By NATALIE MILLER
Ashland Town Council is accepting applications to fill the seat soon to be vacated by Vice Mayor James Murray. Murray, who has served on Town Council since 2014, is leaving Ashland to earn a law degree at Duke University.
The council is taking applications for a new member until April 30. This council member will be appointed from the time Murray vacates his seat on the council this summer until Town elections next year.
Applicants must live in the corporate limits of Ashland and be at least 18 years old.
James Murray joined the Ashland Town Council in 2014, and became Vice Mayor last July. The Randolph-Macon College graduate decided to run for Town Council when there weren’t many people interested in serving.
“I was worried the town was going to lose some good representation,” Murray said. “I realized I did have a vision for how I wanted Ashland to be and grow.”
Murray carried out his vision and stayed true to his original platform points during his years on council. According to Murray, his biggest points were promoting responsible growth in Ashland, supporting the Ashland Theater and ensuring high-speed internet and broadband in the Town.
Murray has worked as a media specialist at R-MC while serving on the Town Council. Though he doesn’t know for sure where his law degree will take him, Murray is excited to be working towards international litigation. He has also considered pursuing a career that will allow him to work overseas.
After growing up in Michigan, Murray’s family moved to Germany for his step-father’s work. He also lived in Russia for half a year, and developed an appreciation for living in other countries. Murray said that his heart will still remain in Ashland, no matter where life takes him.
“I have trouble thinking of things I won’t miss about Ashland,” Murray said. “The sense of community here is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.”
Though it was a difficult decision to leave, Murray said he believes that his replacement will be capable of upholding Ashland’s standards.
“We have no shortage of brilliant invested people in the town and I have every confidence that the town won’t miss a beat,” Murray said.
Interviews for the council position will be conducted from May 1 through early June, after which the council will appoint their new fifth member. The new member will serve until next election, where they can choose to run to remain in their position or step down.
“We’re definitely going to miss him as a council member,” Farrar said. “He just dives into all the big issues as he sees fit and always did all his homework.”
“I can’t turn down this opportunity, but Ashland is home in every possible sense of the word,” Murray said. “Anywhere I go will have a lot to live up to.”