COUNCILLOR Dino Zappacosta could be the luckiest man in Griffith.
He was named deputy mayor on Tuesday night after a tied ballot with Cr Anne Napoli left the election to chance.
For the fourth time in his 25 years on council, Cr Zappacosta’s name was pulled out of a box and he was declared the winner.
Cr Zappacosta and mayor John Dal Broi have a long history of leading the city together, having worked as mayor and deputy for two years in the 1990s and twice in the past decade.
Astounded by his good fortune, the new deputy said he was “delighted” to be elected to the position again.
“I feel honoured to be this city’s deputy mayor for the next 12 months, particularly under mayor John Dal Broi,” Cr Zappacosta said.
“My experience as a mayor and deputy for a number of years has given me all the attributes and qualifications required to really play an important part in this organisation and contribute wherever the mayor is unable to fulfil his role.
“It’s important a deputy mayor is able to act in a complementary way to the mayor and act as one on many issues.”
Cr Zappacosta believed the position would help him achieve his goals to secure the region’s water, establish a university campus in the city, relocate the freight terminal from the CBD and complete Griffith Community Private Hospital.
Cr Napoli, who was Cr Zappacosta’s only opponent, was disappointed but gracious in defeat.
“I am delighted with the support I had from my fellow councillors. However, it came down to the luck of the draw and I wish Dino all the best,” Cr Napoli said.
“I’m on council to do a job, which is to serve the community the best way I can, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
The deputy mayor is required to chair council meetings and perform all mayoral duties whenever the city’s leader is not available.
The importance of the position became clear during the last term of council when former mayor Mike Neville spent six months in hospital and his deputy, Domenic Testoni, was called on to step in.