When Donald X. Clavin, Jr. was elected Hempstead Town Supervisor in November of 2019, it signified the next step in his public service journey, serving America's largest township, after serving 18 years as the town’s dedicated Receiver of Taxes. Clavin was re-elected to a second term as Supervisor in November of 2021.
As Supervisor of America’s largest township and throughout his career as a public servant, Clavin has put taxpayers first, which was his commitment from Day 1 in office in January of 2020, as he followed through on his promise to slash the Supervisor’s payroll in half by nearly $1 million.
Indeed, Clavin takes the role as Chief Financial Officer of the Town of Hempstead seriously, crafting a tax-freeze budget for 2021 and a tax-cut budget for 2022, working with colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board to approve the fiscally responsible, bipartisan spending plans that provide tax relief during a time that taxpayers need it the most. What’s more, Clavin’s tax-cut budget for 2022 provides for the top-notch services and programs that residents deserve and major investments in roadway and parks upgrades through a comprehensive capital improvement plan. With capital investments of over $65 million in roadway improvements during his first term as well as $10 million in parks upgrades, Clavin is committed to enhancing the quality of life for residents across the township.
After one term in office, Clavin and his administration had already earned the respect of Wall Street and the trust of neighbors on Main Street as the Town of Hempstead received two credit rating upgrades in the span of 10 months in 2020 and 2021. Under the Clavin administration, the town received among the highest credit ratings available. Moody’s Investor’s Services increased the Town of Hempstead’s credit rating from Aa2 to Aa1. In September 2021, Standard & Poor’s announced a credit rating upgrade for the Town of Hempstead from AA- to AA. Moody’s lauded the town for “… strong fiscal management, sufficient reserves and liquidity, and minimal debt and pension burden.” In addition, Standard & Poor’s commended the town’s “strong management” and “conservative budgeting,” along with a stable outlook.
As the nation and region were struck by a worldwide pandemic in 2020 that has taken a toll on public health and the economy, Supervisor Clavin took on the unforeseen challenges head-on by rolling up his sleeves and reporting to work every day alongside the co-workers of the CSEA Local 880 workforce. These brave men and women of the CSEA Local 880 provided uninterrupted essential services all the way through the pandemic. Clavin expressed his appreciation for essential workers, both in the public and private sector who worked throughout the pandemic, hosting the Town of Hempstead’s first Salute to Front Line Heroes Ceremony and Concert on Labor Day weekend in 2021, while also presenting front-line hero pins to nominated individuals and instituting an Essential Workers Day every October.
When the Town of Hempstead secured millions of dollars in federal CARES funds in the spring of 2020, Supervisor Clavin’s focus was to utilize the recovery funds to provide direct assistance to the residents of America’s largest township. Supervisor Clavin formed an Economic Relief Advisory group, a diverse group of leaders representing business, labor, education, and the community to ensure that funding would be allocated to expedite the town’s economic recovery leading to the best possible outcome for residents.
Committed to supporting the safe and successful reopening of businesses and communities from the state-imposed pandemic shutdowns, Supervisor Clavin instituted the region’s first outdoor dining initiative for restaurant owners and allocated millions in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds to distribute thousands of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to business owners to help protect customers and staff.
Supervisor Clavin’s efforts, with bipartisan support from the Hempstead Town Board, to allocate CARES funds to community needs include a comprehensive initiative to address food insecurity through the establishment of pop-up food banks and a home meal delivery service with organizations such as Long Island Cares and Island Harvest. The efforts of Supervisor Clavin and the Town Board have resulted in millions of meals distributed to residents during the pandemic. What’s more, Don Clavin collaborated with leading medical providers, including Northwell Health and Mount Sinai South Nassau, to help provide no-cost COVID-19 testing to tens of thousands of residents, including PCR diagnostic, rapid, and antibody options during the pandemic. In addition, Clavin implemented a free COVID-19 testing program for first responders and essential workers to assist these front-line men and women during the height of the pandemic. Clavin’s federal CARES initiatives also include millions of dollars in financial aid to front-line entities, including hospitals, villages, fire departments, schools, colleges and universities, and other community organizations to assist with pandemic response.
In March of 2021, Supervisor Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board partnered with Mount Sinai South Nassau to unveil the first mobile vaccination unit in New York State (second in the nation). Since then, the Town of Hempstead has provided thousands of free COVID-19 vaccines to residents, bringing the service to communities across America’s largest township. In addition, Clavin boosted the Town’s efforts by spearheading the establishment of a homebound vaccination program administered by the town’s in-house EMS squad.
Prior to his tenure as Hempstead Town Supervisor, Clavin served 18 years as Receiver of Taxes for America’s largest township. As Receiver, Clavin was the first in New York State to implement the first paperless e-Billing system in New York State, as well as Long Island’s first Autopay tax payment feature and drive-thru payment options. Clavin redefined the Receiver's Office, hosting hundreds upon hundreds of free taxpayer forums in every Hempstead Town community. These "how-to" seminars have helped tens of thousands of taxpayers learn how to reduce their property tax burden through money-saving exemptions and by challenging their property tax assessments.
During his 18-year tenure as Receiver, Clavin was determined to make the process of paying property taxes more convenient for taxpayers and was successful in doing so by implementing extended office hours during collection periods, as well as mobile and satellite payment locations, online payments, and the introduction of the first E-Z Pay Drive-Thru tax payment windows at the office building on 200 North Franklin Street - all at no additional cost to taxpayers. Clavin also implemented the first paperless e-Billing system in New York State, as well as Long Island's first Autopay tax payment feature. The e-Billing initiative helped modernize government operations, protect the environment and save on printing and mailing costs associated with traditional tax bills.
Clavin has long been a staunch advocate for the rights of taxpayers. As Receiver, he fought tirelessly against Nassau County's broken assessment system and continues to stand up for homeowners. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Clavin successfully urged former Gov. George Pataki to sign an executive order that extended time for tax payments for the affected families. In 2002, Clavin proposed and obtained state legislation known as "The Clavin Law," that requires banks to be financially responsible for residents' tax penalties if they do not notify their mortgage customers of their legal rights and responsibilities upon approval of their mortgage, proving that the taxpayer always comes first for Don Clavin. Long a champion of the taxpayer, Don crafted legislation to eliminate the 10-year "sunset" clause for Hempstead Town's veterans receiving the Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption. Approved by the Hempstead Town Board in March 2018, Hempstead Town's qualifying veterans are now granted the exemption permanently as long as the veteran or un-remarried surviving spouse remains a homeowner.
Clavin brought that legacy of innovation to the Supervisor’s office. For example, as Supervisor, Clavin followed through on a commitment to modernize the Building Department, working with his colleagues on the Town Board to bring the department online for the first time. This move streamlined services by eliminating multiple trips to Town Hall and processing applications electronically. Supervisor Clavin regularly works with department heads to coordinate similar efforts to modernize and improve services within America’s largest township.
Earning his Bachelor of Arts from Canisius College in Buffalo, Don received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Hofstra University School of Law right here in Hempstead Town. He gained experience working as a trial attorney that practiced in all New York courts as well as United States Federal District Courts. Don Clavin earned valuable experience in local government while working in the Office of the Nassau County Attorney as Deputy County Attorney. There, he was responsible for defending various agencies of government ranging from the Department of General Services to the Nassau County Police Department. After leaving the County Attorney’s office, Clavin entered the private sector and went on to represent various corporations including Home Depot and General Motors.
Don Clavin is a lifelong resident of the Town of Hempstead, where he and his wife, Nancy, are proud to be raising their two daughters and son. Don’s mother was the first woman to ever serve as Valley Stream Village Trustee, and his father served as District Court Judge. Clavin is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Garden City, Irish Americans in Government, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the Nassau County Bar Association, and the Knights of Columbus. Clavin also served as a volunteer on the Valley Stream Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee in the Village of Valley Stream.
Responsibilities of Office
The Supervisor serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the town government. He 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 over 760,000 residents. As the Chief Financial Officer of the township, the Supervisor is responsible for the implementation of the town's budget.