The Atlantic Highlands Herald invited each of the candidates for office to school boards and governing bodies in Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown and Sea Bright to respond to a series of questions about themselves to better inform our readers about their campaigns. The deadline for submission is Friday, October 22. We will post their responses individually and make them available in our Politics Section.
Profile Date: 10/22/2021
Candidate Name: Jim Murphy
Age (as of Election Day): 42
Position Sought (term): Councilman
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Party Affiliation or Banner: Republican
Family: Wife, Molly and three children: Grace, Finley, and James
Education: Richard Stockton University
Occupation: Sales Manager, Advisors Mortgage Group
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: Council President, Councilman, Board of Education
Campaign Website or Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AHStrong11
Why are you seeking office?
I am seeking to remain in office because I feel my work within the governing body is not finished yet. There is much more I am aspiring to do for this community.
The two most important issue facing our (board, district, council, committee etc.) are cost of living, and infrastructure, and this is what I intend to do about it.
To help our residents with their cost of living, myself, along with other members of the Council, have fought to maintain a flat budget with zero municipal tax increases. It is important to manage the budget responsibly. That being said, there will be times when a tax increase is unavoidable but as long as I have a voice on the dais, I will push to exhaust all other options first, and if forced to increase ensure that the residents know exactly what they are getting in return for the slight increase.
As for infrastructure, that can go hand in hand with the budget concerns. We must maintain and improve our infrastructure. These costs are not cheap when considering the age of our borough and much of what adds to the charm of our community. To cover these costs, I will insist that the governing body seek grants where available, review budget for potential cost savings that can be reallocated and only consider tax increases as an absolute last resort.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
Being a strong leader takes responsibility, courage, and commitment. The issues facing Atlantic Highlands are many, and most of which are not new. We must be responsible with the taxpayer’s hard earned money, along with maintenance of our roads, utilities, and facilities, but also with other issues like over development without proper parking solutions. The governing body must have the courage needed to do the right thing for the majority of the 4400+ residents. We must stand committed to preserving all that is great about our community and striving for enhancements when possible.
Over the last few years, there has been a significant diminishing spirit of volunteerism. Regardless of lack of time or experience, each and everyone of us are needed in one way or another. We all have something to give and as life has become overwhelmed with burdens and obligations, it is easy to forget about our civic duties to one another. The Atlantic Highlands First Aid squad is a perfect example. The squad is facing a grim reality of not being able to meet the needs of the residents it has tirelessly served for about 90 years. We along with almost every department, committee, and organization in town are in dire need of volunteers willing to give back to this community. I joined to do my part, and hope that others will find a way to do the same.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
Over the last three years on council, I have served as Police Commissioner, Chair of the Department of Public Works, as well as a member of the Office of Emergency Management. I voted on studies impacting the education of our youth, massive road repair projects, and the hiring of department Chiefs and other officials. I have played a role in decisions on major grants, such as Community Block Development, storm water management, and supported clean water action efforts.
I have seen the inside of our multimillion-dollar budget, the fabric of how our utilities are managed, and what it takes to ensure a safe and family oriented recreation program. Along with time on council, I have served on the AH BOE, and recommended a liaison role between the BOE and governing body, that was created and fulfilled.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I would like the voters to know where I stand for Atlantic Highlands, and that is WITH Atlantic Highlands. My passion for this community is unwavering and I am committed to maintaining all that we love about our home borough and leaving it a better place to live when my time up here is finished.