Pelham mayor advocates fiscal responsibility

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As Pelham’s new mayor, Don Murphy makes no qualms about his belief in fiscal responsibility. He prefers thoughtful spending without compromising city services, especially during these economic times.

“I want to keep the city financially sound,” Murphy said. “If we aren’t financially sound, we aren’t able to provide service to the community, and all we got to sell is service.”

“People want to live in a nice city, a safe city and a financially secure city.”

Since announcing his run for mayor in July, Murphy has adhered to a 10-point plan that includes a fiscally responsible budget, strong support of schools, smart growth development and an increased commercial tax base.

“I want to work with business leaders in the community to develop land in the city,” Murphy said. “Our city’s open and we welcome developers to come and look at our city.”

In addition, Murphy wants to boost the Pelham Civic Complex’s visibility by developing a new marketing strategy. The complex provides up to 17,000-square feet of usable space for corporate events, social affairs and sporting exhibitions, a fact Murphy believes surrounding communities need to know.

“I’d like to see it busy all the time where people have to reserve it months in advance,” Murphy said.

Murphy is confident he and the city council, with input from the community, will lead Pelham in the right direction.

Murphy, a real estate broker, assumes the mayor’s post after serving as a Shelby County Commissioner and Alabama State Representative for District 49. He moved to Pelham with his wife of 42 years, Martha Ann, in 1969. The Murphys have two sons, Jeff, 38, and Gene, 32, and two grandsons, Jackson, 8, and Garrett, 4.

A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Murphy moved to Alabama after accepting a job as a salesman at Moore-Handley Inc., in Birmingham. After settling in Pelham, Murphy joined the Pelham Civitan Club, and met several of the city’s early leaders. It was then Murphy observed the sincerity of Pelham’s citizens.

“They accepted me right off,” Murphy said. “They’re my family, and that’s the way it’s been.”

Murphy is now familiarizing himself with the inner workings of City Hall before being sworn in on Nov. 3 as Pelham’s fourth mayor. He’s excited to work with the city council, and only has one request of the community.

“I want the community to come together for one common goal, and that’s the betterment of Pelham,” he said.