Thomas Murray, a 2005 Sayville High School graduate, ran for his first term as New York State assemblyman in the 7th District in 2018, falling short to incumbent Andrew Garbarino. Prior to that, he was elected to the Sayville Library Board and served until he entered law school. Now, he is taking a swing at Islip Town supervisor.
“I felt like the town board hasn’t been listening to the people on a lot of different topics like Island Hills and the Bay Shore parking meters,” he said of his decision to step up and run.
One of his main concerns during his run for assemblyman was the Oakdale Merge. Though the town doesn’t have much say in the state project, he said, it is still an issue due to the developments being proposed.
“Another couple hundred apartments on Lakeland Avenue and other developments are going to continue to put a stress on that area,” he said, promising to vote down Island Hills upon election. “I have spoken out against it since Day 1.”
If elected, he plans to immediately conduct a hamlet study in Sayville so that if and when the developers file a lawsuit, the town can be ready with a list of reasons why the denial decision was made.
He said he is not in favor of mega-developments on Long Island and has been an outspoken critic of the proposed Island Hills project. And as for the Bay Shore meters, he promises to stop them, take a look at the program and salvage it in any way possible.
“The program needs to be reworked,” he said, suggesting that if a solution can’t be made, then he would try to sell them to another municipality. “They really aren’t a very big revenue generator,” he added, stating that the three employee salaries make a big cut in the profit.
He also wants to address the opioid crisis, which, he said, is taking a toll on families. He believes there needs to be more means of education available, including Narcan training. He also hopes to support more treatment facilities like the one that was proposed for Blue Point a few years ago. “We need to focus on compassion and recovery,” he added.
As an environmental lawyer, Murray said he is very concerned about the quality of Long Island water. One of the issues that he said should be addressed is the need for sewers, since many areas in the 7th District still do not have them.
Also, he said, the town can help clean the bay by discontinuing use of nitrogen fertilizers on all town-owned property and encouraging homeowners to do the same. He also hopes to initiate a plan to plant more native trees. The town also needs to place more standards on new construction to be more efficient, he added. He would also like to continue to grow the oyster cultivation project.
Murray also plans to move more meetings to the evening to make town government more accessible and to live-stream them on the town website.
“I am running because I am worried about the future of our town, the overdevelopment and the environment,” he said, stating that a master plan hasn’t been adopted since the ’80s. “We need a vision going forward, something accessible and transparent.”
Murray and his wife, Caitlin, currently reside in Bayport; together, they have one daughter.