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Friday, March 24, 2023
Home Government Rye People: City Council Candidate Joe Murphy

Rye People: City Council Candidate Joe Murphy

With the November 3rd elections just around the corner, it’s time for MyRye.com to introduce you to the candidates looking for your vote. This is your city and your election, so tell us what you think of the candidates and of our coverage. Leave your comments below.

Today we introduce you to city council candidate Joe Murphy.

Your Name: Joe Murphy

Position You’d Like To Have: City Council, City of Rye

Joe Murphy

Your Day Job: Senior Care Manager, ElderServe Safe Center for Seniors. Serving in an advocacy role to assist seniors and their families, initiate strategies that target solutions to best meet their requests within fiscally responsible parameters, develop Care Plans for short-term and long-term issues, assist caregivers, provide guidance in their preparation of Medicaid applications, identify a myriad of appropriate community resources available to resolve client needs.  In addition perform limited private work where warranted as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Geriatric Care Manager.

If MyRye.com asked your co-workers for one word to describe you, what one word would they use?


Candidate closing statement at The Osborn Debate (October 19, 2009):

Your Political Affiliation: Democratic Party of Rye City. I elected to participate in this party when we first moved into this wonderful community because its leaders proved to me it was the party that addressed the serious issues to make a difference.

Why are you running for elected office?

This election is crucial to meeting enormous challenges facing the city.  Our Team will offer the electorate a seasoned, competent slate of individuals who will not only make fiscally responsible changes but also continue to identify applicable solutions.  I am proud to join this Team and bring my experiences and leadership as proven by my many community activities.  Just look at our records: Mayor Steve Otis’ leadership has addressed issues well forgotten by the opposite party; Councilman Andrew Ball continuously contributes to address the serious concerns of our community in a balanced, thoughtful approach, Myles Lavelle has served the youth of our community in magnanimous ways, building character and skills, and me, all of us with a history of multiple achievements.

City elections are coming up this fall. What should we know about the elections this fall? Who else on the ticket are you supporting?

I am supporting a ticket of successful leaders, Mayor Otis, Councilman Ball, and Myles Lavelle, all with proven track records of caring for Rye’s families and traditions.

What are the three most important issues facing Rye over the next five years?

1.  Economies of Scale – guiding our government in a direction that emphasizes sound management decisions guided by responsible efficiencies to sustain our “triple A” bond rating and limit tax burdens to the minimum.

2.  Reduce tax burdens wherever possible while addressing the needs of residents on multiple levels, like the one I recommended for the senior residents in Highland Hall where the City Council adopted a program to stabilize rent for seniors living on fixed income.

3.  Continue top advocate for ways to address the environmental challenges, flooding, long term needs of our growing senior citizen population, and public safety in these times of fiscal burdens on families. 

Rye sustained $80 million in damage in the April 15, 2007 flood.  Is Rye prepared for the next “100 Year” flood? What are the most important things we need to do to prepare, how much will they cost and how should Rye pay for them?
1. Rye must continue to develop sound environmental plans that address the contributing factors that continue to place our community at risk with flooding.

2. We need to get people involved in planning for our future preservation so that we are prepared for the next 100 year flood; and we must identify leadership that has the talent to offer solutions. 

3. We need to work with the Mayor and the City Manager to identify and locate resources for improving the quality of our community with matching grants and fund raising initiatives that make a difference. 

Teachers in Rye public schools have been operating without a contract for over two years due to a stalemate between Rye’s Board of Education and the Rye Teacher’s Association. What specifically should be done to resolve this stalemate, if anything?

The School Board has jurisdiction over this, not the City.  From my 8 years of experience on the School Board we took responsibility for these issues and worked with the Rye Teachers Association to resolve them. 

Grade Rye’s handling of the following issues over the last two years on an A, B, C, D or F scale

Flooding and flood mitigation (Bowman Avenue dam, Elm Place Wall, Central Avenue Bridge, etc.)  

These issues were not caused by persons but are the effect of the unexpected forces of nature.  However we need to learn from them and find new ways to problem solve.

Fiscal responsibility including taxes, budgeting and labor relations (Overall budget, taxes, litigation)  

Rye City has an extraordinary bond rating maintained under the leadership of Mayor Otis, City Manager, supported by the former Comptroller and will be continued under the new Comptroller.

Public works including condition of sidewalks and roads and snow, leaf, garbage and recycling removal 

Sidewalks and streets have been improved based on capital budget allocations, the Post Road “dieting” scheme has reduced accidents and decreased speeding, Theall Road has been repaired, the Central Avenue Bridge will be paid for mostly with federal/state funds (80%) once the design is approved, Elm Street embankment has been repaired, garbage pick-up and snow removal continue to be exemplary.
Safety including policing, fire and traffic  Public safety continues to be a priority and will improve more so with the enforcement of cell phone use by drivers

Schools including quality and labor relations 

From my experiences on School Board, I know that we have a dedicated staff and with vigilance on all parts, the system will continue to improve with commitment and vision.

Public recreation including parks and recreational programs

Rye’s recreational facilities and programs are outstanding and they have continued to improve under the new director of the department.

What are your three greatest contributions to Rye?

1. Envisioning problems and identifying ideas to problem solve them with new initiatives that were are fiscally responsible just like when I co-founded the Rye City Advocacy Committee – an initiative without cost to the city.

2. Leadership and intelligence as proven when I served on the School Board, recommending programs that enabled students to earn scholarships that exceeded $2.5 million and changing the School Board terms from 5 to 3 years, thereby encouraging more citizens to consider running.

3. Listening to the public, taking action where appropriate with staff support, and recommending sound, common-sense, fiscally responsible solutions as I demonstrated as chair of the Conservation Commission/Advisory Council in conjunction with the Friends of the Rye Nature Center that saved the RNC programs.

What are the three best reasons to live in Rye?

1. Wonderful, safe community to raise children and eventually to retire comfortably and continue to contribute to volunteer in some capacity that makes a difference.

2.  The schools and recreational offerings within the community which includes the  continuation and sustainability of the Rye Nature Center, YMCA, the Rye Golf Club, as well as the many avenues of the different “houses of worship” for multiple faiths.

3. Good neighbors who watch out for one another.

Where can we find you on a Saturday morning?

At church followed by a good cup of coffee and then to work or visiting clients or responding to some local crisis

What are your three favorite restaurants in Rye that deliver?

My greatest joy is specialty foods offered by the number of good eateries.  We make it a habit to visit the different restaurants that can satisfy our palate and I am a person who loves any type of pasta or noodle including soups as well as trying their specialty dishes.  All of Rye’s different restaurants appeal to my palate.

What is your favorite restaurant in Rye for a family meal?

My favorite restaurant is the one that I elect to “go to” for a good hearty meal that offers a variety of good soups, and different appetizing meat and fish dishes. 

Where do you live in Rye?

When we first came to Rye, we moved to Rye Colony and when our children came, we moved to our present location in the “Colony Gardens” development because we wanted to be in the Osborn School district which was ranked high in educational advancements and where we wanted our children to begin their educations.  As of this past June, we have lived in Rye 45 years and the last 39 years at 57 Franklin Avenue.

How else are you involved in the community?

APPOINTED POSITIONS: Served on the Rye Commission for Human Rights and in 1977 and the Finance Committee in 1993.

BOARD OF EDUCATION: Served on the School Board for two terms, serving as chair of the Superintendent Search Committee, responsible for decreasing the School Board terms, introduced the NJROTC Program that enrolled hundreds of students over its 19 year history which taught interesting different and challenging courses as navigation and  taught leadership and increasing grades which eventually  enabled students to earn scholarships to high ranking colleges and universities, amounting to more than $2.5 million. 

VETERAN SERVICES: As a retired veteran of more that 26 years of service in the Marine Corps and Navy, I used this experiences to chair the Service Academy Review Board for the 18th Congressional District since 1989, recommending applicants for admission into the military academies, including many Rye students.

CONSERVATION COMMISSION/ADVISORY COUNCIL: Appointed to the Conservation Commission/Advisory Council in 1999 and selected to be its chairman  in 2002 where I served for six years, addressing “wetland issues” and co-sponsored the “Environmental Forum” in 2007, which led to the adoption of the seasonal “leaf blower ban” by the City Council. 

FRIENDS OF THE RYE NATURE CENTER: Served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Rye Nature Center for six years, working to assure its continuation as a viable resource for families and children 

CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION: Lector at the Church since 1972. 

AMERICAN LEGION, POST 128: Member of the Post 128 for more than 20 years and served as its Commander from 1999 to 2001. 

RYE SENIOR ADVOCACY COMMITTEE: Co-Founder of Rye Senior Advocacy Committee adopted by the City Council, and instrumental in inviting a non-profit organization to join with the City under a Memorandum of Agreement where senior services to seniors would be offered without cost to the city under a unique Public/Private Partnership.  In addition helped initiate the start of an Aging in Place initiative. 

Tell us your contact information:

Your phone: 967-7425
Your email address: gunnerjpm@aol.com

Thanks, Joe!


  1. Dear Joe,
    Could you ask your running mate Mayor Otis what happen on Hen Island. At the council meeting, I see you had some questions related to past actions by the mayor relating to the handling of Hen Island. Maybe you can explain to me why for two years Mayor Otis claimed there were no problems on Hen Island. He said his building inspector along with the Health department, inspected the Island in 2007 and there were no problems found.
    Imagine that Joe, and that was told to a Supreme Court judge in writing. No wonder the judge dismissed the case.
    Then all of a sudden you’re running mate decides to do a 360 and have his building inspector write two pages of violations.
    But the mayor did place the blame on Paul Shew just after he was fired for lack of communication. I guess Otis must have been right about Shew. He said Shew was not accurate with his statements. I wonder if he sent the two pages of violations to the Judge and told him that Paul Shew was wrong.
    Imagine that Joe, Paul Shew was the only one involved in the Hen Island cover-up. I find that hard to believe but please Joe, let me know what you think. Oh! While you are at it, have you ever heard of a city that allows homeowners to collect water from the roof for domestic use or allows homeowners to have septic systems seven feet from the shores of the Long Island Sound? Joe are you sure you want to run on the same ticket with this man?

  2. Joe is a very decent man. I believe he resigned from the Conservation Commission over the way Mimi Otis and the City of Rye mishandled the Schubert matter.

    Did Mimi bring Joe on board to shut him up?

    How about posting Joe’s resignation letter on MyRye?

  3. AC,
    The below was French’s comments on Hen Island.

    “Ongoing City Hall Controversies – (F) the handling of Hen Island, Schubert Pond, and the Shew firing continue to bog down the work of the Council and have cost the City a great deal in terms of time, money and reputation.”

    I am not sure what his position on Hen Island is but just the fact that he feels it hasn’t been handled correctly tells me he is willing to take an objective look at it. I am confident if he does that, all the issues will be addressed and hopefully we will be able to put Otis’s dirty little cover-up and this long overdue embarrassment to bed once and for all.

  4. As Mimi said below – Joe Murphy IS a decent man. I also believe he knows all about the environmental cover-ups the Otis Administration apparently demanded.

    Now the question is – what role will Mr. Murphy play in this campaign? Is he there to “deliver” the environmentalists, senior citizens, the veterans? To do that, he will have to mischaracterize the obvious.

    What Groucho Marx said many years ago could have come straight from the Mayor’s lips today –

    “Who you gonna believe – me – or your own lying eyes?”


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