Former Staunton City Manager Bernie Murphy dies at 80
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of former city manager, Bernie Murphy,” said Mayor Andrea Oakes. “We were so fortunate to have his time and energy during a transitional era for our community and a lot was accomplished during his tenure. On behalf of the City of Staunton, I extend our deepest condolences to the Murphy family.”
Prior to his retirement, Murphy spent his career, which spanned over 50 years, in local government. Over that time, he worked for multiple local governments located in several states from Florida to New England. He joined the City of Staunton as city manager on May 28, 1992 and served until his resignation on July 31, 2000.
During Murphy’s tenure as city manager, the city accomplished many major projects including the relocation of City Hall to its current location on West Beverley Street; the “Big Dig,” including the undergrounding of utility lines and streetscape work downtown; completion of a landscape master plan; and construction of the Gypsy Hill Gymnasium and New Street Parking Garage.
In his resignation letter to City Council, Murphy stated, “In many respects, Staunton has been the most rewarding tenure in my 33 years of public service. I have enjoyed this community immensely, especially working among and with so many caring people. Staunton truly is a special place.”
Internally among staff, Murphy was known as being compassionate, but firm. Under his leadership, the city allocated resources toward staff development and strategic planning, focusing its energy on accomplishing council priorities.
“Bernie served as a mentor to me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his leadership and guidance,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Tuttle who served with Murphy his entire tenure in Staunton. “He personified professionalism and was truly a dedicated public servant.”
A memorial service will be held Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Staunton.