The office of mayor is the highest in the village. Saugerties native Bill Murphy didn’t set out to attain it: he got there through immersion in community service. After years of running several rec programs, coaching, and serving on the Village Board, outgoing mayor Robert Yerick tapped him as his successor in 2010.
The 46-year old Murphy has two daughters, Jaclyn and Jillian. He married Dana, a local girl. The couple’s heritage reflects the town’s settlement pattern. “It’s pretty awesome that a village Irishman married a Glasco Italian girl,” said Murphy with a smile.
He and his brothers and sisters, Tim, Tom, Peggy, Patti, and Jim were raised, by many accounts, by two of the major dynamos in the village: Henry “Bud” Murphy who was a village southside guy, and Margaret, but everyone called her Dolly, who was a West Saugerties girl.
His dad and his brother Tim are both in the Saugerties Sports Hall of Fame. Murphy said he hopes to join them for his contributions to youth sports in the village.
After graduating Saugerties High School in 1983, Murphy enrolled at the College of St. Rose where he majored in business administration and finance.
After school, he went back to work with the town’s recreation department, “because I liked working outdoors.” He later got a full-time job with IBM, where he still works.
What makes Saugerties unique?
Part of it is our location at the base of the Catskills and on the Hudson River. We’re located perfectly for people that like to get away. We’re a friendly town where neighbors look out for each other. I love raising my kids here, because it’s a safe town and we have a great sports center at Cantine Field.
What is you favorite virtue?
Love and helping kids. It’s important to not take life for granted.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Elementary school teacher.
What are your favorite color, flower, and animal?
Purple, roses, and cats – we have three.
What do you like most about this community?
The people. The majority of people from Saugerties are so giving. They volunteer. It’s a great community for volunteers, especially those with the fire department and how they stepped forward to help all the residents in need.
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met here?
My grandfather-in-law, Jim Raucci. He’s old-school. He’s 93 years old and still a pisser. I never had a grandfather growing up and he’s perfect. They call him the Mayor of Glasco.
Do you have any heroes?
My parents. They gave everything to make sure my brothers and sisters have everything. They were just so special.
For which fault do you have the most tolerance?
What is your main fault?
Caring way too much what people say or think about me. I’m very self-conscious.
What is your idea of misery?
Losing a close friend or family member.
What’s your idea of happiness?
Lying in bed at night knowing that my wife and children are safe, and letting me share their lives.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear St. Peter say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“Bud and Dolly are waiting to see you.”