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Mr J. E. White, ono of the candidates for m ryor to tho above borough, addressed ft meeting of ratepayers last evening, ' There "were about forty-five persons present. Mr Houlabad occupied the chair, and introduced tho candidate. Mr White, after a few preliminary remarks, said he oameforwariibeoauae the borough had fit several years past been going back and became" councillors did not" attend to the necessities of the borough. He complained of the tactics of his opponents in the preseat contest os unfair, but he believed the ratepayers were ful'y q .alifted to decide, and held that he had a peri fees right to come forward and contest the position, and believed he would be returned by a large majority. Dealing with mania; a' matters, he said the boroug i had retrograded,very materially since be left the Council some ten yea s ago, and this condition of affairs was mainly due to tho bad and seifDh management of tr.o councillors. He held the floating of tho two £5.000_ loans was a blunder, and the manner of their expenditure iniquitous. " The money had been badly spent,' and the borough- had now to pay, for interest money that should be spent upon improvements. If elected Le would have the streets, roads, and pathways finished. The loans would mature in a f.w years, and must be paid. For his part, he thought the sooner they were paid the betfr r. At present tho Council was paying 7 per cent, interest, but a renewal could be obtained at 4 per cent, if not per cent. This would mean a saving of £540 a year to the borough. Fearing this, he would temporarily tide matters ovrr by increasing the bank overdraft to the fuli limit allowed by law" and spend the sum o gained in finishing their streets, and thus rncourage the growth of the borough in the most desirable way. Or-he would favor the levyir g of an extra 51 rate for two "or three year., which would yield the sum of £2lO 17a annually. Either of these alternatives must be accepted by the ratepayers or the borough would go to ruin. Referricg to the question of a water supply for the Valley, be had gone moit carefully into the question, but felt convinced they could not bear the expense of any system likely to be advocated. The expense of tapping the Dunedin mains and laying pipes throughout tho borough would be some £4,500, and yield, he reckoned, an income of £250 a year. Not only was this a greater sum than could be afforded, but it would not satisfy the dwellers rn tho higher levels, as the latter would receive no benefit from this scheme. However, ho would be happy at auy time to let ratepayer! have all the information ncc. ssary should they entertain the proposal. Respecting the disposal of nightsoil, he objected strongly to the action of the Council in ever having given one nightman a seven-years’ contract, thus virtually compelling ratepayers to pay any charge asked, and also to the renewing of such contract for a further period of five years. He would advocate the striking of a sanitary rate within a given area. Ho condemned the alleged refo: ms of the present Council as no reforms at all, or, if worthy of the name, as being due to Mr Fitzgerald, Controller - General, who had brought the Council to order. Ho spoke strongly' against the method of letting the surface work, calling it " a system of sweating, and advocated the employment of three surfacemen at fair wages, who would be subject to orders and do work promptly that at present was neglected. His return, he claimed, would, ia conjunction with the few good men at present in the Council, inaugurate a new era, and the borough enter upon a career of prosperity. The candidate, in conclusion, referred to his many past services for the good of the borough. On the motion of Mr J. Dckcan, seconded by Mr J. Street, a resolution in favor of tho candidate was carried with one dissentient.

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Bibliographic details

NORTH-EAST VALLEY MAYORALTY., Evening Star, Issue 10475, 19 November 1897

Word Count

NORTH-EAST VALLEY MAYORALTY. Evening Star, Issue 10475, 19 November 1897