Serving people is something Terrence Murphy takes pride in all aspects of his life.
“I’ll never get tired of serving the community. It’s something I do every day as a health care provider,” said Murphy, a chiropractor who has operated Yorktown Health and Wellness Center on Commerce Street since 1999. “There’s some DNA involved in it, serving people.”
Murphy, 48, who with his mom and five older siblings opened Murphy’s Restaurant in Yorktown in 2006 as a tribute to his late father, is a lifelong town resident who grew up near Wilken’s Fruit Farm. For 15 years he volunteered caring for Yorktown High School athletes as an on-field medical professional and started the watchdog group Keeping Westchester Safe.
He was first elected to the Yorktown Town Board in 2009 and was reelected to a second four-year term last year. He ran unsuccessfully for the Westchester County Board of Legislators on two occasions and is now looking to succeed state Senator Greg Ball (R,C,I/Patterson) in the 40th District, which spreads from northern Westchester to Sleepy Hollow and includes Putnam and a portion of Dutchess County.
Murphy is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence, Green and Stop the Common Core lines and believes his governmental experience sets him apart from his Democratic opponent Justin Wagner.
“The difference between me and my opponent is I have a track record. The difference between us is experience,” Murphy said. “The difference between me and my opponent is integrity. I will not lower myself to his cesspool. He’s come after my wife, my kids, my restaurant. Hopefully people will see through his nonsense.”
“It will be a little bit of a learning curve for me but I will be able to transition much smoother than him,” Murphy added. “This is a real big deal and I’m looking forward to it. You’re in the Major Leagues now.”
Over the last five years Murphy said he has helped pave the way for more than three dozen new businesses to open in Yorktown and approval of multi-million dollar development projects including public-private partnerships which address Yorktown’s infrastructure and flood mitigation needs. Among those he cited were Costco, the Mount Kisco Medical Group building on Hill Boulevard and The Field Home on Catherine Street.
“New York State ranks 50th among business-friendly states. We have the highest taxes and we’ve lost close to 400,000 people. People are leaving in mass because they can no longer afford the taxes,” he said. “I’m a fiscal conservative. How about a two percent spending cap? The school taxes are a crushing burden on constituents.”
Murphy has come under fire for voting to ask the state Legislature for permission to possibly alienate parkland in Yorktown for a “pigging station” as part of a proposed expansion of a natural gas pipeline. He later voted for a resolution that expressed serious concerns about the project.
He contended with a deal calling for Spectra to contribute $1.5 million for recreational fields at Granite Knolls off the table he would lobby in the Senate to have the “pigging station” relocated out of Yorktown, although he maintained the state and municipalities were at the mercy of the federal government with the pipeline.
“We have no say in it. The pipeline has been here for over 60 years. The infrastructure of the pipeline is crumbling,” Murphy said. “The pipeline needs to be changed. From day one it’s been about safety and transparency. We have a pipeline that runs right through Legacy Field. My kids play on that field.”
Murphy noted he was against fracking because “anything that will contaminate our water is completely unacceptable,” and stressed he was proud of his environmental voting record as a councilman.
Women’s Equality Act
Murphy said he would support nine of the 10 points in the proposed Women’s Equality Act, but was not in favor of the controversial 10th point where abortions would be allowed at 24 weeks or later if a woman’s health, including her emotional health, was in danger.
“Bring Justin Wagner here. I’ll sign off on nine of the 10 points right now,” Murphy said. “On the last point you would not only be harming the baby but also the woman. If you think as a health practitioner that I would vote to allow a non-health professional to perform that procedure it is incomprehensible.”
NY SAFE Act
Murphy said he would support a full repeal of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013. The gun control law was passed by the New York State Legislature on January 15, 2013, and was signed into law the same day by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“It’s just a matter of doing things the right way. Don’t shoot and then aim. I think that’s what they did,” Murphy remarked. “As a father of three kids it knocked me to my core what happened in Newtown but under this law an SRO officer would become a criminal by going on school grounds with a gun.”
Murphy noted that he voted to put a drug enforcement officer on the Yorktown Police Department to help combat the growing heroin problem in the region, adding Putnam is considered one of the highest drug trafficking counties in the state.