FORMER Griffith mayor John Dal Broi has pledged to put an end to council in-fighting if he is elected to the city’s top job in September.
Mr Dal Broi confirmed to The Area News yesterday he would run for mayor at the upcoming election.
Despite retiring in 2008, the 26-year council veteran was motivated to make a run for the chair by members of the community, who approached him with concerns about the city’s stability and the future for Yenda residents.
Factional divisions and power struggles have plagued the current council and Mr Dal Broi believed the tension was impeding councillors in their duties.
“I despair over some of the comments I have received in the community about our present council and my aim would be to restore some respectability,” he said.
“I have a bit of experience in this field – in 1980, when I was first elected shire president, it was a similar council with a lot of in-fighting and disruption.
“It took me three years to settle them down and the result of that was, whenever we took a vote, we had to ask for a show of hands because there was no bloc voting. That allowed us to make good decisions and move forward.”
Mr Dal Broi said council should remember its role was not about councillors’ personalities but about representing and serving the interests of the community.
He said one of his first priorities would be having a “good look” at Yenda and finding both long- and short-term solutions for flood-hit residents.
Council has come under fire in the past two months for expecting flood victims to pay water and sewer access fees despite being unable to live in their homes.
Yenda residents have also criticised council for committing to a long-term flood study instead of implementing flood mitigation measures immediately.
The flood study is expected to take at least two years.
“I have got some ideas for Yenda that could at least give people some sense of security,” Mr Dal Broi said.
“Here they are rebuilding and buying all new furniture to replace what they lost and they don’t know whether they could be flooded again.”
Mr Dal Broi was mayor of Griffith for 16 years but has remained in the headlines since his retirement after the collapse of his business, Dal Broi Wines.
His only confirmed opponent in the mayoral race is sitting councillor Allan Bennett but, with nominations only opening this week, it is expected more candidates will come forward in the next two weeks.