Murphy seeking eighth term on Northampton City Council

  • Northampton City Councilor Ward 5 David Murphy, photographed at the Gazette on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton City Councilor Ward 5 David Murphy, photographed at the Gazette on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton City Councilor Ward 5 David Murphy, photographed at the Gazette on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 4/27/2019 12:24:23 AM

 Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported how many candidates are running for the Ward 5 City Council seat. 

NORTHAMPTON – David Murphy has worked and traveled all around the country and the world, but he’s always had an address in Ward 5.

“I was born in Ward 5,” said Murphy, 63. “For my entire life I’ve lived in beautiful Ward 5.”

Murphy has been the city councilor for Ward 5 since 2006. In seeking an eighth term, he said he believes his experience recommends him for the job.

“I still think the city needs what I know,” Murphy said.

A graduate of Northampton High School and Emerson College, Murphy has experience in two professional fields: television and real estate.

Murphy has worked in television since the 1970s, primarily as an audio engineer. His work includes title boxing matches, professional football games and the Olympics. He also has three Emmy awards, one for audio, one for video and one for technical management.

“One in each discipline and one for supervision,” said Murphy.

Murphy got his real estate broker’s license in 1979, and in 2000 he purchased The Murphys Realtors from his parents. He owns and manages several rental properties, and has a real estate appraisal business.

In this election, Murphy is being challenged by Alex Jarrett, a worker-owner at Pedal People. This will be Murphy’s first contested election in a decade.

The election is set to take place on Nov. 5. And if more than two candidates run, a nonpartisan primary will be held on Sept. 17.

One reason Murphy said he is running for re-election is that he believes that the city will have to consider an override on its property taxes in his next term.

“It’d be really helpful to have me around, one way or the other,” said Murphy, who said he wants to manage the process however the vote goes. He’s the chairman the council’s finance committee and is the only non-mayor to have ever chaired it.

Murphy said that he is not a member of a political party, and doesn’t like party politics.

“I consider myself a public servant,” said Murphy. “I don’t want to do politics. I want to just do my job.”

He said he views the city as a large community nonprofit, that provides services to its citizens. Murphy said he has been a city volunteer since he graduated college.

“I’ve never not been on a city committee,” said Murphy.

Murphy was on the committee in the 1970s that brought cable television to Northampton for the first time. He’s also been on the Northampton Housing Partnership, the Elm Street Historic District Committee, and the Central Business Architecture Committee.

Additionally, Murphy said, “I understand zoning backwards and forwards.”

The council is set to change significantly regardless of the outcome of the Ward 5 race. Ward 2 Councilor Dennis Bidwell, Ward 7 Councilor Alisa Klein and At-Large City Councilor Ryan O’Donnell are not running for re-election. And, Ward 4 City Councilor Gina-Louise Sciarra has elected to run for an at-large seat.

Murphy said that if re-elected he will serve out his term, but may not run for a ninth. He said that winters in Northampton are getting harder for him, and that he would like to be able to leave the city for longer periods during them.

“I’ve been clearing snow on North Elm Street since 1970,” said Murphy. “I’m getting tired of it.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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