Marcia Jowers is the owner and publisher of the Murphy Messenger. Marcia began her newspaper career in 1986, and has worked for several major newspaper groups in Tennessee, Alabama and Texas. She launched the Messenger in October, 2004 truly believing in the concept of a localized hometown newspaper. Publishing the Messenger has been her most rewarding career accomplishment. To contact Marcia:? firstname.lastname@example.org
The Murphy Messenger currently has an opening for a contract sales person (straight commission) to manage existing accounts and develop new accounts in a specific territory.?
This is the perfect job for someone wanting a flexible work week with flexible hours. If you decide to work from home in your jammies until noon – you may do that!? You may office out of your home and/or from your vehicle. There are no cubicles or time clocks as a contract sales representative.? YOU determine the work schedule that is needed to bring the greatest results and ultimately you the greatest commissions.?
Candidates should possess the following attributes: •?Ability to meet deadlines •?Self-motivated and able to work independently with little supervision •?Superior organizational skills with attention to detail •?Exceptional people skills and communication skills •?Working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications including Excel.
Prior experience in sales not a requirement – being results-driven is.??
As a sales representative for the Murphy Messenger you will be responsible for selling long-term print and on-line advertising programs to a variety of large and small businesses as well as franchise and major businesses. Candidates should feel comfortable making in-person visits to prospective new advertisers as well as communicating via email and other social networks. Providing superior customer service to new and existing accounts is a priority.???
The complete sales cycle, for which the sales representative will be responsible, begins with:
1- selling the order that will most benefit the advertiser 2- ensuring accurate ad copy 3-working with the creative design department to convey your advertisers’ vision for their order 4- gaining final approval for each client’s advertisement prior to publishing 5- reviewing completed print product prior to printing …all completed within the strict deadlines required to meet the first and third Thursday publishing dates.
Additionally, you will have input? in developing and executing sales programs, marketing plans, campaigns, and promotions to build revenue for print and online products.
Contract sales representatives are paid a percentage of their total sales as revenue is received from their clients. Keeping the aging of accounts current will ensure you are paid in a timely manner. Collection calls are not always fun to make, but necessary.??
Being active in the local Chamber and other professional organizations is encouraged.
The Murphy Messenger is the only free community newspaper in Murphy, direct-mailed to 100% of the homes, business and schools in the 75094 zip code. The Messenger is solely owned and operated and is not affiliated with any other newspaper or newspaper group.??
If this immediate opening is of interest to you, please forward your resume to:
Marcia Jowers at:? email@example.com or mail your resume to: Marcia Jowers Murphy Messenger 120 E. FM 544 Suite 72 PMB 136 Murphy, TX 75094 ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? EOE?
It was just four months ago that the United States Department of Agriculture confiscated one lion and two tigers from a for-profit entertainment facility in Kauffman, TX and placed the neglected exotic cats with In-Sync Exotics.?
On Friday, July 10th, the USDA once again returned to In-Sync Exotics, this time with three rare white lions. The two male and one female lions were removed from the same Kauffman facility for similar reasons as in the March confiscations. All three white lions are suffering from various levels of ataxia which is a condition that causes a loss or impairment of muscular coordination and in some cases is characterized by involuntary trembling.
The males are estimated to be between 8-10 years old. Both are underweight, have multiple open sores and their coats are dull and dirty. “Shazam” has no mane at all which the USDA veterinarian said could be from a vitamin deficiency and/or the lion rubbing his mane off due to stress.
The other male, “Jazz” has a mane that resembles Michael Bolton’s hair. The mane is in poor condition and badly matted.
The female, “Diamond,” is estimated to be about 18 months old and although she looks the best of the three, she has difficulty holding her head upright and the USDA veterinarian warned that she may be so bad off with ataxia and other ailments that euthanasia may be necessary. Vicky Keahey, Founder and President of In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue, looked into “Diamond’s” eyes and said, “Look at me little girl. You will not die now that you are here. You hear me? No dying allowed here.”?
The new lions have been placed in enclosures that can only be used by them temporarily. Several of the “residents” were moved around Friday morning to make room for the afternoon arrivals. It will now be imperative that new enclosures are built to accommodate the recent influx of neglected tigers and lions from the Kauffman facility. Sadly, the USDA reported that ten other exotic cats still remain at the negligent entertainment facility.
If you would like to help In-Sync Exotics restore the health and happiness of these once-beautiful white lions, please consider making a donation to their cause. You may visit the website: www.insyncexotics.com where donations can be made on-line. You will also find directions to In-Sync Exotics on the website for weekend visits.?
Throughout the Decatur-Maxwell-Murphy Cemetery mowers and weed eaters hummed as tall grass and vines were leveled.
Soft brushes swooshed against markers as they were cleaned with a special soap
The occasional thud of a hammer could be heard when the graves of the known veterans were marked by? wooden stakes, identifying them for American and Civil War flags to be placed there the day of the event.
Birds sang in nearby trees and bees darted from one clump of tall grass to another while fire ants were rousted from their mounds only to meet their demise.??
Saturday was a work day for the Cemetery Association of Murphy to prepare the grounds for the upcoming Friday, May 30th (original date) Memorial Day Observance. The public is invited to attend between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. for tours through one of Murphy’s last historical landmarks that will be followed by a brief program.
The very remote cemetery is located down a gravel road at the junction of Tom Clevenger and Maxwell Creek roads. An alternate way to access the cemetery is to drive to the end of the road behind Murphy Middle School and enter through the park pavilion and follow the fence line to the right.
The cemetery, of which most people are unaware it even exists, had at one time over 300 markers, most dated in the 1800’s. With time and vandalism and the cemetery being abandoned and unattended for years, many markers have been stolen or have broken into fragments causing some to completely disintegrate. Some of Murphy’s most important families are buried in this cemetery.??????
The purpose of the May 30th Memorial Day Observance is to honor our veterans and all who are buried in the Decatur-Maxwell-Murphy Cemetery, as well as make people aware of this beautiful historic cemetery in need of major restoration.
The schedule for the May 30th observance follows: 5:30 – 6:30?Tours of the cemetery by Murphy Middle School Junior Historians
6:30 ?A brief program featuring our “National Anthem” sung by the Murphy Middle School Girl’s Choir; Colors and Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scout Troop 1776;? Invocation by Pastor Eric Hartman, Providence Church; Remarks by the Cemetery Association’s President, Brad Lapsley; Adopt a Marker Program explained by Marcia Jowers; “Decoration Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow recited by Yemi Adewuyi; Taps played by Sidharth Sharma and concluding with “America The Beautiful” sung by 15th Street members: Bethany Hooks, Margret Johnson, Krikit Rast, Jennifer Smith, Kevin Hinkley, Chris Peterson, Tyler Sundrud and Keith Fenstermacher.
Refreshments will be served complements of Albertson’s Grocery.
Please join us on Friday for a glimpse of Murphy’s heritage.??
It has not been the practice of the Murphy Messenger to endorse any political candidate running for Murphy City Council. In this election, however, the Messenger wholeheartedly endorses the incumbent Mayor, Bret Baldwin.
The decision to endorse at this time is incited by former city manager Craig Sherwood’s candidacy for Mayor of Murphy.
Based on the unpleasant relationship the Messenger and its publisher had with Mr. Sherwood while he was city manager, it is this newspaper’s opinion that nothing has or will change in regard to Mr. Sherwood’s actions, demeanor, work ethic and lack of openness in regard to city business if he is elected Mayor.
Running for Mayor to work with a council he could not work with as City Manager—a council he voluntarily resigned from serving—begs the question, “Why?” After accepting over $311,000 to “go away” as City Manager, why “come back” as Mayor?
Voters should keep in mind that while Mr. Sherwood was City Manager, he ordered employees not to talk with media, specifically the Messenger, and basically shut down the flow of communication to the citizens of Murphy.? This “gag order” was removed by interim City Manager Jim Berzina and supported by Mayor Baldwin, to the benefit of the community.
There has been continued and improved communication since Mr. Sherwood’s resignation, via press releases, staff interviews and notification of meetings and events by various departments including the Fire and Police Departments. The Messenger applauds the City staff and the current elected representatives for its commitment to more open communication.
In a recent interview with Mr. Sherwood, he stated he still feels that the flow of information to media and residents “should be closely controlled to ensure accuracy.” Mr. Sherwood could not cite any situations since he resigned as City Manager where the new policy of open communication has caused any “wrong” information to be given out and subsequently printed in the Messenger. It is this newspaper’s contention that Mr. Sherwood, if elected Mayor, would adopt his controlled/no communication policy again.??
Personal experience and a common thread on the Messenger’s forums have made it clear Mr. Sherwood, as City Manager, did not respond to emails or telephone calls in a timely manner or at all. As Mayor, it is doubtful his behavior would be any different. In a recent interview with Mr. Sherwood, he stated, in response to the question if he was elected Mayor would he be any more attentive to inbound calls and emails, he replied, “The City should adopt a policy for response time. People need to get over their fast-food expectations and have a little patience.” Some of us are still waiting for a response that even the slowest restaurant would have served by now.
It is doubtful an informative series written on City Government for Messenger readers would be at the top of Mr. Sherwood’s To-Do list as it has been for Mayor Baldwin.??
It is doubtful a meaningful policy for communication between City and Citizens would be at the top of Mr. Sherwood’s To-Do list as it has been for Mayor Baldwin.
It is doubtful the current council would embrace Mr. Sherwood as Mayor as it has Mayor Baldwin, after Mr. Sherwood has cost the city unnecessary litigation fees for court cases gone sour, a hefty buy-out contract and a multitude of unknown expenses surprising council of late.
If citizens want a city government with open communication and accessibility to their elected officials, then there is one clear choice for Mayor. Mayor Bret Baldwin.
Nine months ago, Jim Berzina began his duties as Murphy’s Interim City Manager replacing Craig Sherwood who had resigned from the position. With the hiring of James Fisher, Murphy’s new permanent City Manager who began on March 31st, Mr. Berzina returned to Wichita Falls. He plans to “really retire” and do some traveling with his wife Carol who has been most patient in letting Murphy borrow her husband since June of 2007.
In the Messenger’s introductory story on Mr. Berzina, he told us, “I am here to jump in and help and to actively participate even though I am here in an ‘interim’ role.” We thought it would be interesting to get his perspective on how the jump and his landing went.
When he first arrived he stated he had three primary areas he felt he should focus his attention. First was to help the City Council to work smoothly with each other and especially the city staff. The second priority area was to enable staff to perform their jobs and assist them in the performance of their duties. Finally, to work with the Council and the staff to complete many of the programs and projects that had been stalled for several years. He stated, “It was important to show the citizens of Murphy that the city could finish the projects that were funded and ready to start.”
He started as Interim City Manager in June 2007 and three members of the City Council had just been elected the previous month. They joined four other Councilmembers and together they faced numerous problems they did not initiate but inherited.
Many of these problems were financial and a direct result of legal costs and lawsuits associated primarily with the municipal building complex. In addition to a settlement with the primary building contractor, AUI, the City of Murphy lost a lawsuit brought by Pavecon, a sub-contractor on the project, and the city was ordered to pay approximately $600,000 from that court decision.
The architect for the buildings presented the city for the bill for $96,000 that was required for extra services for building inspection oversight due to delays in construction. The city also paid out over $300,000 severance payment to the previous City Manager in accordance with an employment agreement put in place by a former City Council.
The City of Murphy is facing a revenue problem similar to most cities, in that operating revenues are not increasing and in some categories showing a decline. Revenue from building permits has fallen from approximately $1.4 million dollars to an estimated $550,000 for the current year. The staff has initiated a delinquent ticket/warrant program in order to collect some of the past-due fines. Many of these violations are from offenses that date back two or more years.
Due to the economic slow down affecting the country, Murphy has not seen a measurable increase in sales tax revenue. In fact, some monthly collections are less than the same month one year ago. Some business locations have closed in the past six months such as, Mex-Mex Grill, Prime Source Mortgage and the Murphy Fitness Center. It is expected that the opening of Murphy Marketplace and Crossing will reverse the sales tax collection trend and funds could be available to assist in the further development of the city.
Mr. Berzina commends the present City Council for their supervision of city finances. He says that they are as involved in financial operations and decisions as any City Council he has worked with in his 35 years as a City Manager. “They took the immediate steps necessary to limit budget expenditures when they observed that revenue was down and certain unanticipated expenditures from lawsuits, legal fees and severance contract payments were up” said Mr. Berzina. He added, “The Mayor and City Council conducted budget review sessions and with the financial information provided by City Finance Director, Linda Truitt, the council reduced budget expenditures to match anticipated revenues.” He observed that the city staff worked well as a unit to identify where costs could be reduced and services still provided.
To read more about what Mr. Berzina had to say, click on "Full Story."
Mike Daniel, who was elected this past November to fill the Place 5 seat vacated by Murray Sanderford, has thoroughly enjoyed his brief tenure on council and is seeking reelection for a full 3-year term in the May election.?
When asked about the biggest challenge he sees Murphy facing, Councilmember Daniel replied, “I see traffic related issues as the largest challenge over the next several years. Murphy Road is a catastrophe and absolutely must be widened and improved. We must also find a way to keep through traffic on our major thoroughfares and out of our neighborhoods. It would also be nice to have our medians landscaped and appropriately illuminated.”
Parks and trails are also important to Mr. Daniel. “Our parks and trails have taken a back seat for far too long. As a result, we’re way behind and need to catch up. Council is diligently working on preparing a bond package to bring to the voters of Murphy that would include funds for substantial improvements of our parks and trails.”
Councilmember Daniel is a former Planning & Zoning commissioner and charter member of the Community Leadership Council (CLC). He is a member of the Murphy Cemetery Association where he works with the Murphy Middle School Junior Historians on various projects to honor and preserve the history of Murphy. He is currently Vice President of the Rolling Ridge Estates HOA and member of the Murphy Chamber of Commerce.
If you would like to direct questions to Councilmember Daniel you may do so on the Community Forums, Ask The Candidates, at: www.murphymessenger.com or visit his website at www.MikeForMurphy.com to learn more about the candidate.
Council Seat Place 5 Sought by Terry Lynn Stallcup
Vote. That is what Terry Lynn Stallcup urges all registered voters in Murphy to do in the May election for City Council. The decisions made in this election, she feels, will determine the economic future of Murphy.?
Ms. Stallcup feels Murphy is at a very critical time in its growth and making the right choices is crucial. She said the city and its citizens have many needs and wants to enhance their quality of life and sense of community, but to get them, the city needs a solid financial base and careful planning so taxes do not increase. Candidate Stallcup said the city needs to strengthen its economic development and balance revenue and expenses to maintain a low property rate and securing a solid foundation to make improvements in the city’s infrastructure, roads and to make improvements in quality lifestyle amenities like parks and trails.
Seeking a Council seat after serving two years on the 4A Economic Development Board, Candidate Stallcup says she is well aware of the issues facing Murphy. Roads, Infrastructure and Economic Development are at the top of her priority list. “These three things make a solid foundation on which to grow, and are needed to provide the parks and other items citizens want to enhance their quality of life.” Of particular concern is the delay of the North Murphy Road expansion, which has been pushed back to 2010 and will impede access to commercial and residential properties. These “missed windows” of opportunity are what Ms. Stallcup feels are road blocks to Murphy’s economic future and fiscal responsibility.??
Ms. Stallcup holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Marketing from SMU. She is the President-Elect of the Dallas Human Resource Management Assoc., co-founder of Career Care at St. Andrew UMC and is President of Ultimate Consulting, Inc.? To learn more about Terry Lynn Stallcup’s campaign platform, visit: www.TerryLynnStallcup.com
John Daugherty Files to Run for City Council Place 3 in May Election
John Daugherty is running for Place 3 on the Murphy City Council to represent all the citizens of Murphy. John states, “Given current financial pressures due to the housing market and the economy in general, the city must adapt in order to balance the economic needs of the community with our quality of life. I enjoyed my previous bid to join the City Council in November and I still have the desire to serve the residents. I think City Council is the best way to put my talents to use for the good of our community. I practice the principle of servant leadership and hope to serve the citizens after the May election.”
Candidate Daugherty is self-employed and has his own consulting company, Pentex Advisory Services, LLC which specializes in natural gas pipeline divestitures and acquisition due diligence. He is a former volunteer firefighter and EMT and has been selected to attend the upcoming Murphy Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy. He has been a member of the Richardson Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association since 1995, serving as President in 2002. Mr. Daugherty has also served as President of two other non-profit organizations. He currently serves as a Crime Watch block captain, attends the monthly Community Leadership Council meetings and is a member of the Murphy Chamber of Commerce.
John Daugherty asks for your support during early voting and on May 10th.? “Help me make Murphy a city of which we can all be proud.”?
Gerry Lington, Candidate for City Council – Place 3?
No stranger to Murphy’s economic development strategies, Lington has served on the 4-B Board since 2004, currently serving as President and would now like to serve on Council.
Lington attends many Council meetings, works easily with the current members and expects the same for any candidate elected to office. He stressed one key to success in any governing body is to focus on the issues not personalities.
Lington is happy to see the progress made by Planning and Zoning toward completion of a Comprehensive Plan. He also applauds the outstanding efforts made by Parks and Recreation, as they complete their Master Park Plan in the next few months.
Along with being a CPA and a Certified Financial Planner, Lington comes with a BBA in Finance and an MS in Accountancy. Lington says that fiscal responsibility will be a key priority for the City as it transitions from declining building permit fees to sales tax revenue.
The coordination of this effort will require vision and utilization of a capital planning / projects approach. He wants to see the city work closely with the developers to ensure that we are all proud of the results. When asked what he would like voters to know about him, Candidate Lington said, “That I have a heart for the community and that my Christian ethic is to return something to the community. Regarding integrity, that’s the way I approach any job.”
Gerry Lington has been involved in Scouting for 9 years and currently serves as Committee Chair with Troop 1776. Both his sons, Jace and Ethan, are Eagle Scouts. To learn more, visit his website: www.Lington4Council.com
Mayor Bret M. Baldwin, PhD, has filed to run in the May 10th election for a second term to “keep the momentum” during this critical time of growth and development in Murphy.? He stated, “Now is not the time to shift gears and change directions.”
The accomplishments he is most proud of, as Mayor, include keeping taxes steady, fostering council’s ability to work together, and updating the Comprehensive Plan. He said, “We have one of the lowest tax rates for comparable cities, and keeping it steady has improved the outlook on our bond rating.”? ? “Council has developed into an effective and cohesive group. We are strong-minded individuals with differing opinions, but we work together to develop the best policies and procedures for Murphy. My role as facilitator is essential to a highly functioning and effective Council.”
“The Comprehensive Plan will provide a map to the future and help us make important decisions about traffic, beautification, parks, etc.”
Murphy’s Vision Statement has guided and will continue to guide the Mayor’s priorities. Those include maintaining fiscal responsibility, promoting sustainable economic development, addressing traffic problems throughout the city, upgrading aging infrastructure, beautifying common areas, and improving neighborhood parks.
Mayor Baldwin reiterated a campaign promise made three years ago, “Transparency and open communication are essential. As your Mayor, I will continue to promote policies and procedures that increase the availability of information to the residents of Murphy.”?
The Baldwin family resides in the Windy Hill Farms community.
Former City Manager, Craig Sherwood, Running for Mayor
“The City is in serious financial trouble. After seeing what has happened these past nine months, I can help.”? This is what former City Manager and now Mayoral Candidate Craig Sherwood says he wants to do – help the city get back to financial stability.?
Last year when Mr. Sherwood resigned as City Manager the City issued him a check for $311,743.64 that included salary of $255,000; 400 vacation hours for $23,268; TMRS (retirement) for $29,440.75 and Medicare taxes of $4,034.89.? He points out the following:? “I didn't receive $311K.? The city payment was less taxes and deductions plus paid vacation that I was owed; since, I worked without vacation for a few years.? Paying for vacation time due is not severance pay.”
Now Mr. Sherwood would like to return to city government as a non-paid Mayor. He states that any additional money he receives from the City, i.e. the $75 per council meeting, will be donated to charity.??
Proud that he once turned the financial picture of the City around, Mr. Sherwood feels he can do it again. His experience as City Manager and his working knowledge of city projects would be a major benefit to the City. “There is so much more I can do for the city as a Mayor than I could do as City Manager. My connections can be invaluable in moving projects forward.”
In addition to healing the financial health of Murphy, his priorities include traffic and economic development. Sherwood said, “Traffic is a huge issue facing the city. I want to focus on moving quickly to plan and resolve traffic problems, which will compound as commercial property on FM 544 is developed in Murphy and in Wylie. We also need to make sure Murphy marketplace stays on track, and work on developing other commercial property to bring in more tax dollars. We need those revenue to provide the services the citizens want and to enact our Comprehensive Plan.”
To the question: As a Mayor, would you want to know ahead of time if the City is going to be involved in a televised sting operation? He replied, “No … those types of things should be conducted on a need-to-know basis.”
He feels that the flow of information to media and residents should be closely controlled to ensure accuracy, and regarding Mayoral communication via emails and telephone calls, he said, “The City should adopt a policy for response time. People need to get over their fast-food expectations and have a little patience.”
Mr. Sherwood is also concerned about the morale of city employees. He says morale is at an all-time low. To prove his point, when asked about the decline in the number of tickets being written by police officers compared to a year ago, he responded that unhappy officers do not write tickets.? “The Police Department is very aware they do not have the support of Council.”
Mr. Sherwood would like voters to know that he cares deeply about the city; that he is ready to serve and his candidacy has nothing to do with “revenge.” He wants to restore the city once again to sound financial footing and by electing him Mayor, his leadership and expertise can be used at no cost to the City.
David Scarborough – Mayoral Candidate
David Scarborough has filed to run for Mayor in the May election. A native Texan, David, his wife Kristen and daughter Hannah make their home in The Ranch.? The Scarborough’s are expecting their second daughter any day now.
Although admittedly Candidate Scarborough has only attended one City Council meeting, there are things he would like to see changed in Murphy.? He said, “I see things that are and are not going on in the city.? I want to help the process.”? One of the things he sees is a lack of roads in to adequately handle traffic and wants to see something done with North Murphy Road.? And what he doesn’t see is how the city can be $300,000 over budget. He is anxious to see why.?
Candidate Scarborough would like to pursue several revenue producing opportunities. He suggests installing red light cameras (with lengthy caution lights to prevent potential accidents) for added ticket revenue and making the city jail operational for additional funds. David is a huge fan of Murphy Police, Fire and Rescue Departments.
He feels working well with city council is very important. He is also interested in hearing from residents about their wishes for Murphy.? He stated, “It’s about what the residents want instead of the status quo.”? As part of his campaign he will soon launch a website, www.votescarborough.com, where he will address each council meeting agenda item and explain the way he would have voted.??
Candidate Scarborough is a Sales Director for a software company and also breeds horses. He is a member of the American Quarter Horse Assn., American Paint Horse Assn., American Arabian Horse Assn., and the N.E. Texas Horsemen Assn.
January monthly luncheons are always festive and exciting with the announcement of the annual awards for Murphy Chamber Ambassador of the Year, Member of the Year, Board Member of the Year and Business of the Year.? ?
?The January meetings are also when the gavel (and mailbox key) is passed from the current Chairman to the incoming Chairman and the new Board of Directors is presented.?
Another “changing of the guard” that took place at the January 8th meeting involved the responsibilities of overseeing the Chamber’s website. Bob Russell was recognized and thanked for developing the Chamber website several years ago and maintaining it from its inception. Now, with a complete redesign, Rick Stephens, RG Stephens & Assoc. takes over that task. You may visit the website at www.murphychamber.org
Diva Publications named Business of the Year - Pictured are:??Sherry Searcy, Deb Proctor, Holli Banks and Marcia Jowers?
To see other award winners, click on "full story."
<o:p></o:p>No denial or statement has been received from Police Chief Billie Myrick or City Manager Craig Sherwood regarding the allegations of citation quotas existing in Murphy as reported in two previous issues of the Murphy Messenger. Corroborating information continues to be made available to the Messenger and we are actively engaged in conversation with all sources. We continue to await the long overdue response from a City spokesperson.?