Red Bank Council President Will Resign
By John BurtonRED BANK, August 6 – Borough Council President Arthur V. Murphy III, who this week became embroiled in controversy over a video showing him arguing with a local business owner, will resign from the Red Bank Borough Council on Wednesday.Murphy, a Democrat, did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Thursday.Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal did confirm Murphy’s plans.The approximately half-minute video shows Murphy at a party in what appears to be a private home, using expletives while disparaging the now-defunct Lucky Breaks Billiards.Gopal, however, said Murphy’s decision was not solely in response to the video. “It’s part of a larger problem,” with contemporary politics,” Gopal said, alleging that political opponents had on the sly recorded Murphy, unbeknownst the councilman, and released it for political gains.“It’s sad it’s come to this,” Gopal said, noting these alleged tactics increasingly have been making it difficult to get qualified candidates.“It is kind of disgusting. It’s pitting neighbor against neighbor,” said Borough Councilman Edward Zipprich, who serves as the municipal Democratic chairman.Sean Di Somma, the borough Republican chairman said in a posting on the Facebook Red Bank Republican page, that Murphy was “a great guy,” someone “who played by the rules and gave back to his community.”Along with the politics, Murphy has become increasingly busy with business and family obligations, according to Gopal.Murphy owns and operates a construction contracting business and was born and raised in the borough. He was first appointed in September 2003 to fill the unexpired term of a retiring borough council member, going on the be elected to four three-year terms.Murphy, who was seeking his fifth full term, has served as police and fire commissioner as well as council president for a number of years.The local Democratic committee has 45 days from when Murphy formally tenders his resignation, which will be at the Aug. 12 council meeting, to put together a list of three possible replacements, which has to be approved by the party’s county committee, with the borough council making the final selection.The county committee has until early September to name a replacement candidate for the November ballot, according to Gopal.The borough council current makeup is 4-2, with Democrats holding the majority and a Democratic mayor.