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ELECTION. OF MAYOR.

THE TERM OF OFFICE. SUGGESTED AMENDMENTS OF THE LAW. To-day, at the Municipal Conference, ] a discussion took place on the question of Mayoral elections. Mr. J. P. Aldridge (Taihape) : moved : — That the Mayor's term of office be three years. The motion lapsed for want of a seconder. Mr. li. R. Phillips, M.P. (Birkenhead), moved : — That the word "second" be inserted in tho Municipal Corporations Act, 1908, between "every" and "year." This amounted to making the election of Mayor biennial instead of annual. The motion was lost by a small majority. Mr. Aldridge (Taihape) moved : — That with a view to more economical and efficient administration of boroughs, "The Municipal Corporations Act, 1908," be amended, providing that the Mayor be elected by the council from amongst tho members thereof. Mr. J. Wilson (Dunedin) seconded the motion. Mr. J. J. Devine (Wellington) spokein strong support of the 'motion. He recalled that the cost of last Mayoral election to the council was £250, and only a third of the electors voted. All other bodies elected their chairmen. There was no occasion to make the election external as in America, where the Mayor had bo great powers that it wasreally necessary to go to the people in order that the city's affairs might receive a periodical ventilation. Mr. Vigor Brown, M.P. (Napier), strongly opposed the motion amid a chorus of "hear, hears." It was wrong in a democratic age that nine or ten men should elect the chief officer of a great city. He suggested some amendment in the shape of providing that candidates for the Mayoralty should have had some experience in municipal work. Other speakers opposed the motion as being contrary to all experience of the past thirty years. Mr. Charles Allison (Mayor of Christchurch) submitted that election of Mayor by council would be altogether too much of a narrow, hole-in-corner policy. The present system gave an opportunity of quick revision. Mr. A. H. Hindmarsh (Wellington) urged that the only responsible person recognised by the public was the Mayor. With, regard to the election of a Mayor from the council, the speaker said that councillors were usually what were termed "well-known citizens," men who had made a success of their business or trade. They did not as candidates give any address, bub they were regular churchgoers. (Laughter.) Perhaps they . advertised largely in the papers. They would meet a good deal of support. "That does not say," said Mr. Hindmarsh, "that one of these men is going to be a good Mayor. Possibly he might be a Very poor Mayor. The Mayor should run the gauntlet of public opinion. A man must have Borne qualities to be publicly elected the Mayor of a large city. If a Mayor behaves himself, he is usually re-elected. Thus in Wellington Mr. Aitken w;is Mayor for five years and Mr. Hislop for three. Possibly Mr. Wilford will be Mayor for ten 'years. (Laughter.) The only serious objection is that it is necessary for a Mayor to be a. weaiihy man." The motion was lost on the voices. The following motions were lost : — Term of Office. — That in boroughs with a population under <j"GO persons, the Mayor go out of, office at the same time as the council, thereby ensuring a continuity of policy during the coun2u"s term of office. — (Northcotc.) Exemption from Jncome Tax. — That no part o£ the annual allowance) paid to the Mayot' which shall liave teen expended in travelling, entertaining, or in voluntary contributio'is for charitable or religious purposes, or for assistance to sports or gamtis, shall be liable to payment of income tax. — (Christchurch.)

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19100704.2.44

Bibliographic details

ELECTION. OF MAYOR., Evening Post, Volume LXXX, Issue 3, 4 July 1910

Word Count
603

ELECTION. OF MAYOR. Evening Post, Volume LXXX, Issue 3, 4 July 1910

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