Rockville Centre mayor, three other village officials to seek re-election in June


The Village of Rockville Centre will hold an election on Tuesday, June 18, as Mayor Francis X. Murray, Village Justice William Croutier Jr., Deputy Mayor Kathy Baxley and Trustee Michael Sepe will seek re-election to four-year terms.

Anyone interested in running for any of the seats can visit Village Hall, at 1 College Place, to pick up an informational packet. The deadline to submit petitions is May 14.

Murray and Sepe were elected to their positions in 2011, and each is vying for a third term. The two ran as candidates of the Rockville Centre United Party with Nancy Howard, and the trio became the majority on the village board of trustees when they won.

The son of former Mayor Eugene Murray, who led the village from 1987 to 2007, Francis was elected to his second term in 2015. A lifelong village resident, he has been a member of the Fire Department since 1972, and has held a variety of leadership positions in the community, including the presidency of the Mercy Medical Center Foundation and the Friends of Mercy, and the co-chairmanship of the RVC Community Fund Golf Outing. Murray was named to the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials’ Executive Committee in 2013.

“Nine years ago, when I was running for mayor, I wanted to make the village that I grew up in an even better place to live, work and raise children,” Murray told the Herald. Since then, his promises — including upgrades to infrastructure, roads, ball fields, parks and the village’s downtown — have been kept, he said.

“We just keep improving,” he added, “and I would like to be a part of that over the next four years.”

Sepe, who was also re-elected in 2015, served as an assistant Nassau County district attorney from 1996 to 2003. He founded a law practice in Rockville Centre in 2007 that specializes in federal and state litigation. He also serves as counsel to St. Mark’s Nursery School, is the trustee liaison to the County Legislature and the village police and building departments, and is a member of the Rockville Centre Board of Ethics.

In addition to the improvements Murray noted, Sepe said that he and the mayor have helped make village government more responsive to residents, kept taxes down and improved services.

“It’s a hard job that requires experience,” he said, “and we want to build on the progress that we’ve made.”

Murray appointed Baxley in June 2017 after Howard, who was moving to Florida, stepped down as deputy mayor. A special election last year, in which Baxley ran uncontested, secured her an additional year in the position. She is seeking her first four-year term.

A South Side High School alumna, Baxley served the community for years before becoming deputy mayor. Before teaching at United Church Nursery School, she taught fourth- and sixth-graders at Oceanside School No. 5 and at St. Leo’s Grammar School in Queens. She is a past president of various Parent Teacher Associations, including the Rockville Centre Council of PTAs.

She has expanded her role as deputy mayor, serving as the trustee liaison to the Sandel Senior Center, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center, the village Fire Department, the Recreation Center and the school district.

“I really love my job and I love Rockville Centre, and I’ve been doing the best I can to let people know what’s going on in our village and in our village government by being involved,” she said.

Croutier has been in his position for three terms, and has served as a special prosecutor for the village and as a deputy village attorney. He has been a lecturer for the Nassau County and New York State Bar Associations, and was chairman of both the Rockville Centre We Care September 11th Committee and the September 11th Memorial Committee. Croutier is also president of the Nassau County Magistrates Association.

“I enjoy my job representing the village,” he told the Herald. “I think I do a pretty good job, and I hope to continue doing it as long as I can.”

Voting will take place on June 18 at the Recreation Center, at 111 N. Oceanside Road, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eligible voters wishing to cast ballots must be registered with the Nassau County Board of Elections at least 10 days before the election.