In an interview Tuesday Mayor Pat Murphy, 52, said she will seek a third two-year term as mayor.

The mayor said if it weren't for next week's Republican caucus date she would have waited even longer to announce so she could concentrate her energy on her job.

"I'd rather be spending time working than campaigning," she said.

Reducing taxes is a top priority for Mayor Murphy.

The Republican mayor said she is humbled by the privilege of being mayor and hopes voters will allow her to continue her efforts to see projects currently underway to completion.

Noting Grove Street/Route 67 work is funded and expected to start next spring, the mayor said, "I want to see the pace we've established come to fruition."

"I want to see the sewer plant expansion on its way," she continued. "It's incredibly important to maintaining clean water and the health of our community."

New Milford Democrats have not announced a mayoral candidate, but party chairman John Lillis said Tuesday "we're hopeful" about fielding a candidate to challenge the incumbent mayor.

Mayor Murphy wants to see progress in her next term on Still and Housatonic river greenways and improved access to the Housatonic "to focus a greater [public] appreciation on the river."

She'd like to see the proposed new ambulance barn project move forward, the dispatch center upgraded, and work continue on the downtown revitalization for Whittlesey Avenue, Elm and Church streets.

The mayor said she's proud of the restoration of civility during her three-and-a-half-year tenure in office.

"The whole administration has really made an effort to try and better the way things are done," Mayor Murphy said, giving staff and officials credit.

"I think people are pretty happy with the way services are being handled."

"I think New Milford is starting to wear itself well and I like being a part of that," the mayor commented.

"People who come here think our community is wonderful," she continued, citing one business visitor, Michael Cohen, of Illinois, who was so taken with the town that he offered to contribute to the tricentennial.

He has sent a check for $937.10 to pay for a case to display the tricentennial quilt in town hall.

Mayor Murphy remarked that last Saturday at the trail dedication on the town-owned reservoir property on Second Hill, "There was a sense of pride and ownership"� a feeling that the community is looking out for its best interests."

She described how people were conversing at one spot and at the same time were picking up broken glass they saw in the vicinity.

Mayor Murphy said 90 percent of the time she enjoys her work, but there are annoyances as in any job.

"One of the most annoying things is when I can't do something," she said, remarking, "Government can't be everything to everybody. Everyone is not always going to agree with me."

The mayor cited a long list of projects that have been completed, added or enhanced since she took office including: Charter Revision; the ability to pay taxes on-line; the Lovers Leap Bridge restoration; Railroad Street renovations; joining the Capital Region Purchasing Consortium; the design phase for sewer plant expansion; the wellness center for seniors; the reservoir purchase; minutes and agenda posted on-line; the emergency shelter plan implemented; elderly tax relief; revisions to land use offices; and expansion of the Economic Development Commission are some she accomplishments she highlighted.

The mayor said the accomplishments were a response to the overall community needs, not just to a few single interests -- "a general overall improvement."

"This town is not just laying around," the mayor said, explaining she does a lot of hands-on implementing of ideas by connecting people who can help each other.

A recent example was a chat she had with the owner of Milano's restaurant who asked about the possibility of valet parking.

She connected him with the Traffic Authority chairman, Mona Tito, and a permit request is in the works.

Asked what she is most proud of she quickly cited Railroad Street renovations that came in "on time and on budget."

The reservoir purchase was also high on the list. "I'm pretty pleased with how that went," she said.

She's also proud of the Skate Park. "I really like that an awful lot of teenagers know who I am," she remarked.

Listing all the affordable opportunities for kids in town -- athletic leagues, Parks Recreation, Scouting and Youth Agency programs, hiking, boating and swimming, the mayor said, "I don't think there are more youth opportunities anywhere else."

Political parties will be selecting candidates to run for office in caucuses this month.

Area caucus schedules

New Milford: Republicans will caucus next Tuesday July 17 at the Holiday Restaurant in Veterans Plaza at 8 p.m. to nominate a slate of candidates for the Nov. 6 municipal election. Democrats will caucus July 24 at 8 p.m. in the Richmond Citizen Center.

New Milford First, a local minor political party formed in 2005, plans to hold its caucus during the last week of July or the first week of August. The date and time had not been set at press time.

Bridgewater: Democrats will caucus at the Burnham Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Republicans will caucus July 23 also at the library, but at 8 p.m.

Bridgewater First Selectman Bill Stuart is midway through a four-year term but the parties are expected to field candidates for Board of Finance, Planning and Zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals and a few other positions. None of the major political offices are up for re-election according the major party chairmen.

Kent: Republicans plan to caucus Thursday July 19 in Town Hall at 8 p.m. Democrats will caucus July 23 also in Town Hall at 8 p.m.

Incumbent First Selectman Ruth Epstein said she is seeking a second term with running mate Bruce Adams, a retired Kent Center School history teacher.

Republicans have endorsed Nick Downes for first selectman and Vince LaFontan for re-election to the Board of Selectmen.

Current Republican selectman Nancy O'Dea-Wyrick decided not to seek re-election due to a new job commitment.

Roxbury: Democrats plan to caucus at Town Hall next Thursday July 19 at 7:30 p.m. Republicans will caucus July 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.

Roxbury GOP First Selectwoman Barbara Henry is midway through a four-year term and no major political offices are up for re-election.

Sherman: Democrats will caucus Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Sherman School. Republicans plan to caucus on July 24 at the firehouse at 7:30 p.m.

Democratic First Selectwoman Andrea O'Connor said this week she will again seek re-election. Republicans are expected to field a full slate of candidates.

Washington: Democrats plan to caucus July 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Bryan Plaza. The Republican Caucus will be Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Bryan Memorial Town Hall.

Mark Lyon is expected to be the GOP candidate for First Selectman challenging incumbent Democrat First Selectman Dick Sears.

The Rev. Sears has not made an official announcement, but said this week he plans to seek re-election and would make an official announcement soon.

Warren: Republicans plan to caucus Wednesday at Town Hall at 7 p.m. GOP First Selectman Jack Travers is seeking re-election and said all incumbents are seeking re-election.

Democrats plan to caucus July 24 at 7 p.m., also in Town Hall.