A promise by Ken Murphy has stopped the campaign to get him to resign as Payson’s mayor. It has also ended efforts by members of the Committee to Recall Mayor Murphy.
At Thursday’s council meeting, Murphy read a prepared statement:
“I pledge that, should I be the cause of a public and controversial event during the remainder of my term, I will voluntarily resign my office as mayor.”
The pledge was the outcome from a recent meeting with representatives from the Citizens for Better Payson Government.
“We discussed several issues and the members present were all in agreement that a recall would be a long, painful and costly process for our community. The representatives further expressed the belief that if I make the ... promise that community pressure for my resignation or recall would be substantially reduced ... (However) unsubstantiated accusations will not be pertinent under this agreement nor would they be a basis to require compliance with this pledge,” Murphy wrote.
Don Crowley, co-chairman of the Citizens for Better Payson Government, the group campaigning the mayor’s resignation, also read a prepared statement, responding to Murphy at the Dec. 12 council meeting. He said about 500 residents joined the group’s call to action, with only five formal statements of opposition, four of which were anonymous.
“I, and others I’ve talked to, view his commitment to resign, should he be the focus of another negative event, as a very positive and necessary step, crucial for both the town and Mr. Murphy’s political future. Equally important to reduce the likelihood of additional negative events taking place, many of us would urge Mr. Murphy to seek qualified professional guidance on issues of chemical dependency and anger management,” Crowley wrote.
The promise by Murphy stops the recall campaign as well, or at least the part of it co-chaired by Gordon Metcalf and Carol McCraney.
“Our part of the recall will be cancelled. The Committee to Recall Mayor Murphy will die a natural death,” Metcalf said. “We wish Mr. Murphy success in meeting his pledge.”
No signatures had been collected on the recall petitions, Metcalf said.