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THE CITY MAYORALTY.

OR WILLIAM SWAN AT THE OHORAL HALL. Or William Swan, one of the candidates for the City mayoralty at the forthcoming election, addressed a meeting of the ratepayers in the Lower Choral Halllast night. The chair was occupied by Mr I. Selhy, and the hall was fairly well filled.. The Chairman, in introducing the candidate, said there.were a good many candidates in the market seeking the mayoral chair, but he had every reason to believe that none of them had such good qualifications or claims to it as his friend Jtfr Swan.—(Applause.) Mr Swan had been a good many years—between nine and ten—in the Council, and his aim and object all through had been to economise and reduce the expenditure of the City as far as possible, and now he had no intention of asking the ratepayers to elect him mayor for the honor and glory of the thing, as Borne had asked. He was willing to do the work, if elected, for the good of the City. Next year would Tie the Jubilee of the province, and it was likely that some men anticipated that a good deal of money would be spent about the City. Ho (Mr Selby) thought the very best thing that could be done to mark the Jubilee was to make a reduction of that enormous bank overdraft they had been continually paying interest on.. It was only a few years ago that the late Mr Leary, when standing for mayor for the second time, made the statement that the time was not far distant when the citizens.of Danedin would have no rates to pay-that the endowments were quite sufficient to pay the current expenses of the Council. Well, It had never turned out that way, and the rates, instead of being reduced, were getting just the other way. If anything could be done in the way of having the rates i educed he bslieved Mr Swan was tli3 man to do it.—(Applause.) Cr Swan, who was well received, said: Mr Chairman, Ladies, and Gentlemen,—ln seeking at your hands the position of mayor of this city for the ensuing year, which is the highest hanour that lies in your power to bestow upon a fellow citizen, it behoves me to place before you my reasons for appearing here to-night as a candidate for the honours of the mayoral chair; to give you Borne account, necessarily a brief one, of municipal affairs and my stewardship ss a councillor, especially representing Leith Ward, bat in reality representing, as all councillors do—and as I believe they all feel they do,—every ratepayer iu the city. I have served in the council and on the various committees appointed to carry on the business of the city in its many and various branches. The council, as you know, has in its hands the management of the water supply and the gis supply of the city, of the two cemeteries and of the recreation reserves, of the revenue-produc-ing reserves, the inspection of meat and milk supplies, the maintenance of the Fire Brigade, the regulation of street traffic, the the streets, and many other matters requiring the continuous attention of the council and its staff. I will sty a few words on each cf these matters is turn, and will endeavour to show yon thecouncil's action and my views in regard to them. I do not propose to detain you with figure! at any great length, for after all a few honest, outspokun words mean more. I may say that during my term of office as councillor I have served on the Works Committee, the Reserves, the Water, the Gis, and the General Committee—the last-nsm d being that which has the control of the Fire Brigade, street traffic, sanitation, and legislative matters,—and I tave served at more than one time on no fewer than four of such commit'.ees. Thi', I need not tell you, means that if a councillor does his duty he haß to give up a very large portion of his time to municipal work. I have no. hesitation in sajing that* in this matter I have done my duty, as the office records will show ; but I do not wish to claim that I have done more than, after all, was my duty. In all the various departments the question of flnanca has for many jears past been a more or less anxious one, and great care has had to be exercised in every branch of the council's business to catry on without coming to the citizens for further fcontributions in the shape of extra rates. In this all councillors have assisted, and have, I am sure, acted for the beßt in avoiding the increase of _rates as long as it was possible to do so. I will, however, say a word or two as to these nutters later on. First, I shall SBy a word or two on the various departments. FIBE BRIGADE As you are aware, the annual cost of maintaining the brigade is thrown on the council, which means on to the ratepayers. The brigade costs jasfc £BOO a year. Whilst this does not compare unfavourably with other plaoes, it is in my opinitn a oharge which should not he thrown entirely on to the ratepayers' shoulders. I am strongly of opinion that the burden of maintaining the Fire Brigade should be distributed between the General Government, the fire insurance companies, and the City Conncil—say, one-third each. The insurance companies have always repudiated the idea that they should be called upon to pay one penny, as the citizms practically g>;t the insuranca companies' subscriptions in the shape of reduced premiums. This is really a vision, and not so. Why, did not the insurance companies not eo long ago raise the premiums in a most arbitrary way, as theresultof them wi hj theiruuboly-agreed-upon tariff? Thii is a question wbich requires carefully looking into. THE ABATTOIBS. The City Council borrowed £II,OOO for the abattoir, being £6OOO at 4£ par cent, and £SOOO at 4 per cent, to purchase the land required, and also to pay for the building, which is now in course of ereotiou. There is at present £BCOO at the crcdt of this account, which will, however, be mostly absorbed by the building in course of erection. The work of conj struction has so far proceeded satisfactorily, and the building will probably be finished within contract time ; but it must bo remembered that the municipal account will have probably to bear the cost of running the abattoirs. There will be a balance left out of this loan of about £2000; this is intended for alterations, if required, to the building. The citizens may now rent assured that the council has taken every step in its power to insure a regular supply of prime, good, wholesome meat, killed under the best acd most sanitary conditions that science can procure. The same may be ssid of the milk supply, and it now remains for the citizens to show whether they approve cf the council's action in this matter by supp'orting their own abattoirs. It is to be hoped that this undertaking will turn out successful. Byelaws and regulations are already in draft, and will shortly be submitted for the council's approval.

DRAINAGE. One of the most important things that the council should attend to is the health of the city. I believe if we kept our sanitary condition good we would get a considerable ic create to our population, as people would come here to live because of the healthiness of our city. One of the gr*at evils that colonial cities have to contend with is the prevalence of typhoid fever. In some of the northern towDB fever is very prevalent. If we can keep np the good name of our town for health it will be worth a great deal to us. Our town is filling up gradually, the suburbs are becoming more populated, and the drainage from those on the hills Mo.nington, Roslyn, and Maori Hill-and from the North-East Valley flows for the most part through the city ; and as all the drainage finds its way to the harbour, the Harbour Board has given the City Council notice to stop the drainage from coming to the harbour or the board will have to make a charge upon the corporation, as it is costing the board a large sum to keep the channel clear every year. On this matter the City Council has appointed a committee to confer with a committee of the Harbour Board to come to some understanding, •which, however, has not yet been agreed to.. It is quite clear that those boroughs which send their drainage to the city have a right to contribute a portion in regard to this matter.— (Applause.) I do not think that we can find fault with the Harbour Board for trying to remedy what they consider a growiog evil, and we know that thty have to spend a lun of money every year in keeping the channel clear of silt, of whieh no doubl; some comes from the sewers. As you know, when the late Mr Fish was mayor he took up this question with great energy, and it was advanced a small stage at that time. We received over 30 design*, but I confess that though we offered a large premium none of the designs "seemed to suggest schemes that were within our fiuanc'al position or would effectually treat our sewage; nor was the attitude of some of the suburban councils encouraging. It appears to me, if we are to dispose of the sewage matter into the sea at Lawyer's Head, or if it is to be sent on to a sewage farm, or if it is to be deposited in rtciving tanks on the reclaimed land 1 close to the foreshore, to be then, chemically treated, in either case it is clear that the drainage of Mornington, Roslyn, Maori Hill, and North-Bast Valley should be provided for in the scheme, and that those Tour boroughs should contribute a share of the cost of the drainage scheme. It might be as well that Dunedin and its suburbs be constituted a drainage district with a board, on which all parties interested shall be represented. SEAMWAYS. In November, 1896,' Mr Max Epstein approached the council asking a concession for a term of 42 years, with a view of purchasing the Danedm City and Saburban Tramway Company's concern and altering the system of traction to one of electricity. The matter was considered at length, and it was found that the covenants m the deed submitted by Mr. Epstein praotioally meant the council parting with its control

of tramways on the streets for 63 years In Jannary, 1897, whilst the proposal of Mr Epstein was still pending, Captain Cradock submitted a proposal for working the tram system with gas motor cars. In February, 1897, Mr Epsttio, for reasons-, over which the council had no control, withdrew hi» proposal. In Maroh, 1897, the General Committee reported to the council favourably as to the employment of gas motors; and in April, 1897, the committee recommended that a concession of 42 years be granted to Captain Cradock, providing that after the first 21 years the council should have the right at. any time to purchase the undertaking at a valuation for plant, but no goodwill, or to have the rent charged revalued. Then the question arose as to the price of gas to be supplied to the motors, bat did not bear fruit, and on the 3rd June, 1897, Captain Oradock withdrew his proposals. Then with regard to the agreement made with the four tramway -companies—that is, Dunedin City and. Suburban, Roslyn, Mornington, and Kaikorai,—they are all similarly dealt with—namely, a 21 years' concession, from the Ist September, 1898. At the end of that term the various lines are to be valued and nothing allowed for goodwill. The City Conncil can then take ever any one cr more of the concerns at such valuation; if it elecls not to do so, then each coucern is to be submitted to public auction, subject to the piyme it by an incoming purchaser of the Bmount of the valuation for a further term of 21 years. The council and the ratepayers ate well protected as to the running of the cars, fares, &s., by the covenants and provisions of the various deeds. At the end of 21 years the tramways are to be submitted to public auoiion if not taken over by the City Council at valuation stated and at the current yearly rent. I believe if the council were in a position to take overone or two of the tramways it would bring in a very good return.

THE WATER DEPARTMENT always holds its own. There ara two sources of. supply—Silverstream and Ross Creek. Both supplies are kept as far as possible up to the mark, and the Silveratream race and supply was probably never in better conditiou. The pa»t summer and winter were very dry, yet no inconvenience was felt, and it has not been necessary to.stop manufacturers' and other special «upplies. Another dry summer would probably, however, cau>e some dfficulty. There it at presont about £16,000 at the credit of this department, and most of the vear's revenue has yet to come in. When the year's revenue has been all collected and all current expenditure met and the transfer proposed made to muniS& n™ o !™k therG J - wi!l P ro °»bly be abjut £13,000 to the credit of this department.— (Applause ) But I wish you to notice that there are two questions the council hive to considernamely, extra storage accommodation and filtration— which renders it prudent not to use, at any rate at present, too much of this money for municipal purposes. These two questions have ?u ea^-? r !° me tlmß uader tQ9 cousideratioa of ? ? i?''?»L BDI!i !;, one of tho Proposals is to Ul l d *'-.- Wh *«» Fiat a storage reservoir capable of holding 50 million gallons of water: bnt we are told by the engineer that even wore this work, carried out the people living in Mornington, Roslyn, and Maori Hill would not be any better off than at present unless a special main was laid to supply them. The sscond proposal is to impound the head waters of the Waitati River and build a reservoir within our own reservation in that locality; and yet a third proposal—about which we have not heard so mucb, however—is to tap the Deep Stream, which is abmt 35 or W miles away. I am afraid that would be much too expensive a plan to undertake at present, but something will hava to ba done to ensure a more certain supply.as in the case of another dry winter and summer we are liable to run short, and the people who are living on the high levels especially would bo put to very serious inconvenience. Such a stats of things as this should not be, and something must be doue to secure a regular supply to the high levels. The extra storage and filtration recomm l . en^ e nio«™ he t Silv ' eratream «<* would cost about £16,000, this including the price for land required. The securing of a continuous and ample water supply is above all thiugs, in mv opinion, a necessity, and one to which I snail deem it my duty to apply my bejt cnergiee.(Applau=e.) The annual rtvanua of this department from ratfs is £l3 500, and from special supplies £4soo;—t-jtal, £lB 000 The net annual profit is about £3300

THE GAS DEPARTMENT is virtually a trade comero, bu 1 ; with a monopoly in the hands of e.uno'l Recently the council has lowered the price of gis for cooking, heatmg, and motor power, the object being to mdusß cwiMzmptioa io directions whera it would not ba used nt the higher p:iee, and to cause a consumption m the daytime when o'.herwiso the works aw comparatively idle. This course has succeed-d in inducing a very large number of cit z us to use a c ;° r P n . raUo " B" for ccokinjf purposes and heating their htme», and it appears to be largely appreciated. The council a I . e °&» TOUr ? d to keep the plant and buildings in an efficient state. The old stack being deemed to be dangers, has been condemned, and a new ono is now in conrw of erection to replace it. This will urobablv c st £750 or £BOO ; but we pX to ply ffi rather than endanger the liveiof our workmen. The works are now in a thoroughly efficient state, but improv.mauts, doubtless, cm be made, to the carrying out of which I shall rive my strong support The illuminating gas made last year was 49,183.800 cubic feet The income from that ga«, sold at 7a 6J per 1000 cubic feet, was for last year £18,44318s 63. The ™t ft™ ° c^P° rat ' oa &* «" <*arges was 7s l*d per 1000 cubic feet sold, and a profit per 1000 cubic feet was made of 8 3-SJ, or £1762 7s 9 I • but the annual profit from all sources-that is! from ga-, tar, coke, and other residues, and after all charges hava been proTill •° r ~'!,. A bo , ul; £3oo °- ~ (Applause.) ihere is a credit balance of £6449 12s at p-e----sent, but by the end of next March, when the annual payments of sinking fund and interest have been made and the proposed transfer to the municipal account, this credit will have almost disappeared. The gas showroom tales from the Ist April 1894 to the 30th September, 1897, amounted to £2453. These include.) cookers, fires, baths, and heaters, &o. Cash received for the same .. £1551 5 0 Cxoodß returned, the value of 489 e, 0 Outstanding account) ... 409 iq n The last contract for street lighting was £460 L te n^f w » 8 "™? ofc'iog to do thewor' irq*: • \t° ' but th,s was not accepted. In 1893 eight men wera employed to do this work, at an annual cost of £334 2s.

IJW7 iw?t n i!l e „ inen wero ? m P lo yed at £4Bl, and in I8»7 eight men were employed at £624. I have asked our gas engineer to" give me a report on the condtions of the works generally. I have it here, and will now deal with it: - With reference to the particulars vou wish me to supply you with, I now have pleasure in stating that the ratepayers have in their gasworks an excellent and valuable property, whichSnly requires the inauguration of a much bolder pro* ES e - POl } C v, y m c future lha ° hj« been exhibited in the past to make it the success it What and especially the consuming portion, has every reason to expect at the council's hands. Practically nothing is wanting but the disposition to treat theco* Burners fairly It is now about 10 years since anv relief in the shape of reduction has been conceded to consumers, charing which time the price has remained at 7s CI per 1000 cubic feet for lighting As showing the effect of treating- the consumed f«r y it is only necessity to point to the unSf SUCCe - S3 i Ending the reduction in price fttiS 1 PUrPOSe 3 t0 ti,?„l a 8 18 ? 2 that a Bcneme *>r encouraging the use of gas for purples other than fer light n» l»& anM ' > and ! rom that date to Sarch: 1894, the consumption for that purpose had onlv W , h Jh £t leased tS w;tK "IT • m the ? teTV3 - 1 between 1894 and 1897. e I, ? crea ? ed consumption the number of lnc^ as "'. the figures beingijm, 306; 1837, 67r>. The figures are very satis, f ictqry, and should fully warrant the council in th?™ ngany^y that would twdtooddS this success With respect to the use of K as for rr, B » h K Can ll ofc say that r am a t «" Pleasef w th the result, as the consumption since 1594 has been gradually receding, although tbe number of con" sumers has increased from 2071 to 23(S during the period between 1834 and 1897. I can only account for this decrease by the fact that in 1894 tSme 22 hotels were closed, and that the others closed an hour earlier than before, viz., 10 o'clock Beside this a very large number of incandeEcent burners are being supplied and used? and these ducfZg^, tend t0 aßßi9t itt *S ™S!& wh i lßifc , affects your consumption at present adversely, must eventually tend to strengthen the position of all gas pronert?e S bv its influence in the direction of bei ? nl a. verv powerful competitor with all other modes of HhF mination. This can only eventuate when E as co?" porations and companies realise thi TfSt Ua treat the new burned rather™Tf riend &* and , foe. The total consumptioi of g aa foY all nur d,^™ Va^°l P ? pulari t y in Dunedin is in part ♦« , 2«™ past h >story, "hen the works belonged A J, WP"»* and Sas was notoriously bad and fc nrlfV httl s has ! ince been doneto dis ttiill & ? PU a m l?, ds >, and so tQ e bad name still f..lv ;^, A i? ttle fo ?tering, in tho shape of a fevv small reductions, might have put this right. U hj not, however, too late to put this matter m?,% ? nd n , ow af tcr 10 years It should not be too much to ask.that a reduction be made to consumer* of lighting gas. I have heard it stated on many occasions that the gasworks werd purchased vfitb the express purpose of making a profit. J-nat may be so, but that also is no reason whv :£>™ oanoll aho " ld . in addition to taking, say, *owp per annum on an average since my encase, ment, also make all their capital extension out or the profits, and which amount to about £9OO annual. But, beside this, the consumer is

actually buying the .woria- for ratepayers also out of profits—to. the. tone of £320 annual sinking fund.. Further than this, the pronts are being written down by depreciation to the extent of £2250 annually, while the mainten??<&n ° a ?! lar £ a ' on Profits-represents about I £I2OO annually. Tie consumer 6 also- paying indirectly to the municipal funds bythe difference of lid per gallon for all tar used by the corporauon on their pavements, and this represents «tlt. v. u i - eds ?f .pounds annually.' The rateffiL^£ k ?- ow ? "VtottrUita is naturally dist?^ 6 "*. and thinks discretion the better fn w V "i° u , r ; , ther says nothing, preftrritur nroLrtv 7fThl he rat «P a y e ,rs have a valuable propl&eu*' l67 WoUld was +w»*oi matter JP f :'»Prpgrcs,ivei policy, ijnaV B ay there are many ways In which the councitourht encourage the furtner use of gas for all purposessay, by making use of the prepayment meter, instead of treating it with the contempt it floes not by any means deserve. One cause working against the popular use of gas in a quarter in .which I think it should be encouraged—viz amongst artisans—is the den jsit, which f think is a-stumbling-block. Until the prepayment meter made its advent this deposit waa necessary to protect the ratepayers* interests: now all that is 'required is to connect one of these mete»,and the person using it only requires to put in the necessary coin and the meter is released. This cla'B of meter, is being used largely at Home in this manner. The gas 'company or corporation put in, say, a~single jointed bracket in, say, four rooms of a cottage, the cost being about 30s; in addition a small gas cooker is provided, the whole being put in free of all cost to the consumer. The meter i 3, however, adjusted so that the amount put in covers the value.of the.gas plus interest on outlay, and a bit more._ It has been found that consumers.who were inveterate grumblers when the collector came round under the old system never Bay a word, though they are actually paying.more. The total cost of such connection would not average £6 each, including interest. The present "capital cost per head for consumers is, say, £33, so that every consumer added, when ha does not exceed that' sum, Is assisting in reducing the capital load per head. The schenii might be paid for ont of "profits by voting, say, £6DO annually, which would add at least 100 consumers. I might point out that on the south end of the old Exhibition ground there has been built quite a small settlement, numbering probably 15 cottages, from four to seven rooms each, not one of which is using gas, although three mains, which have cost' several thousands of pounds, run past the very doors. Many other schemes might be suggested; but this one suffices until the council has expressed an b'd" 3 ° r against on the general principle i u A i nd t now iot th « works' themselves. I may say that they are now in a higher state of efficiency than at any period, and fully 25 per cent, more gas can be produced with the same plant than nereto.ore; but there are many improvements .still necessary, principally in the matter of retort settings. As I have repeatedly pointed out, both verbally and by report/ a considerable, waste of fuel has been going on for years—a loss which I may safely say represents £BOO to £IOOO annually. Part of this is due to the furnaces beirig so'near permanent sea level. Capillary attraction draws the water from below the foundations, and steam may on many occasions be seen Bpurting through cracks m the brickwork, and when a new setting is being started condensed water may ha seen running out of the retorts by the bucketful, which, it should be unnecessary to say means fuel, but the water remaining under ground is also being operated upon by the heat. radiated from the setting. A few days ago I tested some of this water at a distance of several feet from the buildings, and found the temperature 98deg Fahr., the normal temperature of the. water at the time being about 50Jeg. What I have«recommehded on more than one occasion, without effect, is that the retort house be altered so that generator- furnaces may be adopted at the earliest moment This would have the effect of raising the furnaces well beyond the.reach of the foundation water, and by substituting the improved furnaces I believe that from 800 to 1000 tons of coke could be saved which is at present lost. This alteration I have estimated fc> co3t about £4OOO, which would bs paid for in five years by the saving effected in ■}c A l -' mav bs su ssested : What would you do with this extra lot of coke if saved-at present you have large stocks on hand ? My reply is, go in for an au3 "" a, T water gas plant. Such a one as would be suitable for Dunedin for many years to come could, I think, be put down for say £IO.OOO. This would stave off the necessity for the large holder previously recommended by myself until the present old telescopic one has become too bad for work. The advantages of a water gas plant are many. First, it would Becure the works against strikes amongst stokers (less skill being required ti work it on such occaion) and coal miners; facility with which large quantities of gas can be produced at short notice (three to six houri), a coal gas plant requiring a? many days; high standard to which the gas can be brought-a matter of impossibility with coal gas, as it would smoke. But it is more in the collateral form that its most attractive advantages are made apparent—viz, control of the coke market by creating a demand on the works for all surplus stocks, preventing its accumulation; small ground space necessary compared with coal ga*; instant, control of the candle power; less cost of plant par 1000 cubic feet; independence of labour market; independence of coal supplies; prevention of naphtha in deposits in mains and plant on workß; and, most important of all, the facility with which the generators can let down and be started again without injury to plant—a matter absolutely impossiide with a cjal gas plant. As showing its influence on the profits of a gas undertaking, I would just quote the expertence of a Mr Stelfox, engiueer of the Belfast gasworks and now president of the Gas Institute. He says that although he does npt find much difference in the cost' of putting the gas in the holder as between it and coal gas, yet he found the collateral advantages such that, while he could scarcely explain how it was, yet the fact remained that his profits had increased from £23,000 to £34,000, although his plant was only one-fifth the size of his coal gas plant. The cost of putting this gas in the holder depends chiefly upon the price at which crude shale oils can be landed on the works. This may eventually be dispensed with, for so far 881 can see all that is required is to make the use of the incandesc3nt burner universal, and there would be no necessity for enriching with oil. Probably in the near future acetylene may be used as the means of enriching this gas at each residence, by means of a carburettor. When this happens I see no reason why gas should not be supplied at one price—viz., 53, or even less, and leave a larger margin of profit.

You will notice that the gas engineer speaks of introducing a new system of meters, where the consumer would put a coin into the slot of the meter and be supplied with gas to that amount. I do not think that it would be wise to introduce a meter of that kind. Ido not think that the corporation makes much loss of revenue from gas sold, and_ so far as I know I do not think.that the corporation ii put to any great expense in collecting gas accounts. And then with regard to the deposit money, this is only enforced in cases where there are great doubts about the rayment of the account. But with regard to tie w plant, 1 am strongly of opinion t>:a v . the council should agree to the engineer's requtst and go in for. a water-gas plant. Then we ehould be in a position to supply batter and cheaper gas. As he strongly points out, the fact is that tho council will either hive to get a water-gas plant or the present works will require a sum of money to be spent up m them for a gasholder and new retorfs, wli'c'l, I believe will ocst more than the water-gas plant, la _

_ THB MUNICIPAL DEPARTMENT the estimates of receipts and expenditure for the current year, made in February last, disclosed a probable deficiency in revenue for the year of £10,680 lis 4d; the expenditure being estimated at £40,165 18s lOd and the revenue at £29,485 7s 6d. It was proposed to make up this deficiency by transferring a sum of £10,680 lis 4d, part of whioh would be taken from the water account and part from the gas accouut. I may say that the most careful consideration was given by the surveyor and town clerk in considering these estimates, and eo far the progress of the year has justifl-d them, so that they may bs onsidered as closeiy approximate; in fact, the estimated expenditure has not yet beiu exieeded. For many years past, as you are a a are, the municipal revenue has be»n di creasing, the chief items of shortage beiug ritss, r*nts, and licenses. In the year 1888 thn r«t abl» vilue of the city property was £260,514, the lowest that had been for 10 years. This w*s the year when the council had to transfer for the first time £IO,OOO from the gas account to the municipal account, and since theu the municipal-revenue has been decreasing, while the expenditure has been increased by over £2OOO, the principal items in this increase being overdraft interest, additional charges for hospital and charitable aid, abattoir inspector's salary, and expenses in connection with the loan conversion scheme. The City Council, as you are aware, is carrying out the street work by day labour. This was taken over by the council on the 10th October, 1896. The city surveyor considers that the work is being carried out more satisfactorily than it was under contract, and the cost is not increased. The last year's accounts have not yet been aualysed by the surveyor eo as to give the exact figures, but the result is considered satisfactory,; as the work is being much better looked after. * As showing how tho rateable value of propeity in the city has decreased—and this has its natural effect oh the revenue—l will mention the annual rateable values for the years:—lßßß. £260 514; 1889, £253,534; 1890. £254,825; 1891, £254.668; 1892, ££57,8701893, £257.000; 1894, £245,205; 1895. £243,465; 1896, £232,814; 1897, £233,248 : showing a deficiency in 1897 as against 1888 of £27,266. The amounts of all tho loans are as follow: —The municipal loan is £300,000, the water department loan £203.300, gas department £IOO,OOO. The annual interest is £33,881 12s, and the annual payment to sinking fund amounts to £4757. On the 3Ut March, 1897, the sioking fund amounted to £170,686 0a 6d, and tfiis year's contribution is payable in December, which will amount to £4757. This fund will on the 3lst March, 1898, amount in round figures to £184,000, less such sum as the judge of the Supreme Court may determine to be given to the loans, amounting to £20,900, which mature next year. The annual shortage of revenue now amounts to from £IO,OOO to SII,OOO per annum. In 1888-1889 the municipal revenue proper amounted to £34,476 9s Bd, and in 1896-1697 to £27,559 10s Bd, showing

& decrease foe 1897 of revenue of £6916 19s. And the exoondiiure in the same department wan for 1896-1897 £39,328 8i 4d, as against 1888-9 £37 316 63 4d, showing an increase of £2012 2s. la the above period the revenue hag decreased annually in rates £1759 Is 7d ; rents, £3148 1< 8d ; licenses, £1987 15» Sd. Then from the year 1883 to the jt-ar 1895 the municipal account has been assisted from the gas and water profits by the following amounts :—Taktn from gas account-, £25,700 ; from the water account, £13,808 5s 2d;— total, £39,508 5s 2d. It is also proposed to take this year the sum of £10,680 11* 4d. This will make the net contributions taken from the water and gas accounts to the municipal £50,188 16s 6d in the past nine years.

FINANCE. It has been truly said th*t it is not sound financing to lean too much on the water end gas department!, and nothing bit the most urgent necessity renders it advisable to .do so. After all charges have been made on "public works and our interest on siuking fund charges has been provided tor, there has betn vtry little left to provide for the yearly maintenance of the street? throughout the year. The continually falling reveuu j lim rendered it very difficult fir the City Council to mika the incline meet the expenditure l , and this could only be done by a traasfor from the water and gas account to the municipal nexmov, or by iucreasing the rates ; and under all the circumstance?, and considering the depressed state of trade and the great, hardship that would have been inflicted by the increas'ng of the rates, I think that the council W3S jmiili-jd in making ends meet and carryiog out tha limited but necewary work that they have dona. Bat it is clsar thit the council could not keepbleeding there departments much longer, as both of thtm will before long require money to be sp?nt on tUeao to make them thoroughly (-ffiaient. For these reasons I do not think that it wcu'd ba wise to draw more money from these departments at present other than a portion of the yearly profit, and that should only bo dona for a few years, until more of the debentures fall due, which will give the ratepayers further relief. It is now resolved by the council to put on an additional general rate of 31 in the pound for the current financial year, which will bring in £2917; and also a special rate of 61 in the pound for next year, wh'ch will bring in £5834. This, along with thercHef that wo shall obtain from the paying off of the loan of £20,900 which is maturing next year, will giva us £1672 a year, less any euaa that we may have to pay for interest aud sinking fund on any money that we might borrow to rusks up the shortag* of sinking fund. With respect to the maturing loans, these will enable us to carry en _ with economy, with a slight; and limited assistance from the gas and water departments ; and in my opinion it is better puttir.g too much on to the shoulders of t:.o rati p ijes. for increasing the rates is, in my opinion, casting a burden on the ratepayers which the m»jjrity cannot bear. With regard to the money thit we might require to bjrrow, ib U to make up any shortage which may occur in the stoking fund—of £3OOO or £4OOO to pay off the loan of £20,900. L»die3 and gentlemeo, in conclusion I can only svp th*t all the other candidates, in my opinion, are able aud well qualified to occupy the portion of miyor—(hear, hear),—but I think that to him whom the ratepayers have returned as councillor, and who has served you as tu hj for a cumbe: of years, the opportunity should bs given to serve you as mayor—(applause) -and that opportunity should be given before io is given to another for a second term. I believe that this is not only my opinion but yours also, and that jou will show by your vote, and return ma at the head of the poll.—(Applause.) I did not intend to say a word against uny of the other candidate?, bat there is one remark or two I should like to make with regard to a statement by Mr Gore as to his beiug as much entitled to the position of may«r as Mr Hardy or mjself. He siid he had served you as councillor for the same number of years as Mr Hardy and myself. I believe it is the case that he has s.rved you for about the same time when both his terras of offici a e taken into consideration. He entered the council about 18 or 19 years ago, he served for about four years, and then he was elected to the cfßce of mayor. Ho then left the council, but came back three and a-hslt or four je»rs a ; jo, and cow he is before you again as a candidate for the officeof mayor. It appears that he wants tj be elected to the offije twice before Mr Hardy or myself is elected once. I shall, however, await your verdici with confidence. I thank yon, ladies and gentlemen, with which you have listened to me.—(Applause.) In reply to a question as to whether he would be agreeable to reduce the mayor's salary, Mr &wAN said he thought it was time that the mayor's salary should be reduced, and he thought that now was an opportune time to do it. If Mr Solomon would carry out what he said he would and move that the salary be reduced, he would gladly second the motion.— (Applause.) Mr James Giihon asked if Mr Swan would promise that if he were elected he would endeavor to have some drainage effected about the wharves. There was a lot of traffic there, and not the slightest attempt at any drainage. In the winter months the streets there were a sea of mud. It was impossible to get to the wharves without leggings. He wanted to know why such a state of affairs had existed all these years during Mr Swan's term of office as councillor. Mr Swan replied that the Council did not hold itself solely responsible for the streets about the wharves. Hitherto the work had been done by the Council, the Harbor Board, and the Government. The three bodies contributed equally to any co.it incurred on these streets. He was quite alive to the fact that the streets there were very much in need of metal. They should be better attended to in the interests of the dumb animals if for no other reason. Mr Gibson said he was not satisfied with Mr Swan's reply. Ho did not ask him who was responsible for the maintenance of the streets nor if he would be willing to metal them, but if he would promise to see, if elected, that they were properly drained. (Turning to Mr Solomon, Mr Gib3on said, somewhat hotly): "I know you don't like these remarks, Mr Solomon, but hold your tongue, and get up and speak when I am finished."—{laughter and applause ) Mr Swan : You can rest assured I will do all in my power to have better drainage put into those streets, and even if I am not elected I will do all in my power to have it done.—(Applause.)

Mr Gibson : Now, Mr Solomon. Mr Solomon : I never spoke. Mr Gibson : I both heard and saw you. I am quite willing to give you a fair reply. Mr D. Been an then proposed a vote of confidence in the candidate. Mr Swan had, he said, been in the Counoil for a good many years, and if there was ever a worker there he wa3 the one, and if service was recognised at all by the ratepayers they should elect Mr Swan to the mayoralty.—(Applause.) Mr J. Neil seconded the motion, and said that while they could not congratulate Mr Swan on his native eloquence, they knew that he had a thorough grasp of municipal matters and would do his very best to further the interests of the City and the ratepayers if elected. —(Applause.) No amendment was proposed, and the motion was declared to be carried unanimously. Mr Swan, in acknowledging the vote, assured the ratepayers that if they did him the honor of electing him, they would have no reason to regret it.

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Bibliographic details

THE CITY MAYORALTY., Evening Star, Issue 10476, 20 November 1897, Supplement

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7,112

THE CITY MAYORALTY. Evening Star, Issue 10476, 20 November 1897, Supplement

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