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MUNICIPAL NOMINATIONS.

HIGH WARD.

The nomination for the election of a councillor for High Ward took place at the Hal< at noon to-Jay. Tin rauring offloer (Mr "W. Stronao>o announced that ho had receivol the fo lowing nominations:—

Hbnry Frkdkrick Hardy, proposed by A. C. Begg and seconded by T. M. Hocken. John Barron, proposed by J. Baxter and seconded by G. Dryden, sen. Mr Barron addressed the fe» ratepayers assembled, expressing the 1 ope that, notwith«tandmg the propping his opponent was receding, the services he had already given to the ratepayers would be rewarded by his reflection. BELL WARD. Some forty ratepayers assembled in front of the Town Hall at noon, when the returning officer (Mr Sherwin) read the following nominations : Archibald M'Mastkr, proposed by E. F. Lawrence and Angus Wilson.

James Robin, proposed by Benjamin Bagley and Alfred Palmer.

Mark Sinclair, proposed by Alexander Bartleman and William Duthie. Mr M'Mastku said this was his first time to seek election at the hands of the citizens. He had been requested to come forward, and if elected would do his best to serve the ratepayers.

Mr ROBIN said that, as the retiring councillor, and feeling that he had done good and faithful service during his three years of office, he had determined to eeek re-election. The question of retrenchment was ono that had been prominently before the Council and had been dealt with by that body; and not only would the retrenchment which the Council had effected require to be carried out, but further retrenchments would have to be made. Departments would have to be reorganised, and the Council would have to set its face determinedly against entering into any new works to prevent further taxation. If they continued the present system of small works, before another two years were over it would be necessary to put on, at all events, from a ninepence to a shilling rate to meet current expenses. He believed that the occasion of the present opposition waß on account of the reduction of salaries, and that if they had tinkered with the laboring men by reducmg them 6d or Is it would not have arisen. Those men coming forward as leading citizens feared that their own craft would be attacked, and that the f-alaries for auditing accounts of public companies would be assailed.—("Oh.") He hoped to conduct this election in such a manner that the relations at present oxisting between the other candidates and himself would not be interfered with.-—(Hear.) Mr Sinclair wished to explain why he was seeking election. He was a candidate because he had been requested by a large number of fellow citizens to become one. He agreed with other ratepayers that it was desirable from time to time that changes should take place in the Council. If those who occupied seats in the Council were al'owed without any opposition at every election to retain their seats they would not be in a position to value them as they ought; and they would not be as sensible of the responsibilities devolving upon them as when they had to contest an election. The newspapers for years past had charged the ratepayers with being apathetic and with showing little interest in municipal elections and municipal matters generally. Those who had now originiated the movement of forming a citizens' committeo had determined if possblo that that blot should no longer remain—that they should get publio interest aroused, and get men who had consistently refrained from interfering in public matters to come forward and give their services for what they were worth to their fellow-citizens. That was his position to-day. (Hear.) Ho had been thirteen years In Dunedin, and had some interest in the place; and he was prepared to offer his services towards bringing the publio business into a satisfactory condition. For years past he had been asked to stand for Bell Ward, but he felt that he had no right to neglect his business, and was therefore in the same position as other citizens who had been repeatedly charged with want of interest In publio matters. Ho confessed that he had no desire to be a public man, but the responsibility must rest on someone. If the ratepayers considered that a change in the Council was neceesary, and if they believed he was worthy of support and capable to some extent of bringing about a change, he appealed to them to heartily support his candidature. Mr A. Solomon inquired what was the candidate's opinion of the reductions made in the salaries of the Corporation officials. Mr Sinclair replied that in his opinion reductions were necessary and desirable, provided that they were made in a fair and just way. Ho was not in a position to say whether the reductions recently made were carried out judiciously or not. Councillors had had an opportunity of examining into the circumstances of each individual case, which he had not. Mr Sligo : And did not the Committee do so ? The gist of the whole matter is: was the retrenchment justified by the circumstances or not? The usual compliment to the returning officer terminated the proceedings. LEITff WARD. The nominations for this Ward were:— Charles Robb»t Chapman, proposed by W. P. Strest, seconded by William Simpson. A. Lkk Smith, proposed by J. T. Mackerros, seconded by J. 0. Cameron.

John Colvin, proposed by Hermann Doring, seconded by George Laurence.

Mr Lee Smith explained that he was not yet sufficiently well posted up in municipal maters to speak on them with any degree of positiveness; but he would between this and polling day make himself fairly acquainted with them. Admittedly, the municipal affairs were now in a bad way, and, without making any reflections on past management, it was patent that some energetic action must be taken to prevent the necessity of additional taxation. If returned, he would do his very best to promote the best interests of the ward.—ln answer to questions (put principally by Mr Barnes), ho taid that he was totally opposed to the recent reductions of salaries. If the Council had good and faithful servants ho thought it was unwise and impolitic to reduce their silaries. He was looking at the thing from the standpoint from which he viewed his own business concerns. He felt the depression like every other man in business but he had never dreamed of reducing the salary of any of his old employes, though he had certainly taken on men (occasional hands) at somewhat reducod rates. He was totally opposod to reductions made in an arbitrary way. He was not pledged to the Ratepayers' Association or anybody else to effect a reversal of the Councils decision; but if returned, and the thing could be done, be would certainly move for a reinstatement of the salaries, because he did not believe that it was for the good of the city that the salaries of responsible officers like the Town Clerk and Engineer should be reduced in the way theirs had been. He did not agree with Mr Barnes that the time was ripe for Dunedin to employ only one engineer, who would look after the gas works and municipal works generally. He was not prepared to say right off that he would stop all Corporation werks for threa or four years till the overdraft was reduced, nor could he say in what way that overdraft of between L 30,000 and L 40.000 was to be met. He would certainly oppose any increase of the rates, believing them to be sufficiently high already. If elected, his first duty would be to go carefully into the accounts, and then he wou'd recommend the Council to observe the strictest economy. It could scarcely be expected of him to say then whether or not the Gasworks should be under Corporation control. Before he could reply to that query he would require to satisfy himself whether they were being efficiently managed and being conducted in the best interests of the citizens. He had been told that by a small expenditure in tapping Powder Creek the Silverstream supply could be made highly serviceable for the City for several years to come.

He repeated that io dealing with the- matter of salaries he was actuated neither by sentimeat nor feeling, but by conviction that he would act iu an exactly similar way towards his own employes. Ho was not in favor of raising salaries. The (ity should certainly get some assistance from the Government if the maintenance of the Botanical Gardens was costing us LI, 500. All the works let by contract should be properly completed by the contractor. If eh-ottd ho would take care to sea that the public had an opportunity of knowing whether the retrenchment had been carried out in accordance with tbo recommendations) of the responsible heads of departments. Mr Chapman remarked that he had been defeated on a previous occasion, but he expected to win this time. Some of his friends told him that it was lucky for him that _ he had been beaten, because it had prevented him from getting into trouble ; but he thought if he had been elected that the Dowling street accident would not have happened. It was very difficult to say who was to blame for that, but he hoped that the blame would ba found out and put on the right shoulders. He did not think that the state of the City's affairs was f o bad as Borne people represented them to be, and, so far as he could see, there ought to bo no difficulty in making both ends meet. Salaries had been properly reduced, and he was glad to see that the pmployds of the Council had accepted the reductions like men. He hoped that when prosperity returned to the City those salaries would be raised again.—In answer to questions, he explained that his meaning was that if he had been returned he hoped to have been successful in preventing the carrying on of the Dowling street works. He certainly would have strongly objected to them. It was no part of the Engineer's duty to have advised the Council as to the risk they ran. The Council had gone into the matter without taking proper legal advice. He would not pledge himself to oppose any purchase of riparian rights to the Water of Leith. He would give fair consideration to every proper scheme of increasing the efficiency of our water supply. Mr Colvin claimed to have a little practical experience. _He was not the nominee of any party, his time was his own, and he was prepared to give it to the ratepayers.—ln answer to questions, he Baid he believed that, with a little expenditure, the Silverstream supply could be materially improved. Both reservoirs should be supplied with filter beds. SOUTH WARD. There was a large attendance at the South Ward nomination, which took place at Messrs M'Landress, Hepburn, and Co.'s auction rooms. The returning officer (Mr Stone) read the following nominations : Alexander Cairns, proposed by James Steedman and William Thomas Gilmour.

Henry Smith Fish, jun., proposed by Joseph Hastings Kilgour and George Elson, jun. Robert Loftus Stanfobd, proposed by Grant P. Farquhar and H. B. Shacklock. Mr Cairns, in the course of a long address, said that the most important matter before the City Council at the present time was retrenchment. There were three classes in the community—the wealthy, the mercantile, and the working classes. When he was accosted by anyone in the street and blamed for the stand he had taken in the Council on the question of retrenchment, he found that it was always people belonging to the wealthy class who touched him up. But he considered that he was put into the Council to protect the ratepayers as a body, and he found by looking oter the roll that three - fourths of the ratepayers belonged to the working classes, and the platform he took up was to legislate for that class. With reference to the reductions in salaries paid to Corporation employes, he might say that everyone was suffering in these times, and that his own income from property had of late been reduced to an astonishing extent, and with that in his knowledge, was he to be upbraided by the " upper ten " for the rigid manner in which the Council had acted in cutting down the salaiies of the Town Council and City Engineer ? He thought not, and he was determined to go back to the Council to maintain the position he had taken up, but he had found that his two opponents were in favor of replacing the Corporation employes in their old rates of pay. To show the amount of time and trouble that he had given to the eubject of retrenchment, he might mention that he had, while in the Council, brought forward a scheme by which, in many ways, a great saving would be effected; but, although the Council held two special meetings in Committee to consider them, he was sorry to say that his propositions met with a very poor reeepticn and with very little sympathy. As to the class of representatives that the ratepayers should have, be thought that they should be men not in active business—for they could not have time to devote to the Corporation work—but men who had retired on a competence, and had plenty of time on their hands. If returned again he would do all he eould in the way of retrenchment. Mr Fish said that he thought little apology was required for his appearing before the ratepayers, for he had served in so many public offices and for so long a time. If any were, it was contained in the fact that he had been asked to stand by eighty or ninety ratepayers, representing over 200 votes. The reason that principally actuated him in now coming forward was the feeling that men of determined mind were required in the Council—men who would put down their feet and say: " We will economise ; we will retrench, and not continue the course of ruinous expenditure of the last five or six years." He was not at one with Mr Cairns as to the means of retrenchment, but his plan would be by stopping unnecessary works. If men of determined minds were not returned to the Council the ratepayers would find that they would shortly have another tax levied on them. He was glad to see by the formation of a Ratepayers' Association that the public were beginning to take a proper interest in their affairs; he was not at enmity with the Association, but he was surprised at their opposing him, because in the main he was on tne fame platform as they were. He thought that South Ward was particularly honored by the Association, for on that body's committee for the ward there were in the nist place four temperance men, who would doubtless look after the sobriety of the people; next there was a gentleman who had been first in the Church and was now in the law, and who would look after both their divinity and their legal status; then there were three doctors, who would be able to look after the ratepayers' bodily health; while lastly there was an auctioneer, who would doubtless be prepared to knock them all down at any moment.—(Laughter.) He thought, also, that the Association had paid him a high compliment by putting up against him a man of such attainments as Mr Stanford. His fear that there would shortly be increased taxation was based on the fact that since he left the Council, in September of 1881, the overdraft had increased from L 9.096 to L 43.770 (less the balance to credit of the gas account, but which balance was, however, more apparent than real). The only way to reduce that overdraft was by stopping all unnecessary works, and by that means they would also be able to save money by reducing the number of employes in the various departments, which was preferable to cutting down individual salaries. With reference to the expenditure on reserves and gardens, he found that last year's estimate was some L6OO, but the expenditure amounted to L 1,653; while the Fire j Brigade estimate w?s L 666 and the expenditure L 1,547. He confessed that, as far aa the Fire Brigade were concerned, lie did not think they got a shilling more than they ought to; but how the increase came about he could not understand. As to the reserves and gardens, however, he thought there was too much expenditure, though he would like to see every one made a place glowing with beauty, a rara avis for anyone to go into and enjoy.—(Great laughter.) On City works in 1884 and 1885 some L 23,000 or L 24.000 had been expended, and he thought this was far too much. If he were returned it was in that department that he would insist on having the pruning-knife applied. When he was in the Council ho had written two letters—to be read at meetings of the Council that he was unable to attend—which, looked at in the light of the present time, he felt justified in saying were prophetic in tone. By his action at that time he prevented the Council from imposing an extra 3d rate, and the citizens had for the last five years had that blessing. As to the gas question, they all knew the fight he fought in that cause, and, though not alone in the work, he felt that he could take some credit for getting the works into the hands of the Corporation and for getting the price of gas reduced from 25s to 8s per 1,000 cubic feet. A large revenue would be obtainable by extending the gas supply to private houses on liberal terms—say by putting down the services free or for a small charge on deferred payments, and the same way with the fittings. On the waterworks question they all knew the work he had done and hj /w he had opposed the Silverstream project. He told the Council years ago that instead of theL34,oooestimatethoseworks would oost L 70.000 or LBO.OOO, and the fact now was that they had spent over LBO,OOO, and had still ten miles of the race to construct, filter-beds to put up, and other work to carry cut, while they still had not a sufficient supply of water, He had always said, and still held the opinion, that they should have rested content with the Ross Creek supply and the Water of Leith. There was no time more than now when men of determination, and who knew the working of the Corporation business, were needed, and he felt that he was one of them, and that he had the knowledge and the verve to carry out the necessary reforms. He appealed confidently to the ratepayers for their support, and felt sure that on polling day he would be returned—as he had been so often beforevictorious at the head of the poll In answer to questions, Mr Fwh said he

thought it was a cruel thing to reduce the City Surveyor's salary at one fell swoop from L550t0 L4OO, and also to de.il with other Corporation employes—Mr Taylor especially—as had been done. He would be in favor of granting the right to a company to construct a bridge acros* the Bay to the Peninsula, for he thought they ought to be glad to support any proposal to provide the citizens with any airy place at which they could improve their health. Mr Stanford intimated that he was going to withdraw from the contest. He had understood that Mr Cairns was not going to stand again, but this morning that gentleman had called on him and in a most straightforward manner asked him his views on several matters. He answered Mr Cairns straightforwardly, and that gentleman then told him that he would contest the election. Under the circumstances he (the speaker) determined to withdraw, it having been understood that he would only stand if Mr Cairns withdrew in his favor. ROSLYN. Sunnysidk Ward.—Messrs Charles Fonnta'n and George Brown Lindsay were nomi nated. SOUTH DUNEDIN. The nomination of a councillor for East Ward in the South Dunedin Council was held at noon to-day, Mr Thomas Cossens (proposed by Mr James Ruston and seconded by Mr William Luscombe) was the only candidate, and the returning officer declared him duly elected. WEST HARBOB. Mr Alexander M'MiUan was elected as councillor for Rothesay Ward in the West Harbor Borough Council, the returning officer dec'aring the nomination of Mr R. Jack to have been informa 1 .

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18860831.2.11

Bibliographic details

MUNICIPAL NOMINATIONS., Evening Star, Issue 6995, 31 August 1886

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MUNICIPAL NOMINATIONS. Evening Star, Issue 6995, 31 August 1886

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