friedlander there can be no doubt that the gasworks question would have been an eminent success. But both have their drawbacks. The public do not like to lose their squares, and they do not like to risk the management of an establishment like the gasworks to the tender mercies of the Borough Council, and hence, no doubt, the reason these schemes were not carried into effect. The revenue derivable from the letting of Baring Square West would be a large one, and may possibly be decided upon yet, but we think seriously that there are other ways of getting a revenue. There are a large number of idle reserves in the
Borough, and these can be utilised first, and if the square in question is valuable now, it will soon bring far more revenue if all the other vacant places are built upon, and it is decided to let it hereafter. For the present we think that as regards “ breathing places,” Ashburton is pretty well supplied, and as far as “ breathing” is concerned, we can see no reason why the change should not be made. The most successful works that have been carried out during Mr Friedlander’s term of office are the outfall draiti; the water supply, street channelling, and asphalt paving. These are all important works, and anyone cannot feel but thankful for a good footpath on one side of our principal street, and we almost wonder why a small medal has not been struck to commemorate the day when our first 50 chains |vvas completed. The many matters affecting the business of our Council and its finances which will always connect Mr Hugo Friedlander’s Mayoralty with a very satisfactory period in the history of Ashburton Borough and its improvements. Indeed the sentiments expressed by the late Mayor’s Council, on his retirement yesterday, show concusivelythathehaswon their good opinion. In Mr Donald Williamson, the newly elected Mayor, we fully believe the burgesses of Ashburton have found a sterling man, and one ih wfiom they will find no rash or unbecoming actions in his capacity as chief magistrate in this town. During his public career, whether as a member of any of our public institutions or as a town councillor, he has always endeavored to act tborougly independently of any party, has never shown any factious opposition-, but has worked harmoniously with his colleagues in everything likely to benefit the Borough. Although entering upon his office with an empty exchequer and overdraft of some his popularity will in no way diminish, although his Council are unable to take in hand any works, but those most urgently need for the health and safety of the inhabitants; The debt is only a very small one, however, and we have every reason to believe that it will be soon wiped off.