Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 1919. BOROUGH COUNCIL.
A feature of 4 the first meeting of the present Ashfeurton Borough Council on Monday evening was the variety of subjects dealt with. Townsmen, generally, will desire to associate "themselves with the compliments, or, rather, tributes, paid to the Mayor on his success in the polling at the recent Harbour. Board, election. Mr Galbraith, himself, attributed the public support he received to appreciation of, his war-period services, but we imagine that his cheerful sincerity and willingness to oblige were his best advocates. In undertaking to assist to represent the district on the Harbour. Board, the Mayor is further mortgaging his time and private interests on the public behalf) and this should be remembered by the Councillors. Nobody will quarrel with the decision.to thin out the trees on the river-bed reserves, especially as it is planned to give borough residents'a chance'of securing cheaper firewood. Qutside merchants should not, on this occasion, be allowed to se-' cure any of such timber,; and if the local demand is excessive, those with the lowest; incomes should be served first. ,*' Wageearners will be grateful for the opportunity to get cheap firewood, but such gratitude would have been more general had the Cpuncil passed a vote of censure on any who may be exploiting the people's necessities in the way of meat, etc. Regarding the taxi-drivers' request to increase the minimum fare, it would be easy to answer most of the arguments submitted by the deputation if opposition were worth while, but the question seems to be solely ..between the drivers and their possible patrons. In such a small town as Ashburton, taxihiring- is more or less due to a desire for luxurious..'ease, or to impress, the neighbours, and many will be inclined to agree with Cr. Ferriman that if higher taxi-fares will encourage healthy walking exercise, the Council should accede to the drivers' request. This is one of those problems that eventually answer themselves; if people think taxi-fares are excessive, they will patronise the cars as little as'possible, and will thus compel a : reduced tariff. When,-,as Mr. Jackson neatly put it, the public are out to- spend .'money, a sixpence here and there does iiot enter, into their calculations. Among the resolutions passed by the. Councillors was one requesting the Government to declare' Anzac Day a statutory public holiday. We regret that a rider was not added recommending how April 25 should be regarded, whether as a Sabbath, or as a joyous holiday. Support was also given to the proposal that the Government should take over the control, of the arterial roads,' But according to.Mr. A. S. Clarkson,. there is little chance of this, and w,e cannot pretend to be sorry.; Surely, experience of Government control does not prompt the average New Zealander to desire to extend-it, especially in this direction.