Kate Murray | Town of Hempstead Supervisor
|February 21, 2011|
Under the leadership of Supervisor Kate Murray, the Town of Hempstead stands tall amidst economic uncertainties facing our nation and state. At the same time, America’s largest township continues to offer the essential services, programs and facilities that enhance the quality of life for residents.
As chief executive of the Town of Hempstead, America’s largest Township, Murray leads a fiscally sound administration that is respected on Wall Street and trusted on Main Street. Despite the fiscal turmoil facing federal and state governments, Murray’s 2012 budget will hold the line on taxes, keep all services intact and maintain the financial vitality over the town.
Kate has accomplished more than earning the respect of independent credit rating agencies. She has dedicated herself to gimmick-free transparent budgeting. This approach has won the Murray administration eight consecutive “excellence in financial reporting awards” from the non-partisan Government Finance Officers Association. What’s more, Murray’s government represents the first county or town on Long Island to have posted its budget online for all residents to view.
The town’s 2011 budget reflected fiscal prudence by reducing debt service by $2.4 million while many other governments are increasing debt in an effort to balance untenable budgets. Murray’s administration has also demonstrated a commitment to efficient government operations. Over the last decade, Hempstead has reduced its work force by 6 percent.
Vibrant parks, pristine beaches and stunning nature preserves symbolize the town’s drive to provide residents with first-class facilities. An ongoing $40 million parks improvement project led to significant upgrades in many areas, including pools, play structures, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, new playing fields and refurbished fishing piers and marinas.
Within those parks, beaches and nature preserves is a plethora of recreational, educational and life-enhancing options for residents of all ages. Free summer concerts, swimming lessons, athletic clinics and leagues, cultural art classes are among a diverse offering of quality-of-life services and activities for residents.
Sixteen senior centers across the town provide recreation, nutrition and social activities for the town’s mature citizens. Over the summer, those centers unite by the sea at Lido Beach for the popular senior summer beach program. Throughout the year, senior citizens partake in a variety of enriching activities, including a health fair and free income tax preparation assistance.
The ANCHOR program provides an outlet for town residents with special needs, offering year-round services and a popular children’s summer camp. The camp includes aquatic, athletic and cultural offerings. The kids, staff and town are eagerly anticipating the opening of the new ANCHOR recreation center in Lido Beach.
Kate Murray has embraced the environment, molding the town into a municipal role model for the incorporation of green and renewable energy concepts. The seaside community of Point Lookout is rapidly becoming a hub for clean and renewable energy. Most recently, the town opened Long Island’s first hydrogen fueling station at the Point Lookout Renewable Energy Park. Hempstead town’s fleet now includes three pollution-free vehicles that utilize clean hydrogen fuels. Solar and wind supply power to three town buildings, including the showcase Solar House, located at the Energy Park. Geothermal energy is currently being added to town facilities to provide efficient cooling and heating.
Murray and the town take a proactive approach to the future of the shoreline and marine wildlife. In May 2011, the town unveiled a marine dredge that restored beach at Point Lookout Community Park that was ravaged by erosion. A groin was installed to combat ongoing erosion at the site. The town’s Shellfish Nursery, powered by solar and wind, benefits the ecosystem and the local shellfish industry. Millions of clams are raised at the nursery each year and placed in local bays.
Murray realizes the importance of affordable housing in the future of the town. The development of affordable single-family homes has accelerated throughout the township. Six lucky residents are prepared to move into new affordable single-family homes in Roosevelt, scheduled for completion in 2012. The town also celebrated the opening of new Golden Age housing in East Meadow and Elmont, offering residents aged 55 and over more opportunities to live a comfortable, economical lifestyle in the communities they love.
Protecting the suburban character that defines our cherished way of life in the Town of Hempstead is a main objective for Kate, who has stood strong in the face of threats to neighborhoods. In line with that priority, Murray and the Town Board crafted an unprecedented mixed-use development zone at Mitchel Field. The zone was created as a means to provide a blueprint for reasonable growth to potential developers on the land surrounding the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
West Hempstead residents celebrated the demolition of the seedy Courtesy Hotel, which plagued the neighborhood for years. In its place will be a train commuter-friendly residential community situated next to the Long Island Rail Road station. This development will cater to young professionals and has been heralded by planning advocates as Long Island’s first transit oriented building zone. The zone designation provides for greater development density to developers who encourage mass transportation usage.
The former Avis headquarters on Old Country Road in Westbury is also experiencing revitalization. That long-vacated property is being transformed into a 330,000 square-foot commercial center that will help stimulate the economy and create jobs. The project promises a $100 million direct investment into the economy and the creation of over 600 permanent jobs.
More About Kate
The first woman to be elected supervisor in Hempstead Town’s 369-year history, Kate Murray is no stranger to shattering the glass ceiling and accomplishing a host of impressive "firsts" in her career. Before becoming Supervisor of America’s largest township in 2003, she was the first woman and first attorney to be elected Hempstead Town Clerk. Elected in 2001, she established the town’s One Stop Passport Shop, a location where visitors can take care of all their passport needs. On February 3, 1998 Kate Murray became the first woman and first Levittowner elected to the New York State Assembly from the 19th District.
Before serving as an elected official, Kate Murray worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Justice Section handling prisoner litigation. Prior to her work with the Attorney General, Kate served as advocate for the Suffolk University Battered Women’s Advocacy Project representing victims of domestic violence.
Supervisor Murray has long been active in community organizations and politics. She is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association, the Levittown Historical Society, Levittown Kiwanis, Levittown Community Council, Levittown Property Owners Association, Friends of the Hofstra Arboretum, Irish-Americans in Government, the Sierra Club and the Board of Directors of the Bellmore-Merrick Wellness Council. Ms. Murray is a sponsor of the Irish Repertory Theatre.
A graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, Supervisor Murray is a lifelong resident of Levittown.
Responsibilities of Office
The supervisor serves as the chief executive officer of town government. She presides at all town board meetings, directing the legislative and administrative functions of that body. The supervisor also oversees the day-to-day operations of a municipal government of 24 departments, employing just under 2,000 people, and providing services to some 765,234 residents. As the chief financial officer of the township, the supervisor is responsible for the creation and the implementation of a 2013 town budget of $419.4 million.