SEA BRIGHT – After serving the borough as a councilman for 25 years, C. Read Murphy wasn’t enjoying it.
“The truth is, I’m just tired of it,” he said. “It’s not fun anymore.”
Murphy, 64, abruptly tendered his resignation from the borough council on July 3, submitting his letter of resignation to the borough clerk’s office and then announcing publicly his action on the All About Sea Bright Facebook page.
A Republican, Murphy served on the council from 1986 to 2014, with a one-term, three-year break during those years.
The former councilman said this week his departure was due to, in large part, his feeling of frustration that state and federal government red tape has been impeding the ability of local government to get things done.
“We used to be able to just do it, to act unilaterally, do your own thing,” he said, with council members able to make decisions concerning their individual committees.
That is no longer the case, he said. “I just can’t stand to see nothing getting done,” he added.
While he dealt with that frustration, the tipping point came when the borough’s personnel director and fellow council members failed to act on his lobbying effort to be named as borough beach manager.
For much of his time on the council, Murphy served as chairman of the beach committee and contended, as such, he had “been doing the job” of beach manager.
“After 28 years here, they wouldn’t let me do something that I’ve been doing and love to do,” he said. “They had no problem with me doing it for free.”
The municipal beach is currently overseen by the beach committee, the chief lifeguard, head badge checker and Police Chief John Sorrentino, acting borough administrator Joseph Verruni said.
There was a beach manager last summer. “This year we’re running it a little differently,” Verruni said.
Murphy, whose council term was to end Dec. 31, said he contemplated not seeking re-election this year but had second thoughts and ran in June’s primary. He was one of three candidates seeking the two spots on the GOP party line for November ballot. Political newcomer John Lamia was the top vote-getter in the Republican primary with incumbents Murphy and James LoBiondo III tying for second. That leaves the decision of who will get the second spot up to Shaun Golden, the Monmouth County Republican committee chairman.
Golden has until Sept. 11 to name a candidate.
Murphy acknowledged he did no campaigning for the primary, losing interest and being continuingly consumed by his day-to-day work as a councilman and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) director as the borough continues to recover from Super Storm Sandy.
A retired insurance broker, Murphy said he plans to continue as OEM director, a position that pays $3,500 a year.
He also offered his support to the five council members, believing they have worked well together, especially in difficult times following the October 2012 storm that ravaged the community. He said that was especially true of Mayor Dina Long.
Long, who was elected as a Democrat but has changed her voter registration to independent, would “absolutely” have his support should she seek re-election next year, Murphy said.
“Which is not to say I won’t come back,” possibly running for council in the future or even running for mayor – if Long opts not to run, he said.
The municipal Republican committee already has submitted three names for the council to consider to fill the remainder of Murphy’s term, as required under state statute. They are Lamia, James Forsman and Leigh Maris, Verruni said.
Under state statute the council has 15 days to vote on a successor from the time the committee submits its list, borough attorney Patrick McNamara said.
The council was expected to vote on a replacement at its workshop session at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 10, after press time. See tworivertimes.com for an update.
None of the council members or mayor responded to requests for comment on Murphy’s actions and assertions.
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