Pat Murphy is customarily up for a challenge.

This week, the five-term New Milford mayor announced she is ready to take on another two years of challenges.

"I have had the privilege to serve as mayor for the past 10 years and would like to continue my efforts towards improving our dynamic and diverse community," said Murphy, a Republican.

"There will always be projects to be completed and pending issues to be resolved," she added, "and I look forward to these future challenges."

During Murphy's tenure, the Grove Street/Route 67 67 intersection was realigned, the sewer plant expansion was accomplished, and a new emergency communications system for the town will be up and running in August.

Her campaign promise this year includes a continued commitment to New Milford police Chief Shawn Boyne's efforts in town and school safety; implementation of the ongoing traffic study's findings; and developing a new strategic plan for the town, focusing on maintaining the downtown's viability.

"I'm delighted to hear that Pat is seeking re-election," said state Rep. Cecilia Buck-Taylor (R-67th).

"My last term on the Town Council was as vice chairman. I worked closely with Pat and there was a lot of respect for each other," Buck-Taylor said. "She has a true proven record of public service to this town. I'm sure she's going to continue to serve with many accomplishments."

Should the mayor be re-elected come November, she would move past Cliff Chapin, who served as first selectman from 1977 to 1987, as the longest-serving chief executive for New Milford in at least the past 60 years.

Chapin, who died in 1996, is the father of Clark Chapin, currently serving as state senator for the 30th District, which includes New Milford.

Murphy first ran in 2003 on a promise to bring improved civility and fiscal responsibility to town government.

During her tenure, she has successfully led the town through 10 budget seasons and helped bring in more than $20 million in grants for the town.

However, the last two budget seasons have been clouded by questions around the viability of the Murphy administration's fiscal management of the town.

Auditing firm BlumShapiro was let go in the second year of a three-year contract. Replacement auditing firm Grant Thornton LLP took over, starting in 2012.

Grant Thornton auditors had to go back to 2001 records to reconcile figures. Still, they reported the town was in "strong financial footing" at the close of 2011-12.

Murphy vows to "continue our progress on providing services of value to the residents and taxpayers of New Milford in a fiscally responsible manner."

"Within the next year, we will be implementing a comprehensive financial software program to streamline both the town and Board of Education accounting functions," Murphy said.

Peter Bass, the Republican Town Committee chairman, Bass spoke for the party with gratitude for Murphy's continued commitment to the town.

"Pat's done a great job to move the town forward," Bass said. "She brought civility back to town government. Under her tenure, we will certainly continue to move the town forward."

With the Republican caucus slated July 16 and the Democratic caucus set July 23, the Democrats are hoping for a mayoral candidate to surface.

"As of now, we do not have a candidate, although two or three people have shown interest," said John Lillis, Democratic Town Committee chairman. "We still have two weeks before the caucus and are still hopeful someone will come forward."

Lillis noted "Democrats have always worked with Republicans when they thought it was in the best interest of the town and will continue to do that."

"Once an election is over," he added, "it's always what's best for the town that must be focused on."; 860-355-7322