Causes Which Delayed its Commencement
The reasons why the Council did not commence its function inmmediately as it was prescribed in item 13 of the Colonization Contract are not clear enough. :
The opening speech delivered by Gabarret recorded in Book 1 and transcribed here will be of some help:
In compliance with the Decree dated 16 th. I have summoned you with the object of opening the Municipal Council to which you belong through the elections held on this 12 th.
I have been long asking for this act which opens up the doors for local improvements, whose needs are acute, but, as you do not ignore, our longings, no matter how fervent they were, like those of the sound people who were asked for advice, were stopped by the anguish suffered by our families. In fact, it is necessary to have only essential notions about municipal regime to understand immediately that the advantages cannot be achieved, particularly in a newly founded colony like ours, but at the cost of restrictions that our married couples, because of general misery and settlement, were not in conditions to accept in the difficult time when adversities of all kinds struck at the door of our settlers. It is beyond any doubt that the steps taken at that time, would have been inconsiderate and would have failed when facing the strenuous obstacles that circumstances opposed. Thanks be given to the Divine Providence that, after a time of hardships borne with unusual endurance, which make settlers worthy of public esteem, as well as to the endeavours of the Government, a favourable change in the colony has been produced, which persuades me of the fact that, although being its resources very much limited, we are able to assume and participate of the municipal institution.
It has been recognized by this Corporation; it has the previlege of meeting the most efficient elements to lead a town along the way to progress and gift it with and organization which contributes to the welfare of its inhabitants.
But should we not forget that, to achieve these aims it is indispensable that each of its component members, contribute in the debates, with a fair and objetive spirit, not to let error or passion blur their minds. It minds, above all, that we gather all the teachings that may clarify our discernment, without neglecting any source at all, and not worrying about criticisms or clamours raising out of ignorance, ill will or fustrated ambitions. Instead of following those lacking in principles and willing to make their narrow minds prevail or satisfy selfish claims which make them take control of everything, we should not forget that the citizen who is invested with public confidence has, more than any other, the obligation of consecrating in all his deeds, the evangelic teaching of loving each other and that, above other advantages and guarantees that social life may offer to us, each of us is compelled to impose oneself with any kind of privations. I have observed with satisfaction that the diverse elements that make up the colony, related to religion nationality, are faithfully represented in the womb of this Municipal Council.
This ratifies that the majority of voters were not carried out by streams of exclusivity which would have sowed new germs of disagreement. I cannot but express my good wishes that this happy occasion let us decide for healthy emulation, expecting confidently that in this way, the subjects brought to yours examination are soundly studied and your decisions, considering all the legitimate interests, will answer the demands of the general convenience.
I let myself believe that each of you, moved only by the praiseworthy intention of serving the community, will be involved in the need to strictly observe the right behaviour, whose principles I have just exposed, and that nobody will refuse his cooperation, being its aim to foster the material and moral development of the colony. I have intimate confidence that all the fair and reasonable steps you consider taking, will meet the most staunch support in your sheer concern, since our functioning has been the objective of the Government. Let us join our efforts, let us persevere in the aim of carrying out the enhancements that the present situation calls forth. The general benefit will be our only guide. If keeping this way without detouring, obstacles beyond our will came to intercept the ongoing march of our work, or if rather the soundness of your intentions was unknown, very usual thing, you will have the merit and the umvaluable satisfaction of having tried to do good, following the inspiration of your consciencie, fulfilling with zeal and loyalty the honorable mandat trusted upon you."