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Editorials

May 14, 2013

Cheers

To three longtime public servants who recently announced their decisions to leave their posts. 

Explaining his decision to not seek re-election after this term, Otsego County Representative Rich Murphy, D-town of Oneonta, said, “It’s simply time for me to do some other things in my life at this point.” 

Murphy, 63, is a retired speech pathologist and a 27-year volunteer coach for Oneonta Little League.

As a candidate, Murphy’s measured speech and even manner gave us the impression of an intelligent and thoughtful man. His easy victories suggest the voters agreed. 

As a legislator, Murphy has surpassed our high expectations when we endorsed him. In his relatively short stint on the county board (six years), he was named to two key leadership positions and made a name for himself as a thoughtful and engaged legislator. 

Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts, who did not always see eye-to-eye with Murphy, nevertheless said he respected the Oneonta Democrat. 

“Rich Murphy is a very good guy to work with,” said Powers. “He cares about people and he cares about the county.”

Murphy has not ruled out the possibility of future public service. Wherever he decides to apply his considerable talents, we know they will be welcomed. 

Oneonta City Clerk Jim Koury will leave behind a twofold legacy in Oneonta: one as a committed public servant, and one as a passionate gay rights advocate. 

Those two roles dovetailed memorably for Koury on July 24, 2011, when he opened his office on a Sunday to issue marriage licenses to gay couples the day the state Marriage Equality Law went into effect. 

“It was a great day,” he said. “I was glad to be part of it.”

We’re glad, too, to have had Koury in City Hall for these 20-plus years for both these roles. And we wish him nothing but the best as he puts his focus on Diversity Rules, a local magazine he founded dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

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