Bye, Murph

    murph_main1For his years of loyal service to this great City of ours, I’d like to thank city planner Richard Murphy for a job well done. For those of you that might not have heard the news, Murph yesterday accepted a position working for Conan Smith, doing transportation/transit and transit-oriented development policy research and regional advocacy at the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. Having known Murph since he was a grad student at the University of Michigan, I know that this is the kind of thing that he’s always wanted to do, and I’m very happy for him. Although it’s with some regret that I make this announcement, I’m happy that our community will have him at the Suburbs Alliance, pushing for things like regional train service.

    And before any of you assholes out there start criticizing his performance here, as you invariably do when anyone leaves City government, and making with your “rats off a sinking ship” quips, I’d ask you to remember that Murph is planning to continue living here in Ypsi, and that, if we’re lucky, we might be able, once he’s established in his new position, to convince him to volunteer in some capacity. Regardless of whether the City has the money to bring in a new full-time City Planner, I think that we’re going to need Murph and his experience going forward. So, before you go shooting your mouth off about Water Street, which was fucked long before he joined the administration, I’d ask you to keep that in mind.

    He hasn’t responded yet, but I’ve asked Murph to submit to a public exit interview here on the site. In hopes that he agrees, please feel free to leave your questions here.

    [The photo above, taken of Murph at Waster Street, was from a piece about him on Concentrate. The photo was taken by photographer Dave Lewinski. My hope is that they don't mind my using it here.]

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      40 Comments

      1. Posted January 30, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Congrats, Murph! I saw the announcement somewhere but had no idea what the organization was, so I wasn’t sure if he was leaving the area or not. Glad to hear he is staying put! Congrats again, pal!

      2. Posted January 30, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t run the idea by Murph yet, but would anyone be up for bees on his last day? If we can get 8 people to buy him a pint each, I think we could find out all kinds of stuff.

      3. Murph
        Posted January 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Mark!

        Though…I’m a little worried about the plans to use 8 pints of bees to make me talk. I think I’d prefer waterboarding to whatever insectoid version of Room 101 you have in mind.

      4. Posted January 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        Was it Cheney who said that waterboarding was like swimming? Seriously, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Murph. It’ll feel good to unburden yourself during a relaxing session in the back room of the Brewery.

      5. Posted January 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        And, if there’s no train come October, I’m going to hold you personally responsible. You know that, right?

      6. Suzie
        Posted January 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        I hope this means more action at Common Monkeyflower!

      7. Posted January 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        Congratulations on your new position Murph! I’m sorry to hear that you’re leaving city government, but glad to hear you’re going to continue to be around as a neighbor.

      8. Posted January 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        note: Common Monkeyflower is Murph’s long neglected blog.

      9. Posted January 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        I’d totally buy him a bee. And a beer, too :)

      10. dp in ypsi
        Posted January 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        thanks for everything, Murph!

      11. Dirtgrain
        Posted January 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Murph. I hope all goes well with your new job.

      12. John on Forest
        Posted January 30, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Murph,

        Congratulations on your new position and best of luck! Thanks for all you’ve done for our beloved city. I’m happy to know you’ll be staying in Ypsi. See you around soon, I hope.

      13. Mark H.
        Posted January 30, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        Murph,

        Your departure from Ypsi city govt. is a real loss — for everyone in Ypsi, even those who don’t know what planning is or how vital it is. You’ve done wonderful things here. Congratulations on the new job! And it’s good too to know we’ll still be neighbors!

      14. Lisele
        Posted January 31, 2010 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Murph, I’m so glad to hear you’ll still be around in our fair city, looking to the sustainable future. And I’d be happy to supply the needed bees. Just let me know. :-)

      15. Oliva
        Posted January 31, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Oh boy. Congratulations, Murph–a particularly stellar and bright and kind and funny and truly likable person who regularly makes things better for others. Thank goodness Murph and family are staying nearby, where we really love having them. Thanks for so much good work, Murph. May you thrive in your new position.

      16. Lacy
        Posted January 31, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Isn’t Murphy the asshole that got us into Water Street! And now he’s leaving like rats off a sinking ship! Good riddance!

      17. Murph
        Posted January 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Lacy: just wait ’til you see what I’ve got planned next! Not much time left now to put it into motion. Bwa ha ha ha!

        Ahem. I mean, “no comment.”

      18. Pete Murdock
        Posted January 31, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Oh Lacy -

        Tsk! Tsk! You must not have read or chose to ignore MM’s comment of which I totally concur – a somewhat rare occurence for me. So here it is again.

        “And before any of you assholes out there start criticizing his performance here, as you invariably do when anyone leaves City government, and making with your “rats off a sinking ship” quips, I’d ask you to remember that Murph is planning to continue living here in Ypsi, and that, if we’re lucky, we might be able, once he’s established in his new position, to convince him to volunteer in some capacity. Regardless of whether the City has the money to bring in a new full-time City Planner, I think that we’re going to need Murph and his experience going forward. So, before you go shooting your mouth off about Water Street, which was fucked long before he joined the administration, I’d ask you to keep that in mind.”

        The City of Ypsilanti will greatly miss Murph’s talent and abilities at City Hall, and I wish him all the best in his new venture and hope he continues contributing to the community’s betterment as just a citizen who cares.

        Pete

      19. Andy Ypsilanti
        Posted January 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Murph, you’ve been fighting the good fight long after so many others have thrown in the towel. Hey, I can think of a way you can take your new dream job and still work for the city, at least come November….

      20. Suzie
        Posted January 31, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        In my excitement about the potential of a revival of thoughtful land use discussion on Murph’s blog (wow, am I a geek; but in good company, right?) I neglected to say what I *should* have said, which is:

        Congrats, Murph, it sounds really cool. Glad you’re staying in Ypsi, and glad you’ve found what seems like a great fit.

      21. dave french
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        The city planning department was well served by Mr Murphy. I hope the city finds a replacement as equally fair and able.

      22. Karl
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Does anyone know if there are plans to fill the position? I heard some talk of trying to do the work of the office with an all-volunteer panel. Knowing some of what Murph did, I find it hard to believe that such a system would work, but I believe it’s been discussed.

      23. Robert
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Is that a fucking “B” on Murph’s tuque? No wonder everyone around here hates him.

      24. Kim
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        The “B” is for Bacon.

      25. Kim
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Or, is it Beal?

      26. Oliva
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        It’s an Old English D on steroids?

      27. Linda
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Murph,
        You will be missed. I am glad you are not moving and I hope you get involved on a different level. You have added some depth to this city.

      28. Murph
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        It’s a B, all right, Robert. I lived in central New Jersey for a while, and I think everyone I knew who was in Jersey but not of Jersey became a Sox fan – in some part out of spite, I’ll admit.

        One of my fond memories of Jersey was watching the last game of the 2003 Sox-Yankees championship in a packed small-town bar where I was the lone Sox fan. The locals were gracious in their victory, though it may just have been pity for the kid with an obvious lack of self-preservation instinct.

      29. Gretchen Forshay
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        The “B” if for “Bailout.”

      30. Erik Dotzauer
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Murph – best of luck with the new job! This is good news for you, bad news for Ypsi.

      31. Posted February 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        So, Murph, how about that waterboarding with beer? Are you up for it on your last day with the City?

      32. atleastImnotinMS
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        Lacy, the swooshing sound I heard was something skimming over others heads, I think….. close to a sonic boom, it was……

      33. Kerri
        Posted February 1, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        Congrats, Murph! Don’t let that new boss of yours work you too hard. I know he’s a tough one.

        I like this. Now you can run for office!

      34. Karl
        Posted February 2, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        Mark, you asked if we had questions for Murph, and I do. I’d like to know what’s happening with Water Street. He and others made it sound as though the Burger King deal was a forgone conclusion, but nothing seems to have happened. I’m not complaining, as I think BK would be terrible for Water Street, but I’d like to know what happened.

      35. Rod J
        Posted February 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Hey Murph,
        Don’t take my, up to now, silence in publicly responding to your recent announcement of moving on as some sort of editorial comment. It’s just that I’ve had some personal issues to attend to the last week.

        While on the Planning Commission I’ve seen a few planners come and go. Your work has been as sharp, detailed and compete as any of them, perhaps more than any of them. Especially of note is your work on the Recreation Commission 5-year plan when you were just starting out as a Planner. The completeness and thought that went into that effort caught my eye and I knew then you could be a person who could really help the city. Your efforts from then on only further strengthened my initial thoughts about your abilities. But what separated you from others before you was not only your understanding of planning issues and how to implement them but your unblinking care for Ypsilanti – both from the city’s perspective and its citizenry’s.

        Yes, you will be missed. But let’s give Gillotti our support. I know her, have worked with her and know her to be a very hard worker who has her on special talents to tackle the many obstacles that face her. You had your chance and stepped right up to the task. I expect Gillotti will do the same.

        The best of luck to you,

        Rod

      36. BLT
        Posted February 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Congratulations, I hear, are in order for Teresa Gillotti, who has just inherited Murph’s “chair of power”.

      37. Posted February 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Very cool. I didn’t know that about Teresa getting Murph’s job.

        Congratulations, Theresa.

      38. Lacy
        Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        But isn’t Teresa the asshole that got us into Water Street! How long before she’s leaving like rats off a sinking ship! Good riddance!

        (For those who didn’t get it the first time, that’s a joke, based off Mark’s post. Murph was exceptional, and I’m exceptionally relieved we have someone as stellar as Teresa who knows the town ready to step in.)

      39. paxil pete
        Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:09 am | Permalink

        Tucked into the waistband of Murph’s tight bluejeans was a pistol.

      40. RU
        Posted February 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        There were men like Murph in old St. Petersburg.

      One Trackback

      1. By Tweets that mention Bye, Murph -- Topsy.com on February 1, 2010 at 9:01 am

        [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Maynard and Andy Garris, Stewart Beal. Stewart Beal said: RT @MarkMaynard: Bye, Murph: For his years of loyal service to this great City of ours, I’d like to thank city planner Richard Murp… http://bit.ly/9lTjTW [...]

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