Swearing in: Judge Barbara Hanson (left) swears in new Otter Tail County commissioner Betty Murphy at the Nov. 27 commissioners meeting, while Otter Tail County attorney Michelle Eldien looks on.

By Shannon Terry

Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners welcomed Betty Murphy to its ranks. Judge Barbara Hanson presided over the swearing in of Commissioner Murphy on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Murphy will finish Roger Froemming’s term and will continue her service on the board until January 2023. Murphy was elected in November and will serve District 4.

Murphy is a South Dakota State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business. She and her husband Tom, of 29 years, moved to Otter Tail County in 1992 to start a new business.  For nearly 26 years they owned and operated Murphy’s IBA Sales & Service. In addition to this, they started a second business, MinStart Ag Products, in 2011.  The couple have five children:  Matt, a mechanical engineer, works for SpaceX in California. Mark, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, an industrial engineer, is employed by Aramark in Minneapolis. Natalie, a student in the doctor of physical therapy program at the University of North Dakota. Patrick, who is pursuing a music business degree at Belmont University in Nashville. Ryan, a junior at Perham High School.

Murphy has participated as a board member of the fundraising group for Perham High School and regularly attends the school board meetings. For the past seven years, she has been the treasurer for Maine Township. In May, she was hired as the director of the Perham Area Community Center.

Otter Tail County is divided into five districts. District 4 represents nine communities including Parkers Prairie, Henning, and Ottertail as well as 19 townships in the southeast portion of the county. As a member of the board she will participate in board meetings, serve on internal committees and external committees, and work on behalf of her constituents. Commissioners are responsible for examining and setting budgets, policies and many other functions of county government.

“We live in a beautiful county and we want to preserve that. We are also an attractive place to live and work and we want to make that experience good for everyone,” remarked Murphy. “Having said that, it is important that we do a good job of planning for the future, so our priorities are well thought out and beneficial to all.”

Murphy has set a few priorities for her time in office. She has a goal to “Listen to and understand the needs of Otter Tail County. Represent those needs. Follow up on those needs to get the best results for Otter Tail County.”

John Dinsmore, Otter Tail County’s administrator welcomes Murphy with, “A hearty congratulations to Commissioner Murphy – and to the District 4 citizens who elected her.  I believe the personal, professional and private sector experiences Betty brings to the role of county commissioner will greatly benefit Otter Tail County residents.  Working collaboratively, finding compromises and reaching consensus on challenging issues is a big part of being a county commissioner.  On behalf of our staff, we look forward to the expertise, creativity and leadership she’ll bring to Otter Tail County.”

Murphy will serve District 4 and may be contacted at bmurphy@co.otter-tail.mn.us.  For information about which county commissioner represents you, please visit ottertailcountymn.us/board/board-of-commissioners/ and click on “Who is my Commissioner?”


Enter your email address and select the newsletters you would like to receive.

Load comments