Barbara Murphy

Biography & Background

  • Education: UMass Amherst
  • Current Employment: Ward 5 Councillor. Previously Chief Operating Officer (Aspen Specialty Insurance Company), Director of Information Technology (First State Management Group).
  • Committees: Cemetery; Finance; License; Traffic Mitigation; Waterfront Access (City of Malden)
  • Community: Organizes an annual Fairy House Festival for Malden (FB 8/9/19). Started the Ward 5 Annual Clean Sweep Day so the ward gets a jump start on spring cleaning. Hosts the Annual Ward 5 Halloween Party and partners with Pine Banks Park for Santa’s annual visit by hosting “hot chocolate and cookies” (MV Update).
  • Spouse & Children: She has lived in Malden for over 40 years. Married to Jeffrey W. Murphy. Their sons are Jeffrey and Patrick.
  • Endorsed by: Painters and Allied Trades DC 35 (MV Update).
  • Volunteer Work: Board of Directors Malden Teen Enrichment Center,  Junior Aid Association of Malden member since 2001.
  • Awards: Councillor Murphy was awarded the MSPCA Angell Human Hero Hall of Fame Award in 2012 for her work against breed specific legislation (MSPCA).

Policies & Experiences

  • Biggest issues: Height limitations for developments; Funding repairs and upgrades to streets and sidewalks; Neighborhood activities that promote community engagement; School funding formulas fairer to Malden Public Schools; Improvements to our parks and recreation facilities (PalmCard).
  • Campaign Committee: “My campaign committee consists of myself, my treasurer, Julie Greenbaum, and many family, friends and neighbors who have supported me at every step of the way and without whom I could not do this job” (Quality 2019).
  • Philosophy as an Elected Official: “My philosophy is and always has been to follow the will of the voters” (Quality 2019).
  • Vision for Malden “I will continue to focus on those issues most impactful to your quality of life. A community is only truly a community when people feel safe in their homes, have opportunities to interact with their neighbors, and know that their elected officials are there to represent them. You have my commitment to stay committed to each of these goals” (PalmCard).

  • Civic Engagement

    • Governmental Transparency: “Having meeting rooms in the new City Hall capable of independently streaming and broadcasting and making sure all new technology is ADA compliant are important steps in being more transparent … Bluetooth technology will be installed in the new Council Chamber to support the hearing impaired. Font sizes can now be adjusted on the city website for the visually impaired and translation to multiple languages is available” (Quality 2019).
    • Livestreaming Meetings: “As a member of the City Hall Municipal Building Committee, I have ensured that the three public meeting rooms in the new City Hall, easily accessible on the ground floor, will be outfitted with state of the art conference technology. They will have the capability of streaming live to the internet, broadcasting to MATV and archiving to Granicus” (Quality 2019).
    • Public Comment: Voted to table public comment at City Council meetings due to lack of detailed plan (WL 9/27/17). Once that was defined voted to allow public comment (MV update).

  • Infrastructure

    • Affordable Housing: “Three strategies are under consideration to address this topic, including an Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Inclusionary Zoning Financial Feasibility Analysis, and a Security Deposit Pilot Program. Specific to inclusionary zoning goals, we need the proper analysis to strike the right balance so that we maximize the creation of affordable housing without overshooting in a way that discourages developers from developing at all. The goal is to maximize the number of affordable units without becoming cost prohibitive” (Quality 2019).
    • CFO/Treasurer: Ms. Murphy said of Jonathan Davis, who is the current CFO/Treasurer: “I like the way (Davis) described himself with the three words ‘open-honest-transparent.’ That’s exactly the qualities we are seeking for our next treasurer.” However, she voted for Neil Kinnon. “The former councilor said he would ‘know what it is to roll up my sleeves and get right to work. I would hit the ground running and have an outline and a plan from day one as treasurer'” (Item 11/2/17)
    • Dogs: “According to Councilor Barbara Murphy, all of the reported dog bite incidents in Malden involved off-leash dogs, in violation of the leash law. She voted against the proposed [Breed Specific Legislation], smartly suggesting that the city focus on enforcement of existing laws” (BSL 4/4/12).
    • Elderly Citizens: Councillor Murphy spearheaded a neighborhood friendly transformation of the McFadden Manor property into Forestdale Park Senior Living Facility, an assisted living and memory care facility for our seniors (MV Update).
    • Future Development: “The continual growth of our community should only occur after a thoughtful and thorough review of the impact such growth will have on our ability to continue to deliver services our residents expect. There is no denying that with additional growth comes added strain on our school system, public safety, and city services” (Quality 2019).
    • Height Limits “Last year I put forth a bill to lower the height of residential dwelling units in the Central Business District from twelve stories to six stories. [When that was rejected], I put forth a compromise bill that would allow the City Council to approve a 7 story limit, a compromise I made to make movement on this goal. I am happy to say ultimately it passed” (Quality 2019).
    • Waste & Recycling: “I believe the subject should have been discussed with and voted on by the community. I am, however, pleased to see that recycling in the city is up significantly as I believe it our duty as individuals to do everything possible to reduce our carbon footprint” (FB 9/7/09).

  • Public Spaces

    • Community Gardens: This past year, Murphy secured funding for additional gardens. They have been built and will come online for the Spring 2020 planting season. This brings the total number of beds to 106 (MV Update).
    • Malden Hospital: “I do not support a high density residential redevelopment of the site, but beyond that, hope that we can work together to arrive at a use for the site that adds to the community as a whole” (Quality 2019).
    • Malden River: “As President of the City Council in 2016, I saw the need to create a Waterfront Access Committee (WAC) … While much of the work we do goes on quietly behind the scenes, it is important work and I’m thrilled to still chair that committee. I have testified in front of the DEP to ensure National Grid complies with Chapter 91 to construct and maintain a public access walkway with a minimum width of 10 feet running along the Malden River” (Quality 2019).
    • Roosevelt Park: “The field has significant drainage issues rendering it unusable for days at a time after any rain event. Turfing the field will provide students with more active recess time and will allow for better conditions for the school community and city youth athletic teams. The field will be built to accommodate soccer, lacrosse, softball, football and field hockey, significantly increasing versatility. Additionally, the scope of the project includes an outdoor classroom and making the park ADA compliant. For these reasons, I support the proposed financially responsible solution of turfing the field that will address these issues and not leaving it in the current condition. I am certain the dialogue that has occurred with the community will help us make it a project we will all be proud of” (MNN 5/29/19).
    • Trees: “In the past the city has planted on average 150 new trees per year! This year, we are looking to increase that number to 200 … We now plant 6 different varieties of trees to ensure one type of tree disease does not adversely affect our canopy … Finally, our DPW Director has put in place a new process where a picture of every dead tree is taken and recorded before removal to ensure additional accountability before the difficult decision is made to remove a tree” (Quality 2019).

  • Transit issues

    • Roads: Sponsored a resolve to have the Traffic Commission change the speed limit. (WL 6/28/17). This fall the Department of Transportation designated Malden a Drive 25 city. The signage is on order and Drive 25 is scheduled to be rolled out by the end of the year (MV Update).
    • Traffic Congestion: “Malden is an old city with limitations on laying out new streets. However, even small improvements to existing streets and intersections can make a big difference as evidenced by the 8 projects which we have finished to date, each of which has made for safer commuting for everyone. Four more projects are in the works!” (Quality 2019).

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