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Two former NLC board members pass away.

Joe Brooks, a Richmond, Va., councilmember and long-time NLC leader, died suddenly last week after an apparent heart attack. Another former NLC Board Member, Joe Murdy, former assembly member in Anchorage, Alaska, died last week after a brief illness

"In two sad days, we lost two committed public servants and two good friends," said NLC Executive Director Donald J. Borut. "Both Joe Brooks and Joe Murdy represented their communities well and always found time in their busy schedules to be active, enthusiastic participants in NLC--whether it was hosting a steering committee meeting, testifying on an important issue affecting cities and towns or contacting a member of Congress to make sure local interests were considered when the votes were counted. They will be sorely missed by their communities, their families and the NLC family."

Joe Brooks

Long-time Richmond, Va., Councilman Joe Brooks died June 26 of an apparent heart attack at the age of 73.

In his 11 years on the Richmond City Council, Brooks was a member of NLC's Board of Directors from 2000 to 2001. After his term on the Board, he was a member of NLC's Advisory Council.

Brooks was a member of NLC's Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Committee from 1993-1999, serving as the group's chair in 1999 and vice chair in 1997 and 1998. In 2002, he served as vice chair of the Municipalities in Transition Panel on Public Finance. He was also NLC's representative to the National Tax Association Steering Committee on Communications and Electronic Tax Project from 1996 to 1999 and was NLC's point person on electronic commerce and its impact on local revenues.

Brooks was also active with the Virginia Municipal League, serving on the league's Executive Committee and Finance Policy Committee.

In his time on the Richmond City Council, Brooks became the point man about city finances and history. He brought a steady, common-sense approach to government, according to a story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He repeatedly warned council members not to take on too much debt for the city and helped persuade them to build a healthy rainy-day fund that reached $35.5 million last year.

A native of Virginia, Brooks served in the Army's 25th Artillery Division in Korea. He received an undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Richmond and a master's of business administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A former state bank examiner, public accountant and college accounting instructor, he was the retired president of Whittet and Shepperson Inc., a commercial printing company.

Brooks is survived by his wife of 49 years, Pauline Decker Brooks; two daughters, a brother and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral was held Monday in Richmond.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation c/o The Joseph E. Brooks Scholarship Fund, Attention Willie A. Williams, Board Clerk, 301 North 9th St., Richmond, Va. 23219. Online register available at

Joe Murdy

Former Anchorage, Alaska, Assembly Member Joe Murdy died June 25 at the age of 67.

Murdy served two terms on the Anchorage Assembly from 1993 to 1999, where he was known for straight talk and his advocacy for the police and public safety.

He helped found the Spenard Community Council to drive criminal elements from the neighborhood. On the Assembly, he established a tougher teen curfew law. He rode along in patrol cars frequently and fought successfully for more police to be hired.

The Anchorage Police Department Employees Association bought a police dog --still on the force today--and named it Joe Murdy. That's a measure of how much officers thought of him, Sgt. Rob Heun, the police union president, told the Anchorage Daily News.

Murdy was a member of NLC's Board of Directors from 1997 to 1998. He also served on NLC's Public Safety Committee in 1995 and 1996 and the Human Development Committee in 1994. He hosted a highly successful meeting of the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Steering Committee in Anchorage in 1996--a meeting that committee members still reminisce about fondly.

He was elected first vice president of the Alaska Municipal League in 1995 and served as its president in 1996. He remained on the board until 1999 and also served on the league's Executive Committee and Strategic Planning Committee.

In his private life, he managed construction projects large and small, owned and operated restaurants and acted as a consultant to many friends and associates.

After leaving the Anchorage Assembly, Murdy was hired by Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch as director of development for public works and was recently promoted to executive director of building safety and public works. He was also appointed project director for the E-911 Task Force.

Murdy, born in Acworth, N.H., was a veteran who served as a U.S. Army paratrooper. He moved to Alaska in 1978. He is survived by his friend and partner Bernie Fraties, his father, two sons, seven siblings, six grandchildren and many friends across Alaska.

A funeral was held Monday in Anchorage.
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Author:Hogan, Cyndy Liedtke
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 7, 2003
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