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THE MAYORAL ELECTION.

Mr James Gapes, one of the candidates for the Mayoral ohair next year, addressed the ratepayers laßt night at tne Academy of Music. There was a large attendance. On coming upon the Btage, Mr Gapes explained to the audienoe that daring the day he had received a requisition asking him to call a meeting at whicb all the candidates •oold addreas the ratepayers. Though he had not at the time arranged for a Ohairmun, he had at once done hia best to secure a place iv whioh tho meeting could be held. All his time had been taken up in doing this, and he would therefore now ask Mr Androws, as a favour, to take the ohair, with the understanding that this must by no means be taken as identifying Mr Andrews with his candidature. l£r S. P. Andrews here took the chiir, in spite of a protest from Mr Oliver , who waa told by Mr Gapes that he v cl nothing to do with it. The Ohairman introduced tho candidate, explaining that he had always opposed on principle the Bame oitizen being Mayor more than once. In his opinion the honour should go round to the different Councillors in turn. (Applause.) Mr Gapes then addressed tbe meeting to ihe following effeot : — He wonld first explain liis poaition aB a candidate for the honourable office of Mayor. fie had thought that several of the Councillors would contests the honour, and only a few days ago determined to stand for eleotion himself. His nomination paper was not written tUI three quarters cf an hour beforo the time for Hb being presented, and his own signature vas not appended lo it till about three minutes before the time. Finding that not one of the Councillors who had been in oflice two years had the pluck to venture before the public, he had determined to Bcek a position which, however, he did not crave, tho Mayoralty, for a third time. There wero circumstances which he would like to give details of, in order to vindicate his present action. He felt it a duty to himself to explain hid conduct, which had been animadverted upon. That was the reason he Ind placod himself in nomination. Last year he had laid great stresfT upofi the necessity of putting all tho privatestreots ir. >rder. During the past year, thirty-eight of the Btreets hud been dealt with. It had been proposed to borrow £5000 for this purpose, a most important ono, ior if not kopt clean, these places would be nests of disease. He had suggested that the owners should pay for tho roadway and footpaths, uod the Council pay for the side channels. The work had coßt about £3000, and the Btreets Att to bo dono would cost probably another £2000. Tho Bmall loan of £5000 was amalgamuied with tbe great loan of £200,000, and, aa he had leared, this amalgamation had caused th. 4 uj ctioh of the Bmall loan. The consequenco .vtiß that the streets wero not done, and never would bo so long as tho people hn 1 tha privilege of objecting. The Council no .v had a credit balance of about £2700, uu exceptional state of thinga, as previous m his to;m cf office there had almost nl.vuv*) been a debit balance. Some of the C\ un>;i!lors suggested last Monday thut this *b')uld bo made a fixed deposit, but he thought it. thould bo v; lo side channelling tho private streets. He had nover favoured tne proposal to borrow £20,000 for the water supply, though ho w. uid have been benefited by it. The whole of the city would have beon rated, while only a part would havo reaped the benefit. He had not voted on the question as he did not think it fair. He quito agreed with a high pressure 'water supply, but it should be ono tliat would reach the whole of the city, w hen iho Insurance Companies would bo oompeUed to reduco thoir charges, tho reduction on which would pay a considerable portion, cr tho whole, of thß rate. If they did not reduco thoir charges he would suggest the formation of a Co-operative Insurance Compmy. (Applause.) Four years ago he, as ono of v Committee appointod by tho Counoil, hud recommended the placing of a pair of etbtiuiiary steam engines for an extended general water-works scheme. The estimated coat of this was £27,000. The Council would not listen to it. He did not care whother steam power or turbine power was used, so long aa the high pressure supply was available for the whole of the city. With rogard to the market reserve, the recent trial had proved a failure. [Mr Oliver: ''You bave beon tho cause of itß being a failure."] He had objeotod to it because he could not oeo the necessity for it, and the putting up of any kind of a shanty would be no oredit to tho city. Mr Oliver admitted that it wus a dead failure. J] Mr Oliver : "No, I don't."] Well, Mr Oliver had pointed out to him tbat fcho holders did not opon except on Saturday uu-hfc. [Mr Oliver .- "I object to that. It id nvt correct,"] Mr Oliver scorned to think it was not corroot, at all events it was his ( •? i* Gapes') opinion. Twenty feet of the bu.-o frontage in town was giveu for £5, whereas busineaa people for the same frontage eL>G where had to pay £15 for ratos. [Mr Oliver : " It waß £5 last year, it is £10 now."] It might be so : and these men paid no rate. Besides, thoir shops wero only mutch boxos, and some day thero might bo a iiro which would destroy, not only them, but some valuable otber property. Ho would advocate the frontage to Victoria Btreet being let for building purpc- •« -(hear) — and the other frontage bein<; L. t for a fish market. With regurd to tht yoposed Town Hall he had suggested that the frontagos should be devoted to offices which would have let at from £100 to £200. The cellarage would have brought another large sum, Sufficient would thus have been raided to pay interest and sinking fund on the loan. The Town Hall would havo .brought in an additional revenue, and tbe Council would have had their own hall and offices freo of rent. (Applause.) [Mr Atkinson : " Tell us if it is possible to reduce tho rates."] That was exaotly what ho was now doing. Ho now oame to what hB might call the question of the day, tho dismissal of the Town Clerk and his offioers. This wus porhaps the main reason for his coming beforo tho ratepayers that evening. Ho would explain his conduct and leave them to say whethor he had acted right or not. He would refer to an artiole in the Globe, and in doing so ho would first take tho strictures on his conduct, when Sir Aithur Gordon came here. As soon ua ho knew at what timo tho Governor was likely to arrive he had told the Counoil that he intended to invito Sir Arthur Gordon to a luncheon, nt whioh the Oounc'.' >rs and publio officials should moet tho V, vernor. The Council thought it would bo L '-tar to havo a publio dinnor, admission to v> ich Bhould be paid for. Ho had ucccptoi: this proposal, and bad guaranteed to mako up auy deficiency, uot exceeding £50. He bad boon luoky enough to have to pay only £28, but would havo paid double tho amount if called upon, 'the affair was a succoss. Coming now to tho Town Olork business, after quoting from tho article in tho Globe, Mr Gapes continuod : If ho. had given an illegal notice the question of tho legality would certainly have been raised. Councillor Hulbert's rosolutiou ctnti'd that legal notico Bhould bo givon. On the first of the month he had askod for tho officials' several agreements in ordor to givo tho notice. 1 ' • had given all tho officiiiU notico until he c -.- .• to the Town Olerk, win ha.l no ogrceiue.*' , but who suid that hi j duties had been stated by a Bpecial ordor of tho Counoil. Mr Haskins was übout to tondor him advioo, na was his duty, but ho (Mr Gape:>) prohibited him from doing bj, as he (Mr iluskins) was an interested party. Ho had examined tho records of tho Council and then *t at.-d tho case to Mr Cowlishaw, whoßo i'.innedi ite udvieo ho askod. Mr Cowliahawsail C'Youcan't give notice to-day. Itisa vorydifiiouU question." Ho had, in compliance with Mr Cowli -haw's request, handed ovor all tho dociuuor.l-) doHling with tho question, aud Mr Cowlishaw hai finally givon the opinion that tho Town Olork eh • 1 havo threo montho' notico before tho cl*.-- >f tho curront year. '.Iho lust threo man..- tthe current year had ul ready begun, so Air Cowlishaw recomiiiOf.iiod him to give no notico on his own responsibility. Ho hod submitted tho matter to tho Council, who had passed arojolution thii I the thing should bo curried out. But lio,/ wj-t it to bo dono? Mr Haskins could hava brought an notion for dam !«»d if ho received an illegal notice, .nd Mr CowliBhaw said it would rest with b jury to decido Iho quoMiou. Won' • *viyoii<j tako su.-h it rospon?ibility ? (CV ■■•Yos" and '• No.") Goun'illfu' Jj.jr.i-r'., ;.:i;i said Lhat ho had no fault to find with any of tho official**, oo that the Town 01-'i*k would havo been dismissed for no fZnl-. If ho (Air Gapes), by uctiug illegally, i ad caused tho Council to lone £1000 damages lor re, wrongful dismissal, tiio ratepay ors woul 1 not thank him. Mr Haskins had alwii/ i lono his duly, unci his tiiiuiisful would inj uj .us oharuu'.i-i'. (■••■.) Basinets men wouJM u. -tongago tho servicos of a mun who hud been dismissed for uo fault. |Mr

Atkinson: " Was ho engaged for over ?"] Ho was engaged for no definite time. Aftor tbe matter had been disposed of, by the Counoil consenting to drop it, the Town Clerk had, of his own accord, offered to sign an agreement engaging him at three months' notice. (Applause.) He had no more to tell them, exoept to say he was very pleased to meet them in this way. Ho would be very happy to answer any reasonable questions. (Applause.) In answer to questions, Mr Gapes said tho Council had no power to grant the use of the square for Messrs Joubert and Twopeny's Exhibition, but he thought no one would object to the distinction of Christohurch bein,; selected for the exhibition, whioh he believed would do more good than harm. (Applause.) Ho preferred Cranmer flquare to Latimer Square for the purpose, because no improvements had been made on the first, and £200 had been spent on the second. Thore would be no power to make a oharge for outrance if people objected to pay. He had never promised a vote. Some timo ago he had told Councillor Taylor that he had no intention of ooming ont, but ciroumstances had 6inca then altered. He had told both Mr Taylor and Mr Ruddenklau that he would not promise to support either, and that anything he did would be on the quiet. (Laughter and applause.) He was not aware that Mr Huddenklau's supporters had asked him to contest the eleotion, aB he did not know who were that gentleman's supporters. After replying to a large number of questions, Mr Gapes moved a voto of thanks to the Ohairman, whioh brought the meeting to a olose. _________________

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS18811126.2.23

Bibliographic details

THE MAYORAL ELECTION., Star, Issue 4243, 26 November 1881

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THE MAYORAL ELECTION. Star, Issue 4243, 26 November 1881

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