Friends, family, city celebrate Mike Murphy ahead of retirement

City Manager Ken Striplin presented Intergovernmental Relations Manager Mike Murphy with a street sign in recognition of 25 years of service on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 during a farewell party ahead of his retirement on Aug. 2, 2019. Tammy Murga/ The Signal

Surrounded by friends, family and colleagues, Mike Murphy received the key to the city of Santa Clarita and several other honorable recognitions Tuesday, for his work as intergovernmental relations manager days before his retirement. 

“I’m overwhelmed by all this,” said Murphy, during a farewell party hosted by the city at Bella Vida senior center. “I look around the room, and there’s a story that goes with each one of them that I could talk about. This community is built with a lot of wonderful, giving, caring people, and I appreciate them coming out and their kind expressions.” 

Murphy announced his retirement earlier in July, sharing that his decades-long journey was coming to an end Friday, Aug. 2. He has served as a liaison on the city’s behalf under the managerial title for nearly 25 years, working on complex issues such as efforts against the CEMEX mega-mine and a proposed landfill in Elsmere Canyon. 

About 100 people applauded Murphy and his work during the event, where elected officials such as Rep. Katie Hill and State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, presented him with certificates. The City Council and staff also took some time to highlight some of his work and gave Murphy the key to the city. 

Murphy was lauded as the “epitome of what a good employee should be” by former Santa Clarita Manager Ken Pulskamp and for playing “a critical role in the political landscape” advocating for the city by current City Manager Ken Striplin. 

The intergovernmental relations manager is the only city employee who has worked with every current and former City Council member since the city’s inception. 

“This has been his second home and his second family all these years,” said Murphy’s wife Mary. 

Murphy will be joining his wife in retirement with plans to travel overseas and spend time in the outdoors. 

Current city administrative analyst Masis Hagobian will take over the position. 

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