PUBLIC MEETING. A public meeting to hear the views of the three candidates for the Mayoralty waa held last night in the Oddfellows' Hall, and was largely attended. The Mayor took the chair. The Mayor opened the proceedings by reading the requisition, asking him to convene the meeting, which was signed by a large number of ratepayers. He said the calling together of the ratepayers in this way wa3 an old custom revived, the wisdom ot which was doubtful. Aa there were three candidates to address them he proposed to limit each to half an hour, and it had been arranged that they should speak in the alphabetical order of their names. [Crieaof " No, no," and calls of " Thomson."] Mr George said that if he were compelled to speak first he shonld be allowed a quarter of an hour to reply, but he. thought the senior Councillor should speak first. If, however; he was allowed tbe privilege of reply ; he would Bp9ak firet. (Renewed calls for Thomson.) . The Mayer called on Mr George to commence, or, if he declined, he would rule that he had forfeited his right to speak. Mr George submitted that the meeting waa a meeting of ratepayers, and those present had the right to say how it should be conducted. He would, therefore, call for a show of hands as to who should lead off. The Mayor : lam Chairman here, and I intend to rule the meeting. lam here for tbat purpose. If Mr George refuses to Bpeak, I must call on some one else. Mr George accepted the Chairman's ruling ; he felt that he was placed in a wrong position, still he was not afraid. Proceeding with hie address, he said that the position of Mayor was one which required the possession by the occupant of a good many social qualities to fill it with honour. Previous Mayors had not fulfilled their duties in that respect. If tbo3e social functions were properly carried out large public benefits accrued, because if social intercourse were kept alive business would flourish. He had gone deeply into Council matters, and for several yearß he could discover-no improvement in the city, except the building up of a large overdraft; People thought that if they built bridges they must be heavily rated, but he maintained such was not the case, and he quoted figures to prove his contention. All that waß wanted was level-headed business men in the Council. It had been said that the overdraft was caused by the expenditure on the Council buildings, but he would tell them that the loan borrowed at Dunedin at 5$ per cent interest, in order to provide for the buildings, was expended in land on the South belt, and tbat was what caused the overdraft. The whole question was, were they satisfied with things aB they were at present ; were they satisfied with the state of the drain at the East Christchurch school, spreading disease amongst their children, and with the heaps of mud in Lichfield and Tuam Btreets? Complaints were loud as to the way in which charitable aid was distributed. He referred at length to the importance of further beautify ing the Avon. The mode of metalling the streets was not a good one, for only bad metal i was used. He would aßk them to give him their confidence. He had suffered reverses, I but those who would now support him would, if he were successful, be compli- \ mented by those who now opposed him. Mr Smith said that the position oi i Mayor was one which required administrative ability. The Mayor should be able ' to lead the Council ; at the same time the ' Council, he presumed, h<id opinions of its 1 own, and would do the beet it could Referring to the remarks of the lasl - speaker, he thought that the fact that tht . rates had been so much reduced , aftei r paying for such expensive improvement! ! was. a position upon which the Council should be complimented. In the expendi ture of borrowed money tbe Council coulc r only do what was legal. They had beer told that <860,000 was borrowed in ordei ' to keep the city respectable, that the ratei 5 charged were only Is 4d in the £, and out o: 1 this small income the removal of dust ant i refuse coat £1000, night-soil .£I2OO. Othei f large oums (roughly £1500) for charitabh aid were paid out of rates, thus largely di minishing the amount available for stree improvement, so it would clearly be seei 1 that there was not much to expend ii 5 beautifying purposes, which he would b 5 only too glad to see attended to if fund 8 were available. There had been deprea v sion all over the Colon:e3 ; property ba< c gone down in value ; but he was gratifiei to see that owing to the foresight of ou I administrators, citizens here were not i it such a plight as thepeoilo of Melbourn _ or Sydney. With a system oE care an economy the overdraft could soon be pai d off. There was another matter more in . portanfc than beauty, and that was healtt and nothing could conduce more to tba le end than clean streets, aud a good wate l^ supply. It was an admitted fact that th a water supply was giving out, and th sd channels needed a good supply to flus iy '. them. He hoped ere long the city woul I endeavour to obtain a high pressure suppl ■I j without materially increasing the rate 7 . If elected he should fulfil his duty, an
I give his most earnest attention and time to I the office. Mr Thomson said that he would simply , s give them an account of his stewardship. , s He had been twice elected to the Council, had served his apprenticeship on the } ' Finance and Fire Brigade Committees, was 9 now a member of the Works and By-laws Committees, and had served the Council >, two years on the Charitable Aid Board. c For past public Bervices he thought he dei served recognition at the hands of the racepayers. Mr George had made allusion to the Bichmond tramway, and for this he , claimed some credit. It would entail an expenditure of £10,000, and there was some fc credit due for that. He would be found a ' worker in the scheme for a future watersupply. The beautifying of the river > banks was a pet scheme of his, and ! he thought the work could be done i by unemployed labour. He would also advocate the erection of flood-gates where the dam had been taken away, and the water-power might be utilised for electric lighting or other purposes which would bring in a revenue. .If elected, he would spend one or "two hours a day in closely supervising the proper conduct of works of all descriptions. A number of questions were put and answered, and the meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the Chairman.
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MAYORAL ELECTION., Star, Issue 7432, 29 November 1892
MAYORAL ELECTION. Star, Issue 7432, 29 November 1892
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