By C.J. Barbre

Ed Murray, 55, has served on the council eight years and was named mayor three-and-a-half years ago.

"At the present time I think we have three good council members who are running again for city council, myself included. Over the last few years we've gained a lot. We seem to be working in the same direction and I would like to see that continue. There are so many positive things that have been started and the ball is rolling and I want to be there to see them through."

Ed and Cynthia Murray met at Cal Poly Pomona where she was a full time student and he was a visiting student from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The boy from El Cajon would end up proposing to the girl from Whittier. They were married in 1972 and moved to Lindsay in 1974.

From their beginnings in Lindsay they have been involved in the community. According to the March 7, 1990 Lindsay Gazette, "The 1990 man of the year is a past president of Lindsay Kiwanis Club, and spearheaded a drive to have lights installed at the Olive Bowl." Murray said he headed up the raffle that raised $17,600 for the lights. Frank Shiro, who had been Man of the Year for 1989, was quoted as saying, "In every event I have been to he [Murray] is a supporter and a doer, be it the Kiwanis Swim Meet, Lindsay High FFA program, Porterville Fair animal section, Lindsay Orange Blossom Festival [which Murray began serving on six months after arriving in town and chaired for two years] Lindsay Jaycees, Odyssey of the Mind or Lindsay Community Theater." The story concluded with Schiro saying Murray's strongest traits were those of a devoted husband and father as well as active church member. Cynthia teaches independent study subjects to students from fourth grade to high schoolers through a class room at the high school.

On Murray's wall at Orange Belt Supply Company, are a number of awards (although this was a phone interview) including the Friends of Education award he received in 1992 from the Masonic Lodge and the school district, and the Golden Apple award, also received in 1992, presented by the county administrators.

Murray, who got his degree in agricultural science, is a pest control advisor and general manager at Orange Belt. The company sells pest control products and advises about how to control pest problems. He is also licensed by the state.

Professional awards include Outstanding Pest Control Advisor for the State of California in 1993, and being named to the Crop Professionals Hall of Fame, a national award he received in 1994. The Crop Professionals Hall of Fame, instituted in 1983, recognizes exceptional contributions to American agriculture by dealership agronomists, independent consultants, and extension specialists

Anyone who has spent any time at all around Murray knows that he loves hunting and takes several hunting trips annually. His newest interest is riding his new Harley Davidson motorcycle. "I really enjoy the motorcycle. Years ago I had a combination dirt and street bike, but never had a big one before," he said. It seems someone at the Lindsay Police Department had a Harley for sale. "I went home and said, 'Hey honey, you know what this crazy guy wants me to do is buy a motorcycle.' She said, 'That's a good idea.' I said, 'You're kidding!' She said, 'No.'" He also likes to tell a good story.

The mayor rode his Harley for the official lighting of the palms on Hermosa Street and for the Sweet Brier Plaza dedication ceremony. He has created additional press coverage for such activities because it makes good copy in Valley newspapers. He said next year they plan to organize a motorcycle ride in Lindsay that starts and ends in the city, a poker run like Porterville's "Hot August Bikes." Murray said the bike runs usually draw several hundred people and raise money for charity.

He didn't make the "Hot August Bikes" run because the devoted husband and father was attending his oldest son's birthday in Sonoma. Ed and Cynthia have three children: Jed, 30; Tammy, 25; and Travis, 23. They have also provided foster care for many children over the years. Murray said one of their foster kids, Sheila, who is now 23, is living with them. "She's still like one of our own," he said. The Murrays have two grandsons.

Regarding the future, Murray said, the area was on the cusp of exploding growth and development. "I see a tremendous future for Lindsay. I want to see inward development rather than outward development." Murray said he didn't want to lose the small town charm of The Friendly City.

Editor's note: Three Lindsay City Council seats are open to challenge. Ed Murray, Pamela Kimball and Esteban (Steve) Velasquez are up for re-election. There is one challenger, Robert Segeda. This week the Gazette is running profiles on the mayor and vice mayor. Next week we will cover the other incumbent and the challenger.

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