Mur­phy of­fi­cially re­signs, ends ser­vice to city

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Dana Guthrie [email protected]­ton­courier.com

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.”

DANA GUTHRIE/THE Sa­line Courier

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.

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