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Council candidate says he wants 'to represent the people'

Election 2010
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of Rocklin City Council candidates. All profiles will be available online at placerherald.com. Known for the last decade as the Chairman of the Placer County Libertarian Party, Michael Murphy is now a registered “decline to state” voter throwing his hat in the ring for one of two open seats on the Rocklin City Council. “The city needs to be more thrifty,” Murphy said. “I want to represent the people.” Murphy who, is a self-described small business owner who specializes in retail sales and non-fiction book writing has lived in Rocklin for 12 years. He said the city needs to rethink how they spend tax dollars by spending a percentage of the actual tax revenues that come in. “The (city) can’t afford the pensions that they have agreed to because they don’t bank on a percentage of revenue,” Murphy said. “They bank on a steady increase. They sit there and listen to the growth that they’re anticipating.” He said ideas like the proposed downtown plan to offer grants and/or loans to revitalize businesses on Rocklin Road and the Pacific Street corridor are not fair to businesses that don’t operate in that area. “The people of Rocklin don’t want us to fund a downtown project,” Murphy said. He said it isn’t the job of the city to attract or promote business. “Which businesses are you going to pick to promote?” Murphy said. Murphy said the city needs to bolster public safety staffing, return to core services and stop pouring money into wasteful enterprises. He said an example of wasteful use of taxpayers’ money was when the city helped to support the funeral for slain Rocklin Police Officer Matt Redding who was hit by a drunk driver in 2005. “The money that was spent and time spent on the police officer (Matt) Redding when he died was ridiculous,” Murphy said. “You get thousands of people in Rocklin who have done wonderful things but they never get that kind of self edification.” He said it was inappropriate and that the council members were pandering for votes. He ran unsuccessfully against Ted Gaines for the California Assembly in 2006. That same year he said he was proud to tell the Rocklin City Council they were “developer owned communists.” He sticks by that statement today. Murphy said too many candidates for office are influenced by campaign donations from developers, unions or endorsement deals. “People need to run, fund and elect people that don’t take money from (special interests),” Murphy said. For that reason, Murphy is funding his campaign by individuals who give him no more than $20. “No one will be able to sway me more than $20 is worth,” Murphy said. “It’s simple as that.” Murphy said Rocklin citizens are largely “apathetic and politically lazy” and deserve who they elect — that’s why he wants to help them keep the city accountable. “My No. 1 priority would be to get the people interested, involved and responsible for their community,” Murphy said. “Priority No. 2 is making that as easy as possible.” He wants the city’s website to reveal the voting record of every city council member. Murphy said the lucrative compensation package approved by the council for current city manager Carlos Urrutia has compromised his principles. Murphy said one of his priorities if elected is to make the city more transparent in their finances. He wants salaries and pension posted on the city website as well. “It should be public,” Murphy said. “People need to know what these people are making. Making a pension over $100,000 is obscene.” Murphy wants citizens to know he’ll bring a culture change to the council. “A change in political attitude and thought,” Murphy said. “The city council needs someone who is not a ‘yes’ person. You can’t have a group that is unanimous all the time.” He admits he could be a divisive figure on the council and hopes that point of view will bring the council more to the center on issues. He said the city needs to live within its means. More growth is not the answer to heal Rocklin’s woes, he said, and that the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce is misguided for pushing that agenda. “The chamber usually represents the biggest businesses,” Murphy said. “They’re interested in community growth for their own sake. More growth is more members.” Murphy said the chamber would benefit from competition from a similar organization. “They’re not out for the little guy anymore,” Murphy said. For more information, go to his website at www.mikeforrocklin.com. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 2. The last day to register to vote for this election is Tuesday, Oct. 18. The Murphy file Age: 55 Party: Decline to State voter Lived in Rocklin: 12 years Top Three Priorities: 1. Community involvement 2. City transparency 3. Represent the people of Rocklin Website: www.mikeforocklin.com