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A POPULAR MAYOR.

MR R. McARTNEY,

His Wokship the Mayor (Mr R. McArtney) has signified his intention of retiring for a period from active engagement in municipal government. On the conclusion of the ordinary business at the meeting of the Borough Council last night, Cr. McCallum said that, this being the last meeting of the present Cotineil, he had been asked to express on behalf of Councillors the feeling which was but inadequately re2)resented by the following motion : — "That the Council hereby places on record its high appreciation of the manner in vchich His Worship the Mayor (Mr Robt. McArtney) has occupied the position of Mayor during his term of office, and the great confidence and esteem in which he is unanimously held by the Council; further, that his capable manner of presiding at the Council meetings, and the courtesy, tact and firmness displayed by him have on all occasions caused the* business to be Conducted most satisfactorily, pleasantly, and harmoniously." His Worship, he said, had been a member of the Council for 17 years continuously, and Mayor for the past sixteen months, Mr McArtney had told them that lie did not intend to seek re-election; but he could rest assured that if anything cou'd be done to alter that decision no stone would be left unturned. Durirg his occupancy of the Mayoral chair there had not been one discordant note; and by his courtesy and his ability he had earned the highest esteem of the whole Council. His record as a councillor of seventeen years standing was without blemsh; he had always enjoyed the respect of his colleagues. Personally popular, he had always shown the qualities of keenness and firmness, and his vote had always been given for the general interests of the Borough. With men of such high character, the tone of local bodies was what it should be; and their appreciation of Mr McArtnoy's public character was all the more pleasing because he was practically a Blenheim " boy." His Worship could rest assured his return to the Council at any time would be heartily welcomed. (Applause.) Cr Macey, in seconding the motion, expressed great uegrefc that His Worship had decided not to allow himself to be re nominated, and said he felt sure this was the sentiment of the whole E ;>rough. Cr Ching said tliat there wa:i a general sense of disappointment that His Worship was not standing for re elestion.

Cr Scott, one oCthe junior N Councillors, said that this feeling extended beyond the Borough itself.

Cr Penny also referref^^lie'ab'ilEy shown by the present MlflrS, and said that his qualities fitted him for a higher position than the Council could offer.

Cr Priddle said that young Councillors entering on public life owed much jto Mr MeArtney, who had always been ready,to advise them.

Cr Trevor said tlr.it His Worship had filled with advantage to the Borough a position that was by no means a " bed of roses."

Cr James cordially endorsed the remarks of his brother Councillors.

The Mayor, in acknowledging the resolution and the kind expressions of the speakers, said that the Councillors and ratepayers had judged his services with the" bast of grace. With regard to his decision not to seek re-election, he had found that, to fill the office as one desired that it should be filled, it was necessary to spend on the duties of the position a good deal of timemore than he could at present afford ; but he had no intention of completely deserting the Council. He would retain his interest in the affairs of the town and its welfare. Just now he would have to give more attention to his own affairs; but he hoped that the time would soon arrive when he would re-en tar,, the Council. He regretted leaving the Council very much indeed. Some of his most pleasant hours had been spent in the Council Chamber, for his colleagues had always treated him with the greatest consideration and respect. For himself, he had endeavored to make the interests of the ratepayers his first consideration ; he had never had any particular axe to grind. Indped, though he>had been connected with the Council for 17 years, he had not known any councillor with other than just intentions in this respect, He did not think that during the whole of that time it could be fairly said that anyone who had sat in that chamber had bean animated by any other motive than that of benefiting the Borough as a whole. He had never seen any evidence of "log-rolling," or attempts to serve personal ends. He had not clone as much during his term of office as Mayor as he would like to have done ; and he would say to his successor ; " You may have good ju.tentions at the beginning, but time and opportunity will not allow of the attainment of all. your ambitions." There was nothing very much to show on the surface; but the sixteen months' work was quite satisfactory; and he thought the ratepayers had a right to thank the Councillors for what had been done, He claimed that they had done steady progressive work for the Borough. Several works which had to his knowledge bothered the Council for the last 17 years were completed during the last 16 months. He instanced the filling-in of McColl's section at the top of High Street, and a similar improvement carried out in Grove Road. These did not make a big show as far as the roads and footpaths were concerned, but they were greatly in tho interest* of the public from a health point of view, (hear hear.) He did not take any special credit to .himself; one man could do but little ; by Marking shoulder to shoulder the Council could do much. That was why his term of office had been so satisfactory ; and ho had to aoknowlodge tho very hearty cooperation of his rolleagues. A steady and progressives policy had been pursued; and ho would say to his successor : — " Don't, attempt a groat flourish ; keep within your means ; and you will have Uip thanks of the ratepayers." He might justly say that he had been called on to do during his term of office as much as a Mayor would in ordinary times do \\\ three pr fpur years. Perhaps all this work came to him as a ppnance for declining to take the Mayoral office before (laughter.) He had carried out the extra work in conn£ptipn wtyh the patriotic cel^bratipng.

with the desire that the town acquit itself with the greatest possible credit; and he was proud to know that his efforts had met with the appreciation of the Councillors and the people. But he himself did not deserve all the praise ; ho had to thank the people and Councillors for their co-operation. In conclusion' His Worship said they would always find that " if by any effort on liis part this little town could get a .shot ahead, he would not be found wanting." (Applause.)

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

A POPULAR MAYOR., Marlborough Express, Volume XXXV, Issue 76, 2 April 1901

Word Count
1,170

A POPULAR MAYOR. Marlborough Express, Volume XXXV, Issue 76, 2 April 1901

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