DOUG Curran has risen in the ranks to become Griffith’s new deputy mayor after the long-standing Dino Zappacosta was ousted from the position this week.
The deputy mayoral vote at Tuesday night’s council meeting showed a clear swing towards Councillor Curran, with a majority vote of seven to four vote in his favour.
Cr Zappacosta, who has served 11 of his 25 years on council as deputy mayor, was not present at the meeting after he suffered a serious fall and sustained a number of fractures.
It has been a turbulent year for the former deputy mayor, who was transported to Wagga for surgery this week.
Mayor John Dal Broi said he was “shocked and saddened” by Cr Zappacosta’s misfortune and wished him a speedy recovery.
Cr Zappacosta has spent much of this year undergoing cancer treatment, which prompted a number of calls from councillors for him to step down and take some time out to recover.
One of those councillors was Cr Curran, who expressed his sympathy for Cr Zappacosta but was excited to step into his new role.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to be able to prove myself,” Cr Curran said. “I hope I can do a good job and I’ll get my report card in 12 months’ time.
“I respect John and I think he’s doing a good job, I hope to learn a lot from him.”
Cr Curran hoped he would be able to ease the workload carried by Cr Dal Broi and was committed to doing whatever he could for the betterment of the city.
“I always thought there was a chance I might get the role, I lobbied the other councillors whether they thought I was ready,” he said.
“For the four councillors who didn’t vote for me, I need to change their minds.”
Cr Curran looked forward to working with Cr Dal Broi on a number of projects, including improving the relationship between council the Griffith Business Chamber.
He will also work towards encouraging younger people to join council.
Cr Dal Broi felt he and Cr Curran would work well together.
“I don’t have any problems working with Doug,” he said.
“It’s all about working together and I don’t see any issues arising.”
He looked forward to Cr Zappacosta returning to council as soon as he was well enough.
“Dino is a good contributor and a good debater, he has a vast wealth of knowledge,” he said. “He’ll be missed in the short term and we’ll look forward to having him back.”