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West Coast Times. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1866.

The result of the .Municipal Election yesterday' was not altogether satisfactory. We confess, we should hare preferred to see a larger proportion of the old Improvement Committee chosen as members of the new Council. They constituted a useful public body ; did lully as much practical work as could have been expected from , them under the many and grave disadvantages they had to contend against; and niight have been thought to be fairly entitled !to a recognition 'of their services by their fello iV-citiz"ens. The electors, however, had a very difficult task of selection ; and however much we may regret that many good men are excluded from the first Municipal Council of Hokitika, it is satisfactory to be able to feel thnt amongst the nine men returned, there is not one who can be described as unworthy r> r *v> e position of trust to which he hi ■ b«e i advanced. That so many eligible candidates came forward, and that in the whole list there was not one objectionable name ; is a most satisfactory guarantee

of the future status of ourjocal gover'Ai'ng body. Tne successful working of jnuni'eip.B institutions depends to n veuy large extent upon the character of the men returned by the, electors. Irf larger legislative bodies, representing various constituencies, influences operate to protect public interests from being improperly and unwisely dealt with, that are wanting in > a mere municipal council. In the latter, the number of representatives is necessarily small, and the influences brought to bear upon them are exclusively of a local character. We believe the men chosen will fulfil all the expectations that are entertained of them. They have, without exception, a large busir.e3S aud property stake in the town. They are men of practical ability, and there ij no reason why they should not proceed to the discharge of their duties, with a disposition to work in harmony for tlie furtherance of the interests of the town. That so many persons, who ere equitably entitled tp vote, as householders of long standing, who will constitute the future ratepayers, were debarred' from doing so- on technical grounds, is a circumstance very gi'eatly to be regretted. We see no grounds, however, for assuaiing that if a larger number of citizens had been qualified, the result would have been materially different. Although, dissappointment may naturally be felt by some of ,the unsuccessful candidates, whose most honorable aspirations have been disappointed, we think that as soon as this feeling subsides, there will 1 be a general satisfaction at the issue of the election. r JJhe first important duty that the new Council will have to discharge isthe choice of a 'Chairman. This functionary will hold a position and exercise powers similiar to, though not corres- ! pondent with, those of the " Mayors" in the Otogo province and the colony of Victoria. It is premature at the present moment to speak of the relative merits of the members of the Council who may be pi'oposed for Chairman. It would be equally premature for the Councillors to pledge themselves un-'i thiukiugly to any candidates for any offices within the gift of the Corporation. That they wiil be besieged on all hands is not -improbable, but we think that every member of the Council should maintain his perfect freedom from pledge or promise ; and make it a matter of conscience and honor to be able to take his seat at the board and say, "lam in a free position to deal with all applications for office under the corporation on the simple basis of their merit« . Nothing could N bc more unfortunate than for the Council at the very beginning, to lay itself open to the suspicion of having used its powers of patronage, at the instance of private solicitation.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WCT18661004.2.9

Bibliographic details

West Coast Times. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1866., West Coast Times, Issue 322, 4 October 1866

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634

West Coast Times. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1866. West Coast Times, Issue 322, 4 October 1866

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