Town of Hempstead officials began their new term Jan. 4 at Town Hall. During the nearly two-hour inauguration, Supervisor Don Clavin, Town Clerk Kate Murray, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, and Councilmen Anthony D’Esposito and Dennis Dunne were sworn in following their re-election this past November.
After the invocation by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky of Yeshiva of South Shore in Hewlett, Clavin was sworn in first by Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo.
Months into Clavin’s first term as supervisor, the coronavirus pandemic erupted and took a toll on Hempstead. Clavin secured tens of millions of dollars in federal CARES Act funds that went to the community, including millions for hospitals, schools, food banks, villages, fire departments and community organizations. The Town Board also rolled out the first mobile vaccination unit in New York state, which has provided nearly 10,000 vaccine and booster shots to residents to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Clavin thanked many of the government officials in attendance for the help that they have given him during his time in local government. “Today is really about just saying thank you,” he said. “We work together and for the betterment of all the residents, from the town’s finances to bond upgrades to services through the pandemic. And it's not just that it's the men and women that I work within the town. We do it together because we’re one big team in the Town of Hempstead.”
Murray, who was sworn in next, led creation of online accessible parking permits, posted one-stop passport shop events and established outdoor service trailers where residents can continue to access clerk’s office programs. Murray became the first elected official in New York to conduct weddings using online video conferencing. In October, she reached a milestone when she performed her 500th wedding ceremony.
After reflections were offered by the Rev. Dr.Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Baptist Church, Attorney General Letitia James swore in Goosby, who is the first-ever African-American woman on the Town Board, now entering her 22nd year representing the 1st District.
During her last term, Goosby assisted in supplying free PPE kits for businesses and churches, secured personal air filters for residents at risk, aided in launching the outdoor dining initiative to help residents stay open during the pandemic and sponsored food pantries that donated more than a million meals to residents in need.
Goosby discussed her tenure in government and the plans that she has for her district moving forward. “I'm going into my 22nd year, as I was elected seeking representation from my community via a historical lawsuit,” Goosby said.
“I've been sworn in on my plaza and that's progress,” she noted. The Town Hall plaza was recently named for her.
“My colleagues are of a different party,” she continued, “but it didn't matter to them that I’m a Democrat and they aren’t. I've worked with wonderful people, and I respect them and they respect me. We made a lot of progress in this town.”
D’Esposito was then sworn in by State Assemblyman Edward Ra. D’Esposito, a retired New York Police Department detective, has taught his Narcan training program to town employees, community groups and residents throughout Hempstead. And he has helped expand the Narcan training program, with the town recently announcing distribution of 10,000 Narcan kits in Hempstead.
D’Esposito reflected on the town’s accomplishments in recent years. “The last four years we've delivered budgets to save taxpayers money, holding the line or lowering taxes,” he said. “We've been lauded by Wall Street, earning outlook upticks and credit upgrades. We expanded programs and invested in our parks, beaches and marinas. Just this year, we've invested $75 million in our roads. While other municipalities were unable to collect garbage and recycle at the height of the pandemic, our sanitation crews stepped up and kept the town moving.”
Dunne, who served with the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War, remains a leader among local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations, and has been pivotal in crafting legislation to create a permanent property-tax exemption for Cold War era veterans, providing a tax reduction for eligible recipients. He has also sponsored several pieces of legislation to restict vaping and vape products.