Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00
Kate Murray, the first woman elected supervisor of America’s largest township, was inducted for her fifth term during a ceremony at Hempstead Town Hall on Jan. 3, 2012.
Murray focused her remarks at the inauguration on the township she calls home, the unity among neighbors and officials, as well as economic growth. She detailed the initiatives she has undertaken for the future of the township, specifically speaking about the town’s economic and budgetary strength, development, housing, senior citizen programs and efforts to preserve the environment. One of the coming projects to which Murray pointed out with a personal sense of pride, is the construction of a building to house the ANCHOR program for special needs children and adults.
“Of all the work our town’s administration has undertaken, the construction of a permanent home for ANCHOR will be the most rewarding project in my tenure as supervisor,” said Murray. The recreation center will be named in memory of three Camp ANCHOR counselors who died in a tragic accident on their way to work.
Murray has continued a tradition of excellent fiscal leadership, bolstering the financial stability for which the Town of Hempstead has become known. During her tenure as supervisor, Murray has enhanced services, facilities and programs throughout the town. She has stepped up the town’s affordable homes program, opened Hempstead Town’s newest nature preserve in Lido Beach and added green energy technology to town facilities. A recently opened renewable energy park includes Long Island’s first wind-powered hydrogen fueling station, a wind and solar powered shellfish nursery, geothermal heating and cooling system and a self-reliant solar office. These are all components of the supervisor’s aggressive ecological agenda, which have been primarily paid for with grants secured by the town. Other components of her green energy agenda include a school-based recycling program and an expanded “e-cycling” computer recycling program. She has also helped revitalize local downtowns, bringing a medical complex and financial institution to a re-energized Nassau Road corridor in Roosevelt. Impressive downtown enhancements are coming to Elmont, Baldwin and Uniondale.
The Supervisor spoke of town’s ability thrive and prosper despite a bruising economy. She noted that the Town Board crafted a 2012 budget that freezes all town taxes. “Remaining faithful to sound and sensible financial policies has yielded uncommon success, earning our government the highest Wall Street credit ratings available,” said Murray. “Instead of following the path of fiscal gimmicks, ‘one-shot’ revenues, excessive borrowing and the deferral of costs upon which other governments have relied, we have worked together. Our budgetary policies have blazed a trail of best financial practices for other governments to follow.”
A special component of the induction ceremony was a video presentation featuring the treasures that Hempstead Town has to offer residents of all ages. One of the most poignant moments of the inauguration ceremony was when Supervisor Murray honored a US Army Veteran who was shot by a sniper while serving in Iraq and a Tuskegee Airman who was among the first African American military aviators to serve during World War II. Garden City Army Veteran Tom Deierlein and Tuskegee Airman Julius Freeman led the Pledge of Allegiance and were presented with Town of Hempstead Veterans Medals in appreciation of their service.
Prior to becoming Hempstead Town’s first chief executive, Murray served as the first woman and the first native Levittowner to hold the position of New York State Assembly member for the 19th district. She was then elected the first woman and first attorney to serve as Hempstead Town Clerk.
Councilwoman Angie Cullin (5th Councilmanic District), Councilman James Darcy (3rd Councilmanic District), Councilman Ed Ambrosino (2nd Councilmanic District), Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Town Clerk Mark Bonilla were also inducted after being re-elected in the November 2011 election.
“I want to thank the men and women who are being sworn into office today, along with the rest of the town board, for sharing my commitment to good government and for their dedication to working hard at work worth doing,” concluded Murray. “Our town officials will continue to work hard because we care and we want to ensure that America’s largest town is also the greatest town in which to live, work and raise a family. At the same time we invite our residents to accept an invitation to unite with our family of neighbors across the township to achieve common goals — Working together we will achieve uncommon successes.”