Local native on a mission to serve citizens and lead Clermont with an open mind and heart.
Photo: Nicole Hamel
- Fifth child of 12 siblings.
- Family includes wife Kassier Kyler-Murry (married February 2020), daughter Tiffany, son Tim Murry II, and stepdaughter Karissa.
- Clermont High School 1972 graduate.
- Enjoys putting jigsaw puzzles together.
- Would one day like to travel cross-country by train.
- 66 years old.
What inspired you to run for mayor in 2020? Besides my love for Clermont, I decided to run for mayor to be the voice for sensible growth that focused on the needs of all residents. When I attended council meetings, I felt that the council was not always listening to the residents. In addition, none of the council members were from Clermont.
Thoughts when you found out you were elected? I was at a planning and zoning board meeting when I received my first update of the election results and that I had a slim lead. Thank God the meeting was coming to an end because it was hard for me to contain my excitement. About 20 minutes after the meeting, I received my first official unofficial notice that I won. I was driving so I had to stop for a couple of minutes to give thanks to God and my wife for her support. After sitting and realizing that I had won the election, I could only start to think about getting to work on the promises I made during my campaign.
What does being elected Clermont’s first African American mayor mean to you? Being the first African American mayor of Clermont was not a consideration in making the decision to run, but it is a great honor and it let me know how far Clermont has come from my earlier years of growing up there.
How long have you lived in Clermont? I was born and raised in Clermont where I resided until 1972 when I left to attend college in Tallahassee. I moved to Connecticut in 1974 where I joined the U.S. Air Force in 1975. After retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 1998, I lived in Kissimmee and Orlando before moving back to Clermont in 2001. In 1999, I began working for the U.S. Postal Service, a second career which spanned nearly 22 years before my retirement in January 2021.
Goals as mayor? Increasing affordable/workforce housing and increasing community-police relations, working to improve traffic issues on the county roads of Hancock and Hartwood Marsh, and to work with our police and fire departments to make sure they can continue to provide quality services as our city continues to grow.
What do you like most about serving as mayor? I enjoy meeting and talking with residents, sharing Clermont’s history, and most all, bragging about the beauty of Clermont.
Other city roles you’ve held? I served on Clermont’s code enforcement board for three years. I attended Clermont’s City Council on a regular basis to speak about various issues and conditions in the community. I served on two citizens’ advisory task forces for Community Development Block Grants and I was serving on Clermont’s Planning and Zoning Board when elected.
Other groups you are involved in? I initiated the process to bring a Boys and Girl Club to Clermont, serve on South Lake Boys and Girls Club Advisory Board, served on Lake Sumter County Boys and Girls Club Corporate Board, serve as vice chair of New Jacob’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Board of Trustees and Family Matters Food Program, served three years on East Ridge Middle School Student Advisory Committee, present member and served as President of South Lake Democratic Club for six years, member of Lake County Black Caucus, President of Christian Men in Action Community Development Corporation, Vice-President of Lincoln Park South Lake Alliance, INC, member of South Lake Black Achievers, member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, and member of Kiwanis of Clermont.
Notable achievements as mayor, thus far? While we’re working on recruiting the next city manager, I have been a little tentative about trying to introduce new policies and ideas. However, a couple of things that I have done that I am proud of is the purchase of additional property on Lake Minneola, implemented monthly updates from the county commissioner, and refined procedures for public comments at city council meetings and being placed on city council meeting agenda.
What college(s) did you attend and what are your degrees? Upon graduation from high school, I attended Florida A & M University for two years before moving to Connecticut. I have associate of arts degrees from Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma; Saint Leo College in Florida, and The Community College of the Air Force. In addition, I have a bachelor of science degree in management/human resources from Park College in Missouri, and a master of business administration from the University of Phoenix, Arizona.
Favorite foods? Chicken and fish, along with fruits and vegetables.
What advice would you give your younger self? In looking back on a younger me, I would advise myself not to rush to decide on a career path. Take the time to step out and explore various avenues.
Is there anything you’d like to do to make yourself more accessible to citizens? Now that we are getting back to somewhat normal since COVID-19, I will be looking to start monthly “Lunch with the Mayor” stops. I make myself visible by attending as many public events as possible.
Something you’ve noticed about people since taking office? I will say that taking office has reinforced my belief that there are a lot of good people out there and for the most part, they just want to be heard.