Council hopeful Michael Murphy says Merced needs to focus on public safety, growing business

After taking out papers to run for city council on Tuesday afternoon, small business attorney Michael Walker Murphy visited one of Merced's fire stations to talk with Merced firefighters about public safety issues.

"We've got to feel safe that if we call 911, we'll get a first responder and we'll get taken care of," he said. "I spent the afternoon talking with firefighters because it's important that we retain our sense of community in our neighborhoods and pride in the place we call home."

Murphy, 31, grew up in Merced and moved away to attend college and law school. As an attorney he works with start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. Accordingly, he says Merced needs to focus on growing its business community. "There are lots of programs we could tackle, but we need to focus on the most important ones first, such as growing the job base. We'll increase our tax base by doing that. We need to make Merced a business-friendly place, where owners can retain employees, expand business or start new businesses."

Murphy serves on the school site council where his children attend school, and he's been attending city council meetings on a regular basis as he prepared to make his run.

"It's something that has been in the works for a few months," he said.