A Look Back at the Life of May Newburger

The Great Neck resident has long been considered “an icon of public service.”

 (Jan. 22 1920-Aug. 30, 2012) was the first female town supervisor on Long Island.

A graduate of Hunter College and Columbia University, she became  in 1994, serving five terms in office. Prior to this role, she spent two years as a town councilwoman and eight years as a New York State assemblywoman.  

Newburger was also a director of the Nassau County Planning Federation. She worked extensively on behalf of women and children by serving as a New York State delegate to the National White House Conference on Families, chairing the American Jewish Congress' National Commission on Women's Equality, and as a member of the State Judicial Committee on Woman in the Courts, the Governor’s Commission of Domestic Violence and the State Commission on Child Care.

During her term as supervisor, Newburger began an annual Women’s Role of Honor, which continues today as the .

According to the Town of North Hempstead, under Newburger’s supervision, the town transformed a $7 million budget deficit to a $7.7 million surplus. North Hempstead officials say that the town was the first on Long Island to adopt a debt reduction plan that emphasized the need for long-term strategies.

Dedicated to the environment, Newburger secured $200,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to designate New Cassel as a Brownfields Pilot Community. She continually worked to protect and preserve local lands and waterways. Thanks to Newburger’s efforts, the landfills were closed, cleaned and sealed.  The old sand mine property is now a championship golf course –  and housing.  

Newburger is also credited with creating The Environmental Legacy fund, which continues to be a tool to preserve open space and create additional parkland in all parts of North Hempstead.

With special thanks to the Town of North Hempstead.


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