Manager Kevin Murphy was at the Centralville Neighborhood Action Group meeting last night. He mentioned to everyone that he had just completed his 1st year as City Manager. He officially took office Monday, April 14th, 2014.
While he did not mention any of these things, I think it is worth noting that in his first year he has had to deal with the following:
Implementing a budget that featured the Highest Tax Hike for the City in the past 7 years (3.5% Increase)
The Worst Fire (Branch St) in the city’s history in recent memory
High sick leave in the Fire Dept. forcing his administration to resort to closing 2 Fire companies per shift, something not done since 2013
Stalled progress at the Hamilton Canal District
The worst winter for snow in the past 10 years
Still many shooting / gun incidents (including 12 shots fired in the air late Saturday/Early Sunday in the Upper Highlands not to far from the Manager’s home)
Instead he was very positive and very thankful for the position he was in, heaping much praise for the positive things going on his bosses the City Council, including:
Meeting 100% of Net School Spending (without Federal funds)
9 New Police Officers with 4 more coming on board this year (pending Council Approval)
The Capital Plan that includes additional monies for road/ repairs (Robinson School Road, Bottom of Humphrey St among roads to get fixed)
Improved lighting in the Downtown
The new shot detector system that will include approx. 10 video cameras and will cover up to 3 miles in the problem areas of the city.
He and his administration Meeting with problem property owners to let them know the city will do everything in their power to hold them responsible to maintain their property.
Attention to the Downtown (he stated that the Vast majority of Business dollars come from there) but his administrations / Councils commitment to the neighborhood business districts including Bridge St. and buying a new Vacuum that will be deployed in these business districts to help keep things clean.
He stated that while growing businesses is important the most important thing to him, his administration and the Council is constituent service and reminded those in attendance to call his office , Neighborhood Services or file a report on the E-Gov system.
He introduced two of his “bosses” City Councilor’s John Leahy and Bill Samaras who were both in attendance along with Mike Demaras from the Neighborhood Service Dept along with Capt. Kelley Richardson and a Sgt. from the Lowell Police dept. who were also in attendance last night.