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THE BOROUGH COUNCIL.

The Councillors of the Borough of Hokitika met yesterday morning at ten o'clock, under the "Municipal Corporations Act, 1867," for the purpose of electing a Mayor. i resent: — Courcillors Button, M'Beth, Shaw, Bartlett, Ecclesfield, Higgin, Peterson. Boyle, and Prosser. On the motion of Cr. Button, seconded by Cr. Boyle, Cr. Shaw was requested to take the chair. ELECTION OF MAYOR. The Chairman said that this was a meeting of Cou- cillors held in conformity with the provisions of the new Act to elect a A 1 ayor. Of course they would thoroughly understand that ho was about lcav ing tlie place altogether, and therefore he should have to vote for some one else If, he ag'iin aspired to Municipal honors it would not be in I iokifika, as he was about leaving it, but still he had a great interest in its v. el are, having as yet a considerable amount of property therein. The Council had the power, under the new Act, to elect a person outside the ouncil, but so long as a .suitable person to fill the office of Mayor could be found amongst the Councillor , he (the Chairman) thought that the Mayor ougnt to be chosen from amongst them. He would now request that some of the Councillors would propose a candidate or candidates for the office of Mayor. ' - Cr. Button said- that he begged to p'.opose Or. Prosser aa a lit and proper person to be elected as mayor. That # ntlcman had been in the Counc i longer than most other memoes s, and he had also rendered good service to Westland as a member of the Provincial Council of Canterbury.' For his own part he would state that he simply intended to rema n in office as a councillor until the good ship Corporation was Curly launched. After the first, ordinary meeting of the Council he intended to resign, and he be'ieved that as soon as there wjis no danger that a quorum of the council not exist, that several other members would resign also, lie me tioned this, because under th<.- Bill, whilst a quorum existed, the council had powei .for fixing the day for filling up vacancie- 1 , but ,f no quorum exisie'l then the power would lapsb to the Governor. lie now begged to move that Councillor Prosser be elected mayor until the annual election in December. . Cr Higgin,. in seconding the motion, said that he l'ullv agreed with the statemeut made by Cr Button respecting the claims of Cr Prosser to be elected to the office of mayor, and he felt perfectly satisfied that that gentleman would, if elected, discharge the duties of the office faithfully and with energy and integrity. • * Cr Prosser said that he was greatly obliged to Crs. Button and Higgins for tlie kind manner in whi.-h they had spoken of him. The council was placed in a particular difficulty in having to elect a Mayor, before the election of Councillors ■and if any other gentleman was proposed for the office he (Cr Proper; would be happy to vote for him, as he (Cr Prosser) could assure them that at pre-cnt his timewas fully occupied. lie was sorry that Cr. Button intended to resign as he should

have been extremely happy to have voted for that gentleman as Mayor. If however, no other member of the Council was willing to come forward he would accept the office until the end of the year ; although it would be at the sacrifice of much of his time. He must however, state that he thought a certain sum should be placed at the disposal of the Mayor to dispense in charities, otherwise the office would become a Heavy tax upon his. private purse as the former Mayor could doubtless testify. The Chairman said that he certainly high y approved of the choice falling on Cr Prosser, although, he (the Chairman) had been going to remain in Hokitika, there would probably have been a fight for the honor. Cr. Prosser was a man who had given a great deal of his time to the public service, and, therefore, such honor as the Council had to bestow would fittingly fall upon his shoulders. The motion was then put, and passed unanimously. The Chairman then vacated the chair, which was taken by < r. Prosser. The Mayor elect said that he was extremely obliged to his brother councillors for the honor they had conferred upon him in unanimously electing him to the office of Mayor, and he would endeavour to the best "of his ability to cany out the duties of the office. He was sure, however, that no councillor would desire to be placed in the office if .they received the same amount of support from the press of the town as had bei n previously afforded. No one had been more abused than the late Mayor had been by the press, and he (the Mayor elect) thought that when a number of gentlemen were willing to give up their time for the service of the public, the}' were entitled to an amount of support from the press, so long as they t ied to do their duty. A great outcry had beeu raised against the late Corporation, and if that went on they would ha.ye great difficulty in finding men willing to go into the Council. The abuse of the Corporation seemed not only to be instilled into the minds of the editors, but to have permeated into the minds of their correspondents. [Here the Mayor-elect read a letter published in the West Coast Times from a correspondent at Lamplough, which set forth that the diggers greatly blamed the Corporation.] He the (Mayorelect) certainly thought that the editors or proprietors of the papers should take steps to ■ set such wrong statements right. He hoped to be able to fill the, post of Mayor with the same ability as their late worthy Mayor had done ; and .although he (the Mayor-elect") had at times differed with the- late Mayor, still he must say that gentleman had fulfilled the duties of the office in a most able and impartial manner, and when he took anything in hand, he carried it out most energetically and with indomitable perseverance. He (the Mayorelect) had opposed both the ate Mayor and Cr. Button at the last election for Mayor, but he stated at the time that he opposed Cr. Button on a principle, and was very glad that in support of that principle Cr. Shaw was then elected. He hoped, before this Council closed, that somemember would propose a vote of thanks to the late Mayor, for he had very ably discharged his duty. In conclusion, he wished to state that he would endeavour to conduct the business of the Council in a manner entirely free' from personal feel-_ i ing, and he believed that in doing this he^ should be assisted by the Council. ' ' ' Cr. Button said that he claimed the prir vilege of proposing a vote of thanks ito the late Mayor, more especially as he. (Cry Button) had opposed that gentleman at the last election for Mayor, and had very nearly beaten- him. However they had worked together most harmoniously for some time, and he (Cr. Button) must say that whenever a difference had arisen in the Council which -equired the interference of the chair, /Mr hiw had always given his decision i« a str.rig ltforward manner. He (Cr. Button) was of opinion that the very fact of Mr Shaw being Mayor had done this Corporation a great <L al of injury, but that had not arisen from any per- , sonal disqualification on the part of that gentleman, but from a spirit of antipathy to him personally that .had been raging abroad, and the mere fact of his being in the chairwas quite sufficient for him to be attacked by one section of the press, and he (Cr Button) bel eyed that many w'deserved reflections had been cast upon Mr Shaw. So far, however, from that gentleman feeling annoyed at the^e attacks, ihe (Cr Button) believed thar Mr Shaw was quife prepared to do "with them as the lion did when the donkey kicked him. MShaw ha r l, howjever, been cn-ibled by the use of another portion of the press to repel the attacks made against the Corporation, arid thus to come to thcir'help against the nighty lie had great pleasure in proposing a vote of thanks to tha late mayor.* Cr Iliggin seconded the motion, and bore testimony to the able manner in which the late mayor hud .discharged his duty. The motion was imt and carried unanimously. ' ' - Councillor -haw said that he thanked Cr Button for the very handsome compliment he had paid t • him, and the council for the honor they liad conferred upon him inreognising bis past services by' a vote of thanks. He could assure them that so far froni being annoyed at the abuse to which he had been subjected, he was so used to being abused that he ra'her felt out of his element «-hen he was not subject to abuse. This, however, he would sjiy, that whilst he was mayo, he had honestly, and to the best of his ability endeavored to discharge the duties pertaining to the' office, and he trusted now that the\'- would find the second moiety question, law co?ts, and other vexatious things all cast aside, and that all would go on smoothly, and that the future of Hokitika 4 would be more successful than it promised to be at present. In conclusion, lie begged gratefully to acknowledge the vote of thank* which the council had been pleased to accord to him. VOTES OF THANKS. Votes of thanks were then passed to the Town Clerk and the officers of the late Corporation for their past services— to Cr. Button for the legal assistance he bad rendered to the Council, and to the Public Works Committee. WEEKLY ME (-TINGS. On the motion of Cr. Button, seconded by Cr Shaw, it was resolved that ;the usual weekly meetings of the Council take place on Friday evenings at half-past seven o'clock. . j ' i APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS. ' \ On tlie niotiuii of Cr. Button, seconded by Cr. Shaw, it Was resolved that theTdwn Clerk, Town Solicitor, Town Surveyor, Town Collector, Wharfinger, Messenger, and Sexton of the late Corporation be appointed officers ,of the Borough ofllokitika at their former salaries. CONFIRMATION OF ACTS OF THE TOUMER COUNCIL., On the motion of Cr. Sh iw, seconded by Cr. . BartJett, all the acts of the former Council, fioin .the 25th August to the present time were confirmed.

Tenders for the removal of the Elizabeth were opened, but it was determined that no tender should be accepted at present. ■" The Mayor having signed the usual declaration on his assuming office, tlie Council adjourned.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WCT18680910.2.12

Bibliographic details

THE BOROUGH COUNCIL., West Coast Times, Issue 926, 10 September 1868

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1,814

THE BOROUGH COUNCIL. West Coast Times, Issue 926, 10 September 1868

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