SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

October 10, 2013

Murphy wants to repay hometown

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — Todd Murphy said he comes from “pretty modest means.”

He grew up on Roundy Street in the downtown area, the son of a single mother who raised three children.

He went on to graduate from Tufts University and become a special education teacher. He then earned a law degree and is now a partner in a practice on Rantoul Street.

Murphy credits not only his mother but many others in the community for helping him get to where he is today. And he said he wants to pay back his hometown by serving on the City Council.

“Now I feel pretty comfortable in my career and my family life, and I really want to give back to my community that gave me so much growing up,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without the help I had from people in the community.”

As a former teacher, Murphy said his primary issue is education. He once taught special education in an office park next to a gelatin factory, which is one reason he supports the proposed new middle school.

“I know what it’s like to teach in a building that’s not up to snuff,” he said.

Murphy said he supports “smart, sustainable development” as a way to raise more tax revenue to pay for things like the new middle school and street paving.

He said he would like to see a lot of that development take place in the downtown area.

“I really want to make Beverly, particularly the downtown area, an attractive place for people to hang out, live and commute,” he said. “I feel like we can attract a lot of young professionals who might work in the city but don’t want to live in the city.”

Murphy said he supports the proposed Brimbal Avenue project as a way to increase the city’s commercial tax base and lessen the tax burden on homeowners. But he would also like to see a more open process that involves residents, especially those who would be directly affected by development.

“Citizens want open discussion, they want access to information, they want a seat at the table,” he said. “I will work for more of that transparency.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

Todd Murphy Address: 5 Beverly Commons Drive, Townhouse No. 2 Age: 38 Employment: Partner and owner at Callahan, Dewan & Murphy law firm in Beverly Education: Beverly High School Class of 1993; bachelor's degree in religion from Tufts University; master's degree in education from Salem State; Northeastern University School of Law degree Family: Partner Judith Forman; daughters Olivia, 7, and Sloane, 4 months Previous elective office: None Community involvement: Beverly Children's Learning Center board of directors Would you take the city's health insurance?: No Favorite pastime: "Spending time with my daughters. Golf. Hang out with my friends and watch sports, particularly football."