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MAYORAL NOMINATIONS, Issue 10465, 8 November 1897
Mr Taylor (town clerk) read the following nominations received at noon to-day for the City Mayoi ally; „T d yard Bowes Cargill.— Proposed by William F. Edmond and J. T. Mackerras. ' James, Core.—Proposed by Thomas Hitchcock and John Peterson. Henry F. Hardy. —Proposed by T. M. Hocken and W. D. Houston. William Swan. —Proposed by William Owen and I. Selby. - Mr Cargill said, having received a very largely signed requisition by 'influential ratepayers of the City, which bad since been backed up by many other, representations, he was. led to believe that it was in accordance with the wish of a large majority of. the citizens that he should consent to be nominated for this year’s mayoralty. He might say that it -bad not been sought for or suggested by himself, but that it had been; entirely unsolicited on his part, and he could not but regard it as a very high honor and a very great compliment bestowed on him, whether he was returned as mayor bract,' ■ With regard to the mayoralelectiohfdr the' coming year—the jubilee year of the settlement of Otago—he presnmedfhe was pretty well known to moat of the citizens.. He bad resided in the <ity for over forty years, and had had _ much to do from time to' time in building it up to its present position. It was true that for some years past he hadiiot taken-snoh a great part in public matters as he. had jn former times, but there were very few public bodies iu which he had not taken soma . part or other. Although he had not had much to do with public bodies of late years, he was one of the members of the City Council when it was first formed, and for many years a member of the old Town Board, its predecessor. - He regarded what was being done for him not only as a compliment and an honor to himself, bat as a mark of the esteem in which his late father (Captain Cargill) was held- His father came out as leader to this- colony, and was, he believed, deservedly held in honor by the citizens of JDnnediu and inhabitants of the province up to the end of his career. He gave his services at a time when they were valued, and ho (the speaker) believed the more his services were looked back upon the more they would be valued. Ho (Mr Cargill) could only say that his prevailing feeling in regard to this mayoral election was one of extreme gratefulness in recognition of the kindly and friendly feelings that had been manifested towards him, and if he were returned ho would make the best use of the ability God had given him to fill the office worthily and to accomplish that which would be set down for him to do. He had made no personal canvass, but he believed some of his friends had been making inquiries for him. He would take the opportunity between this and polling day of meeting the citizens and discussing at length matters connected with the mayoralty. Mr James Gobe said that this election was rather unique, inasmuch as there were three councillor! standing and also another gentleman who, for the last twenty-five years, had taken no interest in municipal politics He had no wish to be personal in any remarks ho might make. He had been on the platform many times, and had stood for many offices, and no one had ever heard him a'iy one word against his opponent. But on this occasion he did intend to ray a few words respecting Mr B. B. Cargill, not as a citizen and bighly-respepted gentleman, but as a candidate for municipal honors. Mr Cargill had told them that he had made no personal canvass. He (Mr Gore) had, and during the course of his canvass he. had found that Mr Cargill had a very large number of paid canvassers in his employ, or in the employee! his friends, and these canvassers were making statements not altogether in accordance with facts. They had been met by many of the citizens with whom they spoke with the statement that 11 Mr Cargill has not taken any interest in politics, and it is not usual to elect men to the mayoral chair from outside the Council,’’ This the canvassers had replied to by raying that there was precedent for the departure, and ■ quoting the fact of Mr John Roberta being elected mayor at the time of the Exhibition. Now, there was no parallel between the forthcoming election and that at the time of the Exhibition. The Exhibition was to last a considerable portion of the year, and it was found to be advisable to have for mayor a gentleman with good organising power, and one who could afford to spend a larger sum of money than the Council could vote him as honorarium, and Mr John Roberts was salected. When Mr Roberts was approached no doubt he felt it an honor, but he did not say he was called to stand, nor did he say he would be mayor because he had ability to be mayor, and thank Gvd that he was not as other men. Mr Roberts said he would accept the responsibility on one condition—that ho was elected without opposition. If any member of the Council wished to stand for the office ha would not oppose Mm. There was ating of manliness about that. There was consideration for those councillors who had Home the heat and burden of the day, which is sadly lacking on the present occasion. Mr Cargill’s friends asked him to stand after it was known that three councillors were prepared to contest the election. No doubt they traded to a considerable extent upon th t, knowing that, even though a large majority of thecitizens were favorable to the mayor being chosen from the councillors, it was reasonable to suppose that by three councillors standing the way would bo opened up Tor an outsider to walk in with a small majority. He trusted that the citizens would recollect this, and that on polling day they would show their appreciation of the work councillors had done by electing a man from among them as mayor. He did not care who was chosen, he would be satisfied with the result. It had besn said that “the hope cf reward sweetens labor.” The only reward councillors could hope fir was the little honor that rested in the mayoralty, and if that hope and honor were taken away an injury would' be done, for they would not get good men to come forward as councillors, and enterprise in the Council would be killed. Another matter that had been industriously circulated to show that councillors were not fit to hold the office of mayor was that the Council had got the municipal finances into a muddle, that they had been going back year after year and could not be put right, that a rate ought to have been struck years ago, and, in fact, that the Council ought to have done any amount of Impossibilities. Now, he had been a member of the Finance Committee for five years, and ho could say that both that Committee and the Council understood the finances of the Corporation. The balance-sheets were published regularly in the public Press, andanyonetaking any interest in,them could understand the Corporation finances They had seen many letters and articles in the papers proclaiming that the finances were in a muddle and that the Corporation were bordering on repudiation. As far as repudiation was concerned, it was impossible for the.Dunedin Corporation to repudiate their liabilities. They had available assets In their gas and water works, and an accumulated capital of £IBO.OOO of sinking funds. They also had £47,000 lying in the bank uninvested; T hey had freehold property bringing in £9,000 a year in rents, independent of the ratei. It would thus be seen that the Corporation had large assets to meet any and all of their liabilitits. As to being in a muddle, the Finance Committee and the Council had realised that they had a falling revenue and were going back £10.500 a year. That had hitherto been made up by the accumulated profits f romgas and water. That was now pretty well exhausted, and It had become absolutely necessary that a rate should be struck. Three years ago the lato Mr Fish introduced a conversion sceeme, with the object of avoiding this extra rate. He (Mr Gore) heartily approved of that scheme, but when it was rejected he believed it would have been sound finance to have struck a rate. Councillors, however, were aware that property holders had not been having a very rosy time of it, and that it was a hard enough matter for them to pay the rates then existing. Instead of th» councillors being held bUmable, they should be given every credit for trying to save the citizens’ pockets. T hey would have been £lB/ 00 poorer to-day if the rate had been struck three years ago; and he had not the slightest doubt that with the sixpenny rate next year there would be ample funds to meet all expenses. To show that the falling revenue was not attributable to any neglect on the part of the Council, Mr [lore said that between 1888 and 1889 revenue from the rates fell £7.000, and the expenditure in a like manner increased. As the town extended hoy? roads had to be made and extra lamps erected, and all these works added considerably to the expenditure, and accounted for the finances ‘going back £10,500 a year. The 6d rate Sononn? nd neit S’ 6Bl a loan of t • - ue » would effect a saving of. in interest. There would then only be a 4 efi 2 ency o£ about £3»000, which we could well afford to tike out oE the gas account. He it was legitimate to take the profits of the vifcj s uudertakingVand iustanoed Glasgow,
which had been cited as a model city, as authority for such actions. In that city tho profits from trams, water, and gas had enabled them to do away with rates altogether. If it was a right thing for Glasgow to utilise for the sake o! the city profits then it was right also for Dunedin. He would not say more at present, but would take a further opportunity of placing his views before tho ratepayers. In conclusion, ho asked those present not to heed what canvassers said, but to judge for themselves who was the best man and to vote for him on polling day. Mr Hardy said he appeared before the ratepayers once more as a candidate for the office of mayor. Having served in the Counc 1 now for about twelve years, and as it had been generally understood that tho office was to be a rolling one, he thought the time had now arrived when it should roll to him. If there was to be any reward whatever for long services, surely the ratepayers would give it to those who had done the work, and he tru.ted that on this occasion he would be returned at the head of the poll. At any rate, he would say that there was no hostility between him and his brother councillors or Mr Cargill, whom hi esteemed very much, and if that gentleman had been a councillor ho should have voted for him. But he considered it would bo a great insult to the Council as a w ole if Mr Cargill were returned, and it would be no wonder if all tte councillors resigned if such a result were” to take place. He did not know whether the councillors would resign, but he would not do so himself. He was not so chicken-hearted as all that. Everything came to the man who waited, and he could afford to wait. He contended he was as capable and as able to manage the City affairs as well as any of the other men who were sacking to be returned. He could manage his own affairs very well, and he thought he could manage the affairs of tho Council. He cordially endorsed all what Mr Gore had said about the finances. He was not at all alarmed about the affairs of the Council. They were not in a muddle or a fix either. Their revenue had certainly been falling from various causes over whict the Council Lad no control, and they had not hern able to reduce the expenditure accordingly. They had held off from levying an extra rate as long as they could, and if any citizen complained of the rate they were about to strike he should like to see that person. He did not think there was anyone but who was perfectly satisfied that the Council had done the right thing. He had not made any personal canvass himself, and he was not going to do so. He did not believe in canvassing. Every man voted according to his own conscience, and it seemed like a lack of common sense and intelligence on the part of the citizens (hat they shou’d be coached as to how they should vote. He had been well known in Dunedin for over forty four years, and would leave the matter in the hands of the cit : zens. He intended addressing the electors shortly', when he would be willing to answer any questions that might be put to him. Mr W. SWAN said he did not know that it was necessary for him to make any apolcgv for bring a candidate for the mayoralty. In justice to himself he might, however, tay that he bad served the City as a councillor for a number of yiars to the best of his ability. He was no stranger to the mass of the citizens, among wlmm he had resided for thirty-five years. This was the first time he had sought to be elected to office of mayor, but, if elected, citizens might be sure that their interests would be well guarded, for their interests were his own. It was of the greatest importance to preserve the revenue. It was, however, extremely difficult to curtail expenditure. Owing to want of funds the Council had been unable to carry out any great improvements. It was no doubt unsatisfactory that the finances should bo in such a state, hut there were strong forces which had brought it about. The decrease in the values of prop rties had made a great difference in the income from rates, and of late years the City had had extra charges cast upon it in the shape of hospital and charitable aid. These have now mounted up to over £3,000 a year. He would go more fully into details and general business on another occasion. He believed that the mayor should be selected from amongst the councillor l , who were more entitled to the honor than one who had scarcely served the public at all. Ho hofe.l that wou’d be noticed on tho polling day, and that the electors wou’d not ba led away by any talk that, bee use next year was the Jubilee of tho province, and something great was to happen or be done, they were therefore to elect a may or from outside the Council, and throw the councillors who had served them on one side.—(A Voice: “Not at all.”) If they expected good men to come forward as councillors and serve them year after year, surely they would not turn rounl and elect as mayor another gentleman who had not served them at all.—(Hear, hear.) No doubt the extra burden of an increase in the rates would ba severely felt by a large majority of the ratepayers; but ho could assure them that the Council had endeavored to obviite the necessity- of increasing tho rate for a number of years, and only the most urgent expediency had compelled them to do it now. He would not detain them longer, as ho would have another opportunity of addressing them, and he would only say that he left himself in the hands of the ratepayers, trusting to their love of justice and fair play to return him at the top of the poll on polling day. He would wait their verdict with great confidence. On the motion of Mr Swan, secondtd by Mr Hardy, a vote of thinks was accorded the returning officer, and the proceedings terminated.
MAYORAL NOMINATIONS, Issue 10465, 8 November 1897
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