Shake up on Murphy City Council following unexpected resignation of Mayor

Murphy Mayor Bret Baldwin

MURPHY –  Citing a lack of flexibility and a more vigorous professional schedule, Murphy Mayor Bret Baldwin has tendered his resignation as Mayor, according to City Manager James Fisher.

“The Mayor will serve out the current term and will vacate the office after the May 11 election. And, since the Mayor’s seat was not up for election this cycle, the Council must call a special election to fill the opening,” he said.

In his letter to members of the Council, Mayor Baldwin, a psychologist with a doctorate in that field, expressed appreciation for the support that he has received throughout his time of service.

He wrote, “I have enjoyed working with you to bring about many important changes. I feel comfortable stepping down at this time, because our City is in great shape financially and otherwise. We have a great staff and good people at all levels of leadership who are working together to make this the great City it is.”

The City Council will add this item to the agenda of the Regular Meeting scheduled for Feb. 19. At that point, the Council will likely call a special election to fill his unexpired term.

The City Manager voiced words of praise for the Mayor and his service to Murphy. “The City has been very fortunate to have his leadership throughout the last eight years of service to the community. Mayor Baldwin is a man of great integrity and has a heart that constantly searches for the betterment of others,” said Fisher.

The Mayor’s timing virtually eliminates the need for a separate election process, saving the City thousands in election costs. Resigning to coincide with the scheduled election requires only the formalities of calling a special election and adding the race to the existing ballot.

A reception is being planned to commemorate the Mayor’s service.

In a related matter, Mayor Pro Tem John Daugherty has tendered his resignation from the Place 3 seat on Council and plans to place his name in candidacy for the Mayor’s position. In Murphy, the Mayor’s office is filled by voter election. Daugherty will remain in place until his successor is elected and seated.

Similar to the Mayor’s election, a special called election will be required since Place 3 is not among the four places up for election during this cycle. Those include Places 1, 2, 4 and 6. Incumbents for the in-cycle places up for election include Colleen Halbert, Dennis Richmond, Scott Bradley and Dave Brandon. All position in Murphy are elected “at-large” rather than from geographic districts.

Filing for these four positions remains open until 5 p.m., March 1. However, filing for the Mayor’s position and Place 3 remains open until 5 p.m. March 11. The City Secretary is the City’s elections administrator and potential candidates must apply through that office. While packets for the in-cycle positions are now available, packets for the Mayor’s position and Place 3 will be available the day after the special called election is ordered.

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