Councilor Murphy responds to Lowell Sun

There was a letter to the editor from City Councilor Patrick Murphy published in yesterday’s Lowell Sun in which the councilor responded to an article and an editorial about his relationship with Councilor Bud Caulfield. The full text of the letter, which is also on Murphy’s own website, is as follows:

Recently I sat down for an interview, at the invitation of a Sun reporter, at a venue selected by that reporter, to discuss my first year on the City Council. We talked about the successes of the LowellStat program in finding savings and efficiency in government, and addressed at length a number of other issues that I had raised during this first term, such as tax increment financing guidelines, balanced neighborhood economic development and local transportation planning. I assessed the year honestly as a productive one, while also noting there was room for improvement. I am always learning.

In requesting the interview, The Sun had cited my substantial work on the Council as the impetus for the article itself. Although most of our conversation centered on questions of policy, The Sun chose to devote much of its space to a perceived conflict with a colleague in a way that detracted and distracted from the real focus of my efforts.

I am always willing to stand behind any statements that I make, but will not take responsibility for those that I do not, whether misheard or misunderstood. The comments that I did make were made without bitterness, but point to an important debate about what role a councilor ought to play in our form of city government.

As I said during the previous election, I believe that a Council seat is not there merely to sit in and idly take votes, but to propose new or more effective policies and ideas. This is how I intend to expend all
my energy over the next year — not in opposition to any councilor’s re-election, but in support of ideas with the potential to drive positive change in Lowell, regardless of their source.

No councilor is an island. Whatever positive results we achieved over the last year were achieved with the support of a majority of councilors, and we must continue to work in that collaborative spirit to find our way through these difficult times.

Lowell City Councilor