Robert Pellegrino, manager of Northampton Township, addressed the removal of a sign at Northampton’s Municipal Park. The sign was erected in 2021 at the playground in memory of Christian Tyler Murphy, who loved playing on the swings before passing away at the age of 1.
In an official statement, Pellegrino said, “It was only after the reconstruction of the playground was complete, that a township employee decided to remove the memorial sign because of concerns expressed by some parents about explaining the meaning of the memorial sign to their children playing at the playground. That employee then failed to notify the Murphy family.
“This decision was made without the knowledge of the board of supervisors, Parks and Recreation board members, or my office. The board of supervisors and the township Parks and Recreation board never met, discussed, were informed, or took any action regarding the installation or removal of the memorial sign.
“Upon hearing about the incident on Sunday, the board of supervisors acted swiftly to contact the family. Chairman Adam Selisker spoke with Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, Christian’s parents, twice on Sunday, advising that the board members were surprised by the situation and advised the family that the sign would be re-installed immediately.
“At the conclusion of these conversations, the Murphys stated that the family does not want the sign reinstalled at the playground.”
Pellegrino added that the sign will be returned to the family and they will be reimbursed for its cost.
“There was never any malice or bad intent on the part of the township, or any of its employees,” said Pellegrino. “All of us at the township wish this unfortunate incident had never happened. An internal review of our policies and procedures will be conducted to ensure that something like this does not happen again.”