Republican Town of Hempstead officials celebrated at Town Hall on Jan. 7 as newly minted Supervisor Donald X. Clavin and the three of the town’s five council members took the oath of office. Former Supervisor Kate Murray was also sworn as town clerk, and Jeanine Driscoll stepped into Clavin’s previous position as receiver of taxes.
The audience consisted mainly of dignitaries from the town’s 22 villages and 38 hamlets, as well as friends and family. Former Sen. Alphonse D’Amato, himself a former supervisor, and Rep. Peter King, a former board member, sat on a dais of dignitaries that included New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul; Clavin’s sister, Valley Stream Village Judge Virginia Clavin-Higgins; and Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph Cairo.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and District Attorney Madeline Singas also attended.
The Nassau County Police Department’s Emerald Society Pipes and Drums provided the musical accompaniment for a color guard of four U.S. Marines. The invocation was given by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky, of Yeshiva Toras Chaim, and the national anthem was sung by Hempstead's own “king of the high Cs,” Christopher Macchio.
The Uniondale High School Show Choir offered an impressive musical interlude between the swearing of the town’s officers and its council members, Bruce Blakeman, Christopher Carini and Thomas Muscarella.
While the inaugural addresses tended to be long on thanks, Clavin, whose victory on Nov. 5 was razor-thin, acknowledged that residents had a right to expect the new board to show what it can do. “Election Day is over,” Clavin said. “It is time to govern.”
From reducing his own staff — a key campaign promise — to bringing ambitious projects like the Nassau Hub and Baldwin’s downtown redevelopment projects to fruition, while simultaneously holding the line on taxes, the newly installed officials will be busy.
“We are a team,” Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby — the board’s lone Democrat — said in introducing Clavin. “We have a responsibility to ensure the residents’ best interests are addressed. Don’t worry,” she said with a smile, turning to Clavin. “I’ll keep my eyes on you.”
The ceremony closed with a benediction by the Rev. Michael Duffy, of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Malverne, and Macchio’s stirring rendition of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.”