John Murphy is running for re-election to the District of Vanderhoof council.
He has served almost six year as a councillor since 2013, and has spent most of his life volunteering in the community. He says he’s running for re-election because he likes the job, and he wants to see some of the projects he has already worked on in his time on council through to completion.
Murphy arrived in Vanderhoof at age six in 1959, having immigrated from Ireland with his parents, and has lived here ever since.
The current president of the Curling Club, Murphy has been volunteering in the community since he was 15 years old. He is also a director with the Vanderhoof Golf Association and a director with the Integris Community Foundation.
He was also involved with the Nechako View Senior Citizens’ Home Society for 12 years before being elected to council.
In 2011, Murphy was awarded the B.C. Community Achievement Award for his volunteer work.
In his time on council, they started a free, daily bus service (with the Saik’uz First Nation), something that he would like to evaluate and work toward expanding or improving if elected to another term. “Having no taxi services,” he says, “means it’s hard or people to get around. The bus is very beneficial to that.”
Murphy would also like to see through the new housing partnership the district has started with the Nechako Valley Community Services and Northern Health. He says he hopes the housing project they are working on will come to fruition in the next two years. “I’d like to be around to see that finished,” he says.
Housing is a particularly important issue for Murphy. “The project that we’re working on now with the Nechako Valley Community Services and Northern Health, it’ll be senior housing, so it’ll help offset the shortage for that area – and then there’s also housing that we need in general, for a lot of people.”
He says rentals are very “stagnant” in Vanderhoof. “It’s hard to find rent at a reasonable price,” he says.
One of his goals for a new term would be to work on another housing project that helps not just the seniors, but also others in need of housing.
Another thing he thinks will require some work is the Nechako River levels. “With how it is managed, looked after, we have become more involved in that process. “We’re working with the stakeholders to make it a more viable river.”
Murphy says Vanderhoof has been good to him and his family. “And I think I’ve been good to Vanderhoof too. I think it’s important that we all give back to our community, to make it a better, healthier place for people to live.”