Don Purdy and Tony Coppola received promotions in title, and newly elected councilman Brian Tyrrell was thrown right into the thick of things at the Galloway Township Council meeting on Tuesday night, Nov. 9.
Purdy was nominated and unanimously voted in as Galloway Township’s interim mayor. Purdy moved up to the position from his spot as deputy mayor, a title that now belongs to Coppola.
Tyrrell was nominated to the council on an interim basis one day after being elected to a four-year seat, which he will take up in January at the council’s reorganization meeting. At that time, long-term appointments to mayor and deputy mayor will be considered.
“We’re going to get good things accomplished and move full speed ahead,” said Purdy, who named economic development and the budget as two issues that will need tackling. “We were pushing (development), but then some outside things swayed our time. We’re also getting into the heat of the budget. We’ll be meeting regularly to discuss that.”
His first official action as mayor was to bestow the Mayor’s Award upon Rich Maxwell, the director of Galloway Township’s Fourth of July Parade for 13 years. The award is something that was initiated under previous Mayor Keith Hartman, and has been awarded in the past to Anna Jezycki and the Galloway Township Fire Department.
“All the fighting men and women overseas deserve this award,” Maxwell said. “That’s who the parade is designed to honor, and as long as I can do it, the parade will continue and we will honor them.”
Ike Rucker, who was nominated by Gov. Chris Christie to the New Jersey Veterans Hospital Task Force and was named Galloway Patriot of the Year at this year’s Fourth of July festivities, was also scheduled to receive the Mayor’s Award Wednesday night, but was unavailable. He will receive the award at a future date.
Coppola was re-elected on Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, he was nominated for the position of deputy mayor by Councilman Dennis Kleiner.
“He’s a smart businessman,” Kleiner said. “He’s up front and honest and says what he thinks. He loves his family and his kids and he has real values.
“Don’s been everywhere we need him to be. He’s really stepped up. He deserves it and he enjoys it.”
Coppola echoed Purdy’s sentiments that the budget is among the first issues that needs to be tackled.
“It’s nice to have the confidence of the voters in getting re-elected (on Tuesday) and it’s something special to have the confidence of the rest of council to put me in that position,” Coppola said. “I’ve been appointed to the budget committee and we’re going to meet tomorrow. It’s going to be difficult again, but we’re going to take it one step at a time and move in the right direction.”
According to Coppola, Tyrrell was among three names submitted by the county committee, and his election Tuesday night made him the clear choice to take the vacant seat on council.
“I’ve been coming to meetings and taking notes, and I’ve had good mentors,” Tyrrell said. “I want to make sure we have a long-term plan for our leadership positions, and the budget is going to be important. I’m going to have to bring myself up to speed.”