Although Alderman Kerry Murphy announced his resignation during the June meeting of the Benton City Council — due to the fact that he is moving out of the city — no decision has been made on how the council will move forward with replacing him.
“Now, as far as Mr. Murphy’s position on the council,” said Benton Mayor Tom Farmer, “we cannot do anything until Mr. Murphy gives us an official letter of resignation.”
Murphy and his family will be moving to Paron where they have purchased four acres of land on a mountain top. With the move, Murphy will no longer be able to represent his ward.
“It’s just been an honor to serve,” Murphy said during the June meeting. “I want to continue to serve and help Benton grow and still keep working. I have enjoyed working with all of y’all. We have accomplished a lot of good for the city. It’s been a joy, even when we didn’t agree ... I think we have been a great example to everybody in the state about how civility and working together, even if you don’t have the same ideas, how you can get your point across and be civil and friends afterward.”
According to City Attorney Brent Houston, there are two options on how the city can proceed with filling Murphy’s spot on the council. If there is more than one year left in a term, a special election can be called or the council can call for resumes and someone can be appointed to the position.
“Mr. Murphy has been a great council person for the past eight and a half years,” Farmer said. “He always voted what he felt was best for the citizens of Benton. He took the position very seriously by listening to the people, thinking about what the proposals were before he ever voted.”
Farmer also commented on Murphy’s statement concerning working together even when there were differing views on an issue.
“He was a very good council person and he will be missed,” Farmer said. “I appreciate the statement that he made the other night at the council meeting in that he said even through they did not always agree on things, when it was all said and done they could still walk away as friends.”