Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin and town board members were sworn in to their new terms Tuesday, in an outside ceremony with about 500 guests and officials braving freezing temperatures.
The ceremony was held outside amid rising COVID-19 cases in the Dorothy L. Goosby Plaza, where political and elected officials including state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Letitia James watched the ceremony.
Clavin was sworn in to his second term as supervisor for the next two years, leading America’s largest township of 800,000 residents including 22 villages and 35 hamlets. Town officials vowed to make Hempstead "the epitome of the suburban dream."
"Today is really about saying thank you," Clavin said. "Thank you to my friends on the town board for doing great things because we do it together. Anyone can fight with anyone … we work for betterment of all the residents. We’re one big team in the Town of Hempstead."
Clavin was sworn in by Nassau County Republican chairman Joe Cairo, who also swore in town clerk and former Supervisor Kate Murray to her second two-year term.
Also sworn in Tuesday to new four-year terms were Councilmembers Anthony D’Esposito, to his third term on the board, Dennis Dunne, to his second term, and Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, to her eighth term as the board’s only Democrat, serving 22 years on the board.
Goosby, 83, was first elected in 1999 after a landmark lawsuit against the town created councilmanic districts and was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit eliminated at-large voting to give greater representations to communities in Goosby’s district, including Hempstead, Roosevelt and Baldwin.
James swore in Goosby, calling her "an icon, a maverick, a disrupter and someone who has changed the course of history."
"She is someone who has broken glass ceilings and someone who has made it possible for me to stand here as attorney general. I am humbled," James said. "To me, the greatest honor after your name is that of public servant. May everyone go forward, united as one and continue to serve the general public."
Goosby thanked DiNapoli and attorney Frederick K. Brewington for help getting her first elected to office. She also remembered her late husband, Jay Goosby, and former town attorney Joe Ra, who helped guide her.
"I was elected seeking representation for my community by a historical lawsuit," Goosby said. "My colleagues, who are of a different party, it didn’t matter to them that I’m a Dem and they’re an R. They thought it was necessary and something they needed to do to create history."
Board members said they have not raised taxes in four years and helped lead the town through the pandemic with federal funding to food banks, at-home and mobile vaccines and distributed 10,000 narcan opioid overdose treatment kits.