Written by Christy Hinko, Chinko@AntonNews.com Wednesday, 09 October 2013 10:37
With elections less than four weeks away, it seems as though Kate Murray would be letting her daily duties as the Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead take a back seat to campaigning. On the contrary, Murray practices seamless politics that doesn’t differentiate.
“Good government is good politics,” she said in an informal discussion at the Garden City Life offices on Sept. 24.
Murray said that information about the 2014 town budget was being prepared for release within a week. The current supervisor said this will be the third year in a row that the town is reporting a reduction in tax collection, $1.2 million less in taxes in the upcoming year, compared to the $419.4 million 2013 budget.
“We have not reduced any services and in the last year we’ve done a tremendous amount of work in the post-Sandy area,” she said . “We went into high gear with regard to the Sandy cleanup.”
The Town of Hempstead encompasses a significant stretch of the South Shore. Seaford to Island Park remains impacted nearly a year after the storm. Immediately after the storm, the town chose to waive variances and permit fees for repairs. Murray estimates that move cost the town more than $1 million in lost revenue, but said “we can’t send [residents] a bill on top of the thousands of dollars in reconstruction costs.”
Although the coastal communities make up a large portion of the town, so do its landbound constituents—more than 757,000 residents in its 22 incorporated villages (including Garden City, Floral Park, Stewart Manor, Mineola, and New Hyde Park) and 37 hamlets (including Levittown).
Murray, the Republican incumbent, will face off against Franklin Square resident Felix Procacci in the Nov. 5 elections. She has been the supervisor for 10 years and the first woman elected town supervisor.
Murray insists she’s not campaigning. As she approaches what might be a sixth term, Murray said, “I never concentrate on my opponent, quite frankly, I don’t know much about him [Procacci].”
Murray and Procacci are scheduled for a forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters, on Monday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Hewlett Woodmere Public Library. In addition, candidates for town clerk and candidates for council in Districts 1, 4, and 6 are also expected to participate.