Life in Early Poverty Bay
Birth of Municipal Government
Birth of Municipal Government.
The first election of Mayor and Councillors took place on the 25th and 27th of June, 1877, when, out of a nomination or two for the office of Mayor, and 19 for councillorships, the following were elected: Mayor, W. F. Crawford, 95 votes, beating W. W. Wilson 38 votes), and Crs. T. Adams, Wm. Adair, E. K. Brown, Henry Clayton, J. R. Morgan, C. Smith, S. Stevenson, W. Teat and J. Townley. The estimated receipts for the first year of the Council's work totalled £1657, made up as under:—General rate at 1s in £ on a rental value of £13,397, £669; subsidy £350; Customs £270; rents £337, and sundry licenses £31, whilst the expenditure was estimated at: For public works £1153, and for administration, including office furniture, £504.page 189
The first road loan of £10,000 was raised in 1878 and a special rate of 6d in the £ on the rental value was pledged. The water shortage was acute in the early stages of the Council's career, and one of the first works was the sinking of an artesian well in search of water to supply the town. In the year 1880 the Council's endowment comprising 21 sections, averaging an acre, were put up to auction for 21 year lease with an upset price of £2 per acre. The Borough Council also undertook the function of Harbor Board administration until 1885, when the offices were separated, Mr A. Graham becoming the first chairman of the Harbor Board, his successors, in turn, being Mr W. Sievwright, Capt. Tucker, and Messrs C. D. Bennett, J. Townley, F. J. Lysnar, Geo. Smith and W. G. Sherratt.