-By John Lynds
It’s been a longtime coming. At-Large City Councilor Stephen Murphy, the longest serving member of the council not to hold the presidency, was unanimously elected 12-0 Monday to serve a two-year term as Council
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the body,” said Murphy in a telephone interview after the vote. “I’m also humbled by the unanimous vote and look forward to moving forward with the budget and getting to work on innovative ideas to soften the blow of looming federal and state cuts.
Murphy, who served as Chairman of Ways and Means, said his experience overseeing the city’s budget has prepared him for the difficult task of doing more with less over these next two years of uncertain fiscal times.
“Our city employee’s health care and pensions are growing and we are certainly facing fiscal challenges this year and next,” said Murphy. “I look forward to working with Mayor and his team on the tough decisions we will have to make. I have been schooled and trained in finance and business in the private sector, I have chaired ways and means and have a great team of colleagues with diverse strengths that I think are willing to roll up sleeves and work hard on the issues we are facing in Boston.”
City Councilor Sal LaMattina, who was touted as one potential Council President candidate to succeed Councilor Michael Ross, decided to throw his support behind friend and ally.
“I think it’s a good choice,” said LaMattina. “I think he’ll do a good job leading the council especially in these tough financial times because he has the experience. I look forward to working with Councilor Murphy.”
LaMattina added that Murphy has always been a fixture in Eastie and has a lot of support from political players in the neighborhood.
“He is well liked over here and whenever there is an issue in East Boston he is one of the first on the phone asking how he can help,” said LaMattina.
Born in Dorchester and raised in Hyde Park with two sisters and a brother, Murphy took office as an at-large member of the Boston City Council in 1996 and is the senior most at-large incumbent.
During the past 14 years, Murphy has served on many of the Council’s committees.
A champion of public service, Murphy has continuously fought to better city’s commitment to provide a safer Boston.
As Chair of the Committee on Public Safety from 1997 to 2000, Murphy was able to add 550 new Boston Police Officers and 175 new Boston Fire Fighters.
Murphy has also Chaired Government Operations and the Historic Preservation Committees and currently chairs the Committee on Education and School Matters, and the Committee on Labor and Employment.
St the time of Monday’s election Murphy was chairing the Committee on Public Safety and served as the Council’s Vice President.
“Above all, my focus is on our budget and public safety,” said Murphy. “We cannot meet any of our public safety; education or senior services goals without adequate funding. I am committed to finding alternative revenue sources and maximizing our resources, without further burdening the taxpayer.”