“I do not intend to resign,” Mayor Ken Murphy told the Payson Town Council and residents gathered at town hall Thursday night.
Reading a prepared statement, Murphy made apologies for the negative attention he brought to Payson in the last week following his arrest for disorderly conduct and threats and intimidation related to domestic violence.
Regarding the arrest, Murphy said, “I will address the charges like any other citizen in a free country ... I know that most of you have confidence in me as your mayor, but I know to regain your confidence and trust in me as a man, I must accept my shortcomings and make significant and permanent changes in my personal life. I promise you that I will.”
Murphy then opened the floor to public comments, most of which were words of support for him, including those from Julie Barcom, the mayor’s fiancee, who read a prepared statement that appears as a letter to the editor on Page 4A of today’s edition.
Only one person, Sharon Jackson, asked for the mayor’s resignation.
“When a mayor is elected to represent the people, I believe it is reasonable to expect him or her to represent the people in a credible, respectful manner at all times ... Mr Murphy, you appear to be unable to control your emotions by exercising reasonable thinking. Your actions have cast a shadow on all of us here in Payson ... If you do not resign, I believe you will be recalled,” Jackson said.
Addressing the recall threat, former councilor Dr. Mark Ivey, Jr. said there were enough people in Payson behind the mayor to make sure he would not be recalled.