AT ISSUE: Should Councilwoman Stacey Murphy, arrested last week on
charges of drug possession and child endangerment, resign her post on
Hmmm. Child endangerment, cocaine possession, affiliation with
someone who’s allegedly running guns to a street gang involved with a
Burbank police officer’s murder ... that’s a tough one. I can see
Burbank’s mayor wanting to continue to give Councilwoman Stacey
Murphy his support (it’s so reassuring that our city is being
governed by people who have their priorities straight).
You have to ask?
Stacey Murphy should step aside at least until her guilt or
innocence has been determined. It’s too much of a distraction for her
to do the city’s important business. If she is found to have had any
knowledge of her “companion’s” alleged activity with this gang, she
should also go to jail for a long time. To have that kind of
knowledge and continue to work for a city that had a police officer
allegedly murdered by one of its members is beyond despicable.
I woke up dreadfully early Friday morning and tuned on my favorite
local TV news station.
And to my total shock, amazement and disbelief there was a story
about former Burbank mayor, and present City Councilwoman Stacey
Murphy’s being arrested.
My first thought was that I was still sound asleep and dreaming.
“This could not possibly be happening,” I declared to my drowsy eyes
and ears. Again I tried to wake myself up, and then I realized, I was
already awake, and that this crazy account of drugs, guns and gangs
was in reality actually on my bedroom TV set.
The reason that I was in total uncertainty and perceived this as a
dream, or even a better word for it, a nightmare, is the fact I’ve
known Stacey Murphy for more than 10 years. Moreover, I know
first-hand of her commitment to charity and her kind-heartedness,
compassion and concern for the people of Burbank. What’s more, I have
found that she has always been an outstanding leader and a proper
pillar of strength for this wonderful community.
I first met Stacey Murphy when I served on the board of directors
at the Burbank Boys and Girls Club. She was the volunteer chairwoman
for one of our fundraisers, and at that time I saw the true
steadfastness and dedication she has for helping her fellow man. I
also witnessed how she put her heart and soul into this noble event
that was raising money for the children of Burbank. Fortunately for
us, she also volunteered to lend a hand at many more events for the
club, and was always there when anyone needed her.
I don’t know the exact story of how this tragedy developed, but I
would make a small wager that Stacey was taken in, and that she knew
nothing of the Vineland Boyz street gang. If the charges are true, I
cannot understand how Scott Schaffer could be so dumb as to trade
guns, registered to himself, to a known gang member. Being human
sometimes isn’t painless or pleasant. As expected, sometimes people
make mistakes. I, for one, have made my fair share over the years.
And I’m sure Murphy has made a few mistakes in her life. As a student
of psychology and sociology, I found many things affect one’s good
judgment and common sense. I think the residents of Burbank should
give Stacey Murphy a chance to tell her story before we cast any
stones, and I for one have not forgotten all the amazing things she
has accomplished for our extraordinary community.
In my opinion, right now, Stacey Murphy needs the total support,
help and understanding of this enormously compassionate community.
I’m sure these are the darkest days in her life. Moreover, the public
should not forget and overlook all the outstanding deeds Stacey
Murphy has done for Burbank. Let’s remember the first-rate job and
years of service Stacey provided the city. More important, as a
20-year resident of the city, I believe she should be able to keep
her seat on the City Council, pending, God forbid, a felony
conviction. And I for one believe that will never happen.
In America, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Let’s not judge this devoted and dedicated city official before all
the facts are in front of us. With any luck, the true story will come
out beginning Aug. 25, when she is arraigned. Until then, let’s give
her the benefit of the doubt.
For the past 10 years, Stacey Murphy has worked selflessly for the
city of Burbank and its residents. Now it is time for her to do the
selfless thing again. She should resign as city councilwoman.
The city of Burbank will be OK without her. There is nothing more
important right now than reestablishing stability for her children
and taking responsibility for her own future.
This isn’t about shame. This isn’t about prejudgment.
This shouldn’t be about pride. This is a time for reevaluation of
priorities and living a life that you love.
She should give herself breathing room.
I think Stacey Murphy should take a paid leave of absence until
she is cleared of the charges she was been arrested on. There is a
clear conflict of interest, and any votes she makes could be
challenged in the future if she indeed is forced to resign.
Dear Councilwoman Murphy,
It is in the best American tradition to consider people innocent
until proven guilty, but after hearing and seeing many differing
opinions over the last several days, I must put in my two cents
Since the City Council is, essentially, a non-paid office (yes,
there is some reimbursement and honorariums), there is no salary
issue hanging in there.
It would thus probably be in the best interests of the city and
yourself, that you should step down from membership on the council in
order to concentrate your efforts in your defense, and since it would
be distracting, to say the least, from each and every council meeting
to have to defend yourself from the audience (which, to say the
least, is hostile).
This action would allow the remainder of the council and your
successor to comfortably conclude the business of the city free of
any distractions and any possible “taint,” which, I am sure you know,
will now be brought up continuously until any trial or proceeding is
concluded (and beyond). The “taint” referred to is any suggestion of
“using the office” to avoid anything.
Since this situation has virtually destroyed any further political
aspirations you might have had, it will always be brought up
regardless of positive or negative outcome, why not exit graciously
and conserve your energies for what comes next.
May I suggest that the candidate from the last election (Michael
Bergfeld) with the next highest number of votes, be appointed to
serve either the full remaining term or until the next election (the
council can vote on this unless statute exists -- I don’t know).
This would allow full concentration of our council on the various
issues that concern our city and allow your full concentration on
your individual issues and children without distractions.
Thank you for your services to the city.
JAMES C. FRANZ