Murphy announces bid for City Council

Published 10:26 am Monday, January 30, 2012

FRANKLIN—Franklin School Board member Mona Murphy on Monday announced that she will run for the Ward 4 seat on City Council.

Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson currently holds the seat, but she will not seek re-election because she is running for mayor. Dr. Linwood Johnson, a minister, is also running for the four-year seat. If elected, Murphy would have to resign from the school board, said Matt Abel, spokesman with the Virginia Board of Elections in Richmond.

In her announcement, Murphy said serving on the City Council would be a privilege.

“I will pay attention to what you have to say,” she said. “I will continue to go out of my way to attend neighborhood meetings. I will push for more openness about who is serving on what boards and commissions so that those folks become more available to the public. I will support your efforts in getting prompt and complete responses from City Hall.”

Murphy, 58, has served on the school board for 12 years.

“I believe that no one knows a neighborhood better than the people who live there and give their time serving it,” Murphy said. “As a member of the Franklin City School Board and co-chair of Ward 4 Neighborhood Watch Program, I listen to my neighbors’ concerns. I firmly believe I have been a voice for Ward 4 residents on education, residential parking and crime.”

In her neighborhood, she said, she has pushed for solutions for residential parking to allow for easier use of streets. Murphy has also pushed for and obtained better lighting on streets in an effort to deter crime.

If elected, Murphy will work continue working for safer streets.

“I will work with the police, in conjunction with residents, businesses and other city agencies to become more hands-on in developing and implementing sustainable public safety programs, with an emphasis on the community policing itself,” she said.

As a member of the school board, Murphy said, she sees schools as the focal point of the community.

“I would like to see the schools and council continue to work together on budgetary oversight responsibilities,” she said. “City Council has some responsibilities for our schools, and I would like to see a better educational experience for all of our children, which requires far more teamwork.”

Murphy noted that high tax rates can be linked to city spending.

“We must make sure we don’t spend money unnecessarily,” she said. “I will push for fair tax rates, ensuring that similarly valued properties pay similar taxes.”

Murphy also believes a revised long-term, sustainable housing policy is needed.

“Fewer things are as important to Franklin as providing affordable housing opportunities for people who do not have high paying jobs,” she said. “We must do better in ensuring that our affordable housing is acceptable housing, and that it is matched with appropriate support programs to help residents of affordable housing develop the skills and financial ability to move into market rate housing.”