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BOROUGH COUNCIL.

ELECTION OF MAYO 1 1.

The annual meeting of the Borough Council was held at noon yesterday.

Present — The Mayor (in the chair), and Councillors Tait, Hawking Todd, Macfarlane, Barrett, Alcorn, F. L Clarke, and Jack.

The minntes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed.

The Town Clerk stated that the balance sheet for the ye.-tv, which had been lying on the table s-ince the 23rd of November, must now be signed by the Mayor, The Mayor, having affixed his signature, expressed his regret that the financial condition of the Corporation was not in a more satisfactory state, lie trusted, however, that in the ensuing year, there would be an improvement in that respect. Only works of necessity have been undertaken but even those had amounted to a larger sum than tho receipts.

The Town Clerk read a schedule of the works to be undertaken dining the ensuing municipal year, of outstanding liabilities, and of the money available to meet the same.

The Major made a few remark* a^ to his occupancy of office for the ia-t three months, during which be re furred to the fact that there had been :it times " a little sparring" in the Council, but he believed that those small differences did not impair the goodwill which existed between the Councillors pers>nally. He called upon the Councillors to propose a gentleman to fill the office of Mayor. Cr F. L. Clarice moved, and Cr Todd seconded, that the present Mayor, Cr J. B. Clarke, be elected Mayor for the ensuing year.

Cr Todd moved, and Cr Hawkins seconded, that Cr Tait b-3 appointed Mayor.

Cr Barrett moved that Cr Hawkins be appointed Mayor.

Cr Hawkins expressed himself much obliged for the proxiosition, but under present •circumstances lie could not permit himself to become a candidate against the outgoing Mayor. Some three months ago he (Cr Hawkins) was a candidate for office when Cr J. B. Clarke was elected by a majority of the Councillors. As that was the decision then, he could not content the office now, against the same geii'lcman who had then been preferred. He would not join with those former friends of the present Mayor and help to put a mark upon his back that he was unable to discharge the duties of the office. lie (Cr Hawkins) would be wanting in respect lor himself if he were not to vote for Cr J. B. Clarke on the present occasion.

Cr Tait moved that Cr P. L. Clarke be appointed Mayor.

Cr F. L. Clarke declined to become a candidate. Cr Barrett would like to call to the recollection of the Mayor that last year, when Mr lliggin was elected Mayor, Cr Hawkins had proposed him (the present Mayor), and that he then considered the proposition so ridiculous thai he exclaimed that Cr Hawkins must have a shingle short to propose such % thing. Whether Cr Hawkins was then insane or not, he (Cr Barrett) could not say, but if his present conduct were any evidence, he must have been paying a visit to Sunnyside or to the Hill.

Cr Jack would like to have seen Cr Macfarlane occupy the chair, but that Councillor when spolceu to on the subject, had dec'ined to be nominated. It was a duty which ho owed the ratepayers, if he could be induced tj view it in that light, and it was no less incumbent upon the Council to place him in that position. The flavor would be exceedingly glad if Cr MacFarlanc could be induced to occupy the chair. When the office was vacant previously, he (the Mayor) had waited upon Cr Macfarlane to request his acceptance of the office, hut he had declined.

Cr Alcorn would propose Cr Macfarlane, and lie might refuse to accept aftenvards. Cr Tait seconded the proposition. Cr Macfiirlatie cxpre-sed his thanks for the honor proposed to be conferred upon him, but he really could not devote the time which the proper discharge of the duties

required. He looked upon \t that no person should accept the office, who was' not prepared, to give his time and attention to its duties. Pr Barrett hoped that whoever should he elected to the office would not have any money voted to him when he quitted it. Should it happen that any distinguished visitors came to Hokitika and the Mayor should require a new suit of clothes', he trusted the payment would not be required to come from the Borough funds. Cr Tuit thought that a charitable fund should be established by the Council to relieve the Mayor from the undue burden imposed upon him while in office of contributing larger sums to charitable contributions than would be expected from him as a private individual. Cr Todd considered that it was quite sufficient that the Mayor gives his time and exertions to the work of his office, without requiring him to be heavily out of p ,cket. For himself he would say that should he be elected to the office, he would give no more in charitable contributions than he had hitherto done as an individual citizen. After some further discussim on the matter, Cr Hawkins suggested that the Council should adjourn, until the evening to proceed then with the election of Mayor. The Councillors generally objected to adjourn and the election of Mayor was proceeded with, the candidates being Crs J. B. Clarke, Tait, and Todd. Cr Todd suggested that a ballot should be taken to reduce the number of candidates to two, and that the election between those two should be proceeded with by open voting. Several Councillors were favorable to the suggestion, but the Mayor insisted upon the voting being open. The Town Clerk called for a show of hands when there appeared six for Cr J. B. Clarke, three for Cr Tait, and five for Cr Todd, Cr J. B. Clarke voted for himself, while Cr Todd abstained from doing so, but gave hh vote to Cr J. B. Clarke. Cr Macfarlane called for a division. Cr Alcorn insisted that no election had yet taken place, all that had been done was to reduce the candidates to two, aud the election must now proceed between those two. He gave his vote under that impression and no other, otherwise he would not have held up his hand for Cr J: B. Clarke. The Chairman denied that he had given the Council to understand that the show of hands ,was to reduced the number of candidates. Cr Macfarlane would remind the Chairman that he had called for a division. The Chairman had not hoard him do so. Cr Macfarlane: Well you hear me now. I call for a division. The Chairman: It is too late, I won't have a division. The Town Clerk said he did not know what to enter on the minutes. The Chairman : You don't know what to put down? You know there was six for me, five for Todd aud three for Tait. You can put that down can't you ? Cr Alcorn : I protest there has been no election. The Chairman : I rule you out of order Cr Alcorn. Cr Alcorn : I don't care what you rule, you are not Mayor and have not been so elected or declared. The Chairman : Well, I declare Councillor J. B. Clarke elected Mayor. A scene of considerable confusion hereupon ciiaied, amidst which Cr Tait and Hawkins left the Hall. Cr JMaetarlane would like the Mayor to inform him under what bye-law he ruled that his (Cr Macfarkiue's) demand for a division was too late ? The Chairman referred Cr Macfarlane to the bye-law which gives the Mayor the power to decide in questions not contained iv the bye-laws. Cr Macfarlaue thought th.it might be very well in cases not provided for, hut the calling for a d ; vision is provided for, and the Chairman had no right to refuse the \ demand. The Chairman said the matter was decided, and he was determined not to put the question to the vote ngaiu. Cr Barrett moved the adjournment of the Council. The motion was not seconded, the other Councillors continuing the discussion respecting the election not being valid. The Mayor said he would second the motion, seeing that there was nothing " but bubbles going on," but it was pointed out that Cr Barrett had left the Hall. After some further discussion, Cr Todd moved, and Cr Alcorn seconded, " That the Council adjourn until 8 o'clock this evening for the purpose of electing the Mayor." '1 he Chairman : I shan't put it so ; I'll put the first part of the motion, but not the other about electing the Mayor. The motion was reduced to writing by Cr Todd, and being signed by Cr Alcorn, also, as seconder, it. was handed to the Chairman, upon which he got np from his chair, exclaming, " I'll leave the chair," and left the Hall. The meeting then broke up.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WCT18711221.2.11

Bibliographic details

BOROUGH COUNCIL., West Coast Times, Issue 1943, 21 December 1871

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1,493

BOROUGH COUNCIL. West Coast Times, Issue 1943, 21 December 1871

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