There have been so many opinions submitted to the Payson Roundup on Mayor Ken Murphy's alleged disorderly conduct at the Ox Bow Saloon during August Doin's 2002. One would think Mayor Murphy committed the "crime of the century," when, in actuality, all Mayor Murphy requested was an explanation of why the Ox Bow Saloon was half full on what should have been the busiest day of the year.
I was an eye witness to the "Ox Bow Incident," and I was only three feet away from Mayor Murphy. As such, I heard the entire conversation between Mayor Murphy and former Payson Fire Marshal Jack Babb.
To set the story straight once and for all, Mayor Murphy was loud, but this was a result of the band's loud speakers being only eight feet away from Mayor Murphy. Consequently, Mayor Murphy had no choice but to try and talk above the sound of the band.
(Note: this was the same band that was warned by the Payson Police Department on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2002, that they had received complaints from Payson residents about the volume of the music.)
When Mayor Murphy came to the Ox Bow Saloon on Friday, Aug. 16, 2002 at approximately 10:15 p.m., the Ox Bow Saloon was less than half full. Also, the band played so loud that you could hardly hear yourself think, let alone hold an intelligent conversation at a normal level. Consequently Mayor Murphy had to basically yell to be heard, and couldn't understand why Fire Marshal Babb wouldn't/ couldn't answer his questions on the occupancy level of the Ox Bow Saloon.
It is very unfortunate that this harmless situation became escalated to the point of a court case. In my opinion, Mayor Murphy did not commit any grievous act, and is not guilty of disorderly conduct.
Now you know the rest of the story.
Roy Nethken, Payson