Read Murphy with television reporters shortly before Hurricane Sandy hit Sea Bright. He’s expected to be succeeded by John Lamia, below, who outpolled him in last month’s GOP primary. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
After about 25 non-continuous years on the governing body, “stick a fork in me. I am done,” Murphy told redbankgreen Thursday afternoon.
He said friction with the rest of the council over both his “unilateral” approach to serving and his request to be hired as the town’s beach manager had taken the “fun” out of the job.
Murphy’s resignation, effective immediately, was first reported Thursday by Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings, who wrote that Murphy had been thinking about resigning and had even asked the local GOP to take his name off the primary ballot before changing his mind.
In the primary, Murphy and fellow incumbent James LoBiondo tied for the second of two spots on the November ballot, with 45 votes. Newcomer John Lamia, who tells redbankgreen he had not campaigned, won with 66 votes.
Lamia is the presumptive appointee to fill Murphy’s council seat through the end of the year.
The tie left local and county GOP officials with the task of choosing either LoBiondo or Murphy to share the ballot with Lamia in a race against Democrat Cori Socher and second candidate to be determined.
LoBiondo could not be reached immediately for comment on word that he had decided not to seek re-election.
A close ally of Mayor Dina Long, Murphy was assailed by supporters of the borough public library who blamed him for orchestrating the facility’s sudden demolition earlier this year.
Known for rubbing many of his constituents and colleagues the wrong way, the irascible Murphy said, “that has always been my full intention.”
He said the council had been “hemming and hawing” about his request for the beach job.
“Nobody has more experience on the beach than I do,” said Murphy, who also serves as the borough’s $3,500-a-year Office of Emergency Management coordinator, a role he continues in.
More broadly, he said, he was used to an old-school style of local government, in which he described himself as acting first, and “then go tell the council about it.”
“The council’s getting pissed off at me because I still act unilaterally, and they want everything by the book,” he said.
“The only way you can stop me from being a bad boy is to hire me, because then I can’t go off on any of my tangents,” he said, though he acknowledged that doubt about that assertion might have been why he wasn’t getting the job.
“I still love the town, but I don’t feel like being a councilman anymore,” he said.