Murphy officially resigns, ends service to city
Former Benton Alderman Kerry Murphy said goodbye to the city of Benton and his role in local government Monday night after participating in his final meeting of the city council.
“I really appreciate all these years,” Murphy said. “It’s been great working with everybody. It’s been a privilege and an honor to represent the citizens of Benton.”
Murphy first announced that he would leaving during the June council meeting, but only formally submitted his resignation letter effective July 22.
In his formal letter of resignation, Murphy said that his decision to resign was done with a heavy heart, but necessary since he will be moving out of the Benton area and can no longer represent his district.
“It has been an honor to be elected by the citizens for five terms to the Benton City Council,” Murphy said. “I have enjoyed working with all the great employees and other council members to make Benton a better place.”
Murphy said that he will continue to help the city in any way possible and that he wants to see
the city continue to grow.
“I want to thank you for the service that you’ve done for the citizens of Benton,” said Benton Mayor Tom Farmer.
Farmer also thanked Murphy for his words at the previous council meeting concerning the fact that while the aldermen didn’t always agree on every issue, they were able work together for the good of the people and remain friends.
“Working together with the civility that we have, the city needs to keep it,” Murphy said.
Murphy and his family will be moving to Paron.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t thank, for almost nine years, if I didn’t thank my wife and daughter for allowing me to be on the city council,” Murphy said. “The time it takes for committee meetings and the calls in the middle of the night … you don’t get a loving call. It’s always a problem. I love helping, but they had to put up with it too and I couldn’t have done it without my family’s support.”
Each of the aldermen took time to express their gratitude to Murphy for his service to the council and the city.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t say I enjoyed our time together,” said Alderman Frank Baptist. “You’ve brought a lot to the council and some great ideas. I’ll certainly miss you and you sitting next to me and chatting. Thank you for your service.”
Alderman Steve Lee noted Murphy’s conservative stance on many issues.
“You are a true conservative and I highly appreciate that,” Lee said.
City Attorney Brent Houston also thanked Murphy for his work before outlining the steps the council will take to replace the alderman.
“I just appreciate how conscientious you’ve been for the period that you’ve served and the times that you’ve called to talk about what we are doing and what the city was doing and trying to figure out how you thought the city would be best served by your vote,” Houston said. “I appreciate your good attitude and trying to make informed decisions in your tenure here.”
According to Houston, Alderman Bill Donner will call for a meeting of the personnel committee and a vote will be taken at the meeting on whether to fill the vacancy through either a special election or via appointment.
A resolution will be put forth during the August city council meeting declaring the position vacant and a decision will be made on which route the council wishes to take. If the council chooses appointment, a call will be put out for resumes and the interview process will begin at that time.
“I’ve probably known you longer than anyone else through the school system, as well as here,” Farmer said. “Kerry is a man of standards. He is a man of character. He’s a man that when he gives you his word, you can count on it. That’s a quality that’s hard to find these days and I really appreciate that. I’ve known him for 20-something years and it’s never changed over any length of time that I’ve known him.”
Former Benton Alderman Kerry Murphy took part in his final city council meeting Monday night after formally handing in his letter of resignation. Murphy was presented with a plaque by Mayor Tom Farmer in recognition of his service to the city.