Murray is new Sandusky mayor

Brady selected as vice mayor
Andy Ouriel
Jan 4, 2014

 

Sandusky city commissioner Dennis Murray Jr. now shares a remarkable political trait achieved by Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — all four can boast about serving two terms as president.

Commissioners voted 6-0 on Friday to nominate Murray as the board’s president, or ex officio mayor, during a special meeting in City Hall. Commissioner Keith Grohe didn’t attend Friday’s meeting because of health reasons.

It’s Murray’s second stint as president, having served once before in 2008.

Murray, a partner in the Sandusky-based Murray & Murray law firm, previously served as commissioner from 2005 to 2008 and later won an election as the area’s state representative.    The president, mostly a figurehead position with no special voting powers or political privileges, primarily sets discussion topics and controls time limits during public meetings.

In short: Murray’s vote carries as much power as any other commissioner’s vote.

But the president’s entrusted with one major responsibility: Murray can take command of police operations and other city resources during an emergency, terrorist event or some other public danger threatening lives.

Sandusky’s president earns $6,400 a year. All other commissioners receive $5,200 annually.

After the nomination, Murray spoke about spearheading Sandusky’s revitalization during his next two years as president.

“Today marks an occasion for Sandusky to renew its relationship with our citizens, our businesses and our neighbors,” Murray said. “Each of us has a role in shaping public debate, in impacting our perception and reality as a place to do business and in attracting the economic development that our communities need to help position Sandusky and Erie County as places to raise a family, grow a business and live our individual dreams”

Murray also made various promises, including how he’d:

• Govern Sandusky with full fairness and without any bias toward any other commissioner.

“Each of us is a duly elected representative of our neighbors,” Murray said. “Each has a right to be heard and each an obligation to try to understand the perspective of the others gathered around this table”

• Collaborate with city officials, such as the police and fire chiefs, to better understand all pertinent issues.

“Too often, commission meetings have been setups for department heads, leading to embarrassment or a hesitation to answer fully,” Murray said. “All of us who have served before, me included, have been guilty of this. It has to stop. It is counterproductive, leading to less discussion, less innovation and less consensus”

• Study the issues before public meetings.

“The materials are not terribly long and usually of manageable complexity,” Murray said. “I hope that we never again witness a commissioner opening the packet at the commission table”

• Host public forums.

“I plan to conduct a series of town halls to discuss city issues, the budget over the years, our services and hear from residents about what they want Sandusky to be” Murray said.

• Listen and respond to neighboring governments when attempting to strike deals or compromises.

Murray alluded to possibly creating districts for both countywide fire and sewer operations — consolidating numerous and separate political subdivisions, offering fire and water service, into one agency — piggybacking off successes from a regional 911 communications system.

“If you propose cooperation, I will listen and be actively engaged in the conversation” Murray said.

• Serve the residents.

“I promise to do my best to answer your questions as best as I can, to foster a government attitude of transparency and accountability,” Murray said. “Each citizen is entitled to as swift and complete an answer as we can muster”

Commissioner Dick Brady defeated commissioner Julie Farrar to become Sandusky’s vice president. Brady serves in Murray’s role when the president is absent or can’t serve for whatever reason. Commissioners didn’t reveal how they voted for vice president.

Before the nominations, city officials swore in Brady, Murray and Naomi Twine. The trio each secured individual four-year terms after winning election in November.

The three join commissioners Farrar, Keith Grohe, Wes Poole and Jeff Smith.

Comments

DickTracey

Well let me be the first to congratulate you sir.

I guess those Sandusky 2018 signs worked, didn't they?

gene44870

I would like to know why the voters are not decided who the mayor should be to represent the city of Sandusky ? Most towns let the city residents decide . Its in my mind somemore back room bull

DickTracey

Gene, news flash, Sandusky does not have a Mayoral form of government, in which the town votes on a mayor to run the city. The City of Sandusky is run by a hired and well paid, City Manager. Basically, Murray was just elected by the commission, to be President, that's it.

What a shame that you live in this City, for how long, and do not know that? You comment on these stories, day in and day out, and you just realize that the City doesn't vote for a Mayor.

Who do you think Nicole Ard is?

And there you have it folks! The dumbing down of America!

Let me guess, you voted for Obama? Was it the free ice cream when they got you to register, or the promise of FREE healthcare?

badboy

Maybe it was the Obama phone.

BabyMomma

Everybody got the Obama phone! You gon shine up!

MrFlawless

Well, I'm sure they voted in a room and I can't be sure it wasn't a back room, but honestly there isn't much to this. Ex officio mayor isn't a position that comes with a lot of power to make big decisions.

SamAdams

The voters DO decide, albeit indirectly. They vote for the Commissioners, and the Commissioners select one among them to be the Ex-Officio Mayor. Note that the title ISN'T "Mayor." There's a difference between the two, and MrFlawless sums it up nicely when he says it doesn't come with a lot of power. He's right. The Ex-Officio Mayor basically is the Chair of the Commission and runs the meetings.

rick.graham

Sandusky wins with an honest hard working leaders at the helm.

Fireside

CONGRATULATIONS Sandusky! You went from a commission that had no leadership to a commission with 3 ( Murray, Brady, Twine) strong, proven leaders. Let the progress begin! I hope the sitting 4 follow along.

gene44870

I can tell yea that nothin will change just due to the three or four being elected . The elected few are going to have their handsfull when tring to work to get things done around Sandusky , Thats the way its been for I dont know how long and I dont see anything different happening with the new

J. Hartman

Fireside, by any chance do you own a local ice cream establishment and once sat on the commission? I would really love to know!

Fireside

Keep guessing John.

pavedparadise

Hartman still posting? Didn't he resolve for the new year to stop?

Julie R.

"CONGRATULATIONS Sandusky! You went from a commission that had no leadership to a commission with 3 (Murray, Brady, Twine) strong, proven leaders."

Yeah ...... right.

Comrade Boose

One possible leader and his pet baboon that evidently has ambitions of walking on the moon. Haven't heard much about the 3rd so can not pass judgment on that one.

WhatTheHeck

It's a shame to have the objective views of a tax paying citizen blocked. This site is getting stupider and stupider

Fireside

What are you talking about?

samiam

Sounds like the first priority is to get Ard to start doing her job.

pavedparadise

Lets not forget who led the charge to bring City Manager Ard to Sandusky--Brady. Let's not forget who doesn't believe in government transparency--Brady.

Twine is already flip-flopping in her decisions--supported the 7 City Commission set-up during her campaign but now supports a 5 City Commission system.