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MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT.

Wk have mentioned in previous summaries that the town of llokitika had

been" proclaimed a Municipality under the Provincial Council Ordinance, and that some delay had taken place in the election of the first Municipal Council, owing to the provisions of the Ordinance not exactly squaring" with the conditions of the town. The measure was passed by the local legislature of the province before the goldfields had been discovered, and its -machinery was but ill adapted to meet the requirements of a young goldfields town. It was fouud that the franchise conferred by it was practically a very narrow one, and

a general desire was felt, in the first instance, that its operation should be suspended so a^ to allow an opportunity for the introduction of an amending measure into the General Assembly before the election of Councillors took place. As the pressing business of a mo^e inipoYfamt general character, which engrossed the" attention of the Colonial Parliament, was found, however, to render it extremely improbable that the Assembly would find time during the present session to attend to this local requirement,- it was determined, I'clthef .than forego any longer the advantage to be derived from Municipal Institutions, to proceed with tho election of Councillors under the existing' Ordinance, its rria'ny defeats. A meeting o"f el&stoys was accordingly convened, in conformity" 7*"ith the requirements of the Ordinance, at which Mr Commissioner.Sale presided, assisted, by two, Assessors elected by ballot, v'Ll, • Mr, G. W. Binney and Mr Charles Willifim. I*.1 *. Upwards of twenty gentlemen were put iii domination for the nine seats at the Council Board, of which number fourteen went' to the poll, viz., Messrs James R. Anderson, Jas. A. Bonar, M.<Cassius, A. Gumming, J. B. Clarke, F. L. Cjarke, C. Hansen* W. Hungerford, R. Ecclesfield, J. Fitzsimriious!, D. Lynch, | Thomas Munro, W. Shaw, and Charles Williams. The candidates declared elected were -Anderson, Bonar, Cuninling, F. L. Clarke, Ecclesfield, Huugcri'ord, Fittfsimmons, Shaw, and Williams. It 'was subsequently discovered that Mr Clarke and Mr Lynch had polled an equal number of votes, so that the ninth seat at the Board had i ttgain to be contested. The run between iheste tyro gentlemen was a' very close and exciting oiie, resulting in the return of Mr Clarke by a majority of four votes.

At the first meeting of the new Council the meutbers proceeded to elect their Chairman The votes wei-6 taken by ballot. The result, in the first instauce, shewed 'a tie between Mr Bonar and Mr S haw, the ninth vote tiding given for MiAnderson.' The second ballot resulted in a majority of one vote fo»Mr Bonar, who was accordingly inducted into the chair.

The subsequent proceedings of tbe new Council have been of an entirely preliminary character. They have advertised for the set vices of a.gentlemau to form a rate roll for a Town Clerk and for a Solicitor. Pending these appointments, it cafi hardly be said that the piuictfeal work before the Council has been commenced. The Chairman, however, has been instructed to apply to the Government for a site for the erection of a Town Hall, and other suitable buildings connected with it, and for the grant of an endowment to the Munipality. Some considerable time, must necessarily be expended in tho enactin ant of bye-laws, the formatiou of the rate roll, &c., so that we shall have to .wait before we have the opportunity of , seeing the Municipal Council in actual operation as a governing power. It is felt, however, that a good beginning has been made, and the establishment of a sound and responsible system of I town administration is anticipated. By proclamation in the last "Provincial Government Gazette," his Honor

the Superint ndent has applied the Fire Brigades Ordinance to the town of Hokitka, a measure which confers large, additional powers on the Corporation -' and greatly increases its responsibilities

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT., West Coast Times, Issue 332, 16 October 1866

Word Count
647

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. West Coast Times, Issue 332, 16 October 1866

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