Herald Roundtables

Muscarella focuses on ‘good government’ in Hempstead


Tom Muscarella grew up around politics. His father was a Hempstead town councilman, and five of his six siblings “followed form,” entering the world of politics, insurance and legal representation.

Muscarella followed in his father’s footsteps when he was appointed to office in 2019 — not out of legacy, but because of how active he is in his community. That includes the Elmont Little League, the Franklin Square Lions Club — where he is president — and the Knights of Columbus.

“My father always said, ‘If the good people don’t participate and pay attention, it leaves it up to others — and it’s an unknown,’” Muscarella told reporters as part of a recent Herald Roundtable session. “Which is something that we don’t want to do.”

The Republican incumbent stressed the issue of taxation within Hempstead, where the town held the line. With ramped up costs of food, utilities and rent caused by inflation, Muscarella said the town needs to look into creative revenue generators to help alleviate the financial burden on constituents.

“One of the things I would like to look into is what we do with the ash (from recycled goods) before we ship it out,” he said. “There are recycling places that can accept that ash and recycle that so that we get more material elements. It can be put into the roads. It can be put into steel.”

He added that the conservation of water ways could be cultivated to bring revenue into the town. Kelp, for example, could be used as both a food source and fertilizer. It’s also a very “environmentally rejuvenating thing to clean the ocean water.”

Kelp could be grown along the waterways, and then sold as a lucrative revenue generator for the town, Muscarella said.

“The Town of Hempstead owns 116,000 acres of waterways that we can actually make so that we can get revenues,” he said. “So, the taxpayer will benefit from where they live.”

Within the town, Muscarella emphasized the importance of curb appeal. From clean sidewalks to general street vanity, he believes that when things are in an orderly fashion, residents can feel good about the communities they call home.

“Although it’s quality of life, I’m a curb appeal-type of person,” he said. “Where, if it doesn’t belong, it’s got to be moved on.”

The town has invested in roads, Muscarella said, from street sweeps to road maintenance. He hears out concerns from his neighbors and acts upon them — like up-to-date snowplows and street sweepers.

Muscarella also emphasized his stance on law and order, saying “you’re only as good as the intel on the street.”

“Lawlessness is not who we are,” Muscarella said. “We’re about the family. We’re about the parents. The schools.”

To the town councilman, “good government” is one that listens to the people of the town. He referenced a quote from former president Ronald Regan that the “best form of government is local government.” When officials pay attention to the needs of the villages, Muscarella said, that’s where the best form of government originates.

“From the local people, on the local level, who are paying the taxes, who are on the street, house-to-house,” Muscarella said.

Throughout his time in office, Muscarella has served residents near UBS Arena to the Roosevelt Field Mall. He highlighted the construction of UBS Arena and the planned redevelopment of Belmont Park as successes during his time in office.

Local officials stepped up to ensure that the project came to fruition, he added, especially during turmoil in Albany when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in 2021 amid allegations of sexual harassment.

For his constituents who need help — whether it be a road that requires maintenance, or a local project that needs attention — Muscarella ensures he is there to assist.

“I pride myself on being very responsive to the person,” he said. “I do that and it enables them to know that somebody is listening. And maybe they’re just doing it from a practice point of view. But if they can’t complete the task, and I see it, I will help them.”