15. Kate Murray
2013 Power List
In 2003, Kate Murray became the first female to get elected to Hempstead Town’s top office in its 369-year history, no small feat. She’s been at the helm of America’s most populous township now for the last decade, but her toughest challenge came last year when Superstorm Sandy ravaged at least a dozen South Shore communities in the township and knocked out power for up to two weeks in some neighborhoods. She actively aided resilient local residents and struggling businesses. Thanks to her office’s help, so many are now back on their feet that Murray recently declared the town “open for business.” Many Islanders fans will forever misplace blame on Murray for driving the home team to Brooklyn, but time may heal that wound if a more realistic development takes hold in Uniondale. Murray has finished laying the groundwork for new development in the hub, balancing the needs of the existing community with the desires of those looking for something new and visionary.