David Murphy eyes return to Northampton City Council



Staff Writer
Published: 3/3/2021 8:17:15 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A longtime former city councilor is returning to run for an at-large position.

David Murphy announced his candidacy after at-large City Councilor Gina-Louise Sciarra announced a mayoral campaign Tuesday and fellow at-large City Councilor William Dwight announced Wednesday that he would not seek another term.

“Both of those positions are open, so I’m going to take a shot and run for them,” Murphy said Wednesday afternoon.

“I did spend 14 years there, so I pretty much got the councilor thing down,” he said, adding that he is currently on the city’s Board of Assessors. “I’m not out of municipal government. I do know municipal finance really well.”

Murphy, 65, of North Elm Street, was on the council for seven terms and lost his Ward 5 seat in 2019 to Ward 5 Councilor Alex Jarrett. Murphy is the owner of The Murphys Realtors, where he has worked for decades. He also has served on the Northampton Housing Partnership and the Elm Street Historic District Committee.

“I’m an apolitical person,” he said. “I’m unenrolled. I don’t belong to a political party … Both parties do things well and don’t do things well,” he said. “I do not have an agenda. I just want to see the city run as well as it can.”

Murphy emphasized his financial knowledge. “I think the biggest thing that I have to bring to the table is my knowledge of municipal finance,” he said. Amid recovering from the pandemic, “It is going to be a really hard next couple of years,” he said, adding there will also be a new mayor and a new finance director as both people in those posts are leaving.

Some of the other major city issues he sees are zoning changes, the health of downtown businesses, and budgeting for the school and police departments. He took issue with the way the police department budget was cut last summer.

“If you want to effect meaningful change,” he said, “you don’t just willy-nilly cut it and then study it afterwards,” he said. He added, “That said, I haven’t seen the report,” referring to a Policing Review Commission report that has not yet been finalized. “I’d be interested to see the report.”

Murphy pointed to the downtown redesign, currently in the planning phase, as another important issue.

“That redesign that’s taking place,” he said, “that’s going to be important. The city’s well-being is very dependent on downtown.”

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