Mom's advice leads to political career
Born and raised in University Heights, Kevin Patrick Murphy did not always envision a life of public service for himself. But as the old saying goes, “Mother knows best.”
In 2006, it was his mother who suggested he try his hand at politics. She noted a posting in the Height Observer stating that University Heights City Council was taking applications. He took her advice and applied as a candidate.
“I actually had to use Google Maps to find City Hall”, said the 29-year-old father of three. He eventually found City Hall and was appointed to council. “I am very grateful to those who appointed me to council. I have learned a lot about this city.”
A real estate attorney at Walter & Haverfield, Murphy said he uses his expertise in that area as a council member. Specifically, he has tackled real estate issues that arose between the city and John Carroll University, for example, when the university wanted to purchase nearby properties.
“The problem between the city and the university is that there is a lack of communication. There needs to be a third-party mediator so that both sides can agree on important issues while moving forward.”
He recently voted in favor of allowing John Carroll to use Don Shula Stadium during evening hours. His vote was based on the belief that if more events are held at the stadium, restaurants and other businesses in the city will benefit as well, he said. He added that he believes the key to a successful relationship between the city and university is collaboration.
Murphy also believes that more internal improvements are needed for the city. “The city needs to cut a lot off of the budget. We need to look at ways to strengthen our future prospects.”
Cost saving and collaboration are key components in his quest to better the city. “The City of Cleveland is 82 square miles, while University Heights is only 1.9. Despite this, we perform the same services as the City of Cleveland. We can save money while being just as safe.”
The relationship between University Heights, Cleveland Heights and Beachwood can lead to more collaboration, he added. “University Heights and the surrounding cities are perfect for this. We can be trend-setters.”
Running with a team, or slate, in this election, Murphy is allied with current council member Steven Sims plus newcomers Conor McLaughlin and Dan Hanna.
McLaughlin says he believes that Murphy has the necessary characteristics of a leader. “We have shared beliefs while being honest, trustworthy citizens,” he said.
As election day approaches on Nov 8., Murphy believes that this may be his last term in public office. “I might be done after this,” he said laughing.
Even if this term becomes his last, the last five years have taught him a great deal about the world of politics, he said. For example, he said living and serving in a college town has made him appreciate the views held by John Carroll students.
“Young people give you a fresh look at things.”
Jack Duffy is a student at John Carroll University who has been following this candidate for his journalism class.