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. During his 18-year tenure as Receiver of Taxes, Clavin has 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 reduce their property tax burden through money-saving exemptions and by challenging their property tax assessments.
What’s more, Clavin brings a legacy of innovation to the Hempstead Town Supervisor’s Office – as Receiver, he transformed the Hempstead Town Tax Office into a model for municipal tax offices across the region. Clavin plans to bring the same type of innovation to the Supervisor’s job. Clavin’s vision for the Supervisor’s position includes environmentally responsible and sustainable growth; intergovernmental cooperation; streamlining of operations; a major infrastructure upgrade initiative, focusing on major roadway repaving projects and parks overhaul; encouragement of “next generation” home development; enhancing services for persons with special needs; improving online town services; and collaborative initiatives with local universities and colleges, focused on retaining young workers in our township. Among Clavin’s other priorities are revamping the Town Building Department’s operations, modernizing the municipality’s Building Zone Ordinance to reflect the community’s changing priorities, as well as creating Transformative Development Zones, facilitating the revitalization of entire neighborhoods as opposed to single building sites.
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 recently 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 will help modernize government operations, protect the environment and save on printing and mailing costs associated with traditional tax bills. Clavin believes transparency is essential for good government. As Receiver, Don Clavin redesigned the tax bills so they are easier to understand and provide residents with a breakdown of how their tax dollars are being spent. Never before have residents been provided with such a clear and concise tax bill.
Clavin has 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 who have been slammed by property tax increases as a result of the error-riddled Nassau County reassessment process. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Don 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 recently crafted legislation to eliminate 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 will now be granted the exemption permanently as long as the veteran or un-remarried surviving spouse remains a homeowner.
As Receiver, Clavin collaborated with local village administrators to research the benefits of consolidating tax collection operations in an effort to improve governmental efficiencies and reduce costs to taxpayers. He reached an agreement with one village and was in the process of working with another municipality. He plans to implement these efforts beyond the tax office on a townwide level as Hempstead Town Supervisor.
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 are proud to be raising their two daughters and son. His 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.
The Supervisor serves as the Chief Executive Officer of 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.