Incumbent plans to tackle the opioid crisis
Mary Kate Mullen is a Republican incumbent running for town council. She is a mother of three, in addition to being an attorney involved in all aspects of civil litigation.
With a career background involving five years at the Suffolk County Narcotics Bureau, councilwoman Mullen was appointed Islip Town liaison for the Opioid Task Force in 2018. She called Thursday’s Islip Goes Purple event a baby step toward addressing the opioid crisis in the township.
She made particular note of Kathy Koenigsdorf, whose son Jake died six years ago from a heroin overdose, for her valiant efforts to make Islip Goes Purple such an impactful initiative.
“There are a lot of good programs in Suffolk County and Islip,” Mullen said, adding that all of the effort put forth by the Town of Islip and all other organizations involved has garnered opportunities for every resident to help address the opioid crisis. “If people aren’t afraid, they can stand up, and they can make a difference, too.”
There are 360 cameras across the Town of Islip, and a large sum of them are dedicated to parks to deter drug use and exchanges. Mullen said installing the cameras is one way the town has been addressing criminal activity, as well as promoting public safety.
On the topic of parks, Mullen said that work has been done on several baseball fields. She also noted that 25 playgrounds across the township have been redone in recent years.
With the consideration to any type of development, Mullen said that as a councilperson, hearing out the entirety of a plan and doing adequate research is necessary before coming to a conclusion.
“I treat each process on a case-by-case basis,” she said, adding that location is always worth considering as well as the need for the application’s respective use in an area.
When considering affordable housing, Mullen said that future infrastructure in this regard should be geared more toward transit-oriented development. She added that more needs to be done to address affordable housing in a larger area than just the Town of Islip.
“Long Island, as a whole, lacks affordable housing,” she said. “People are leaving, and the cost of living is so high.”
Environmental projects, like the breakwater reconstruction and dredging project in Homans Creek in Bayport, completed in 2018, are also important, she continued. She also made note of Browns River in Sayville, where a dredging project is necessary since the underwater riverbed shifted during Hurricane Sandy and resulted in extremely low water levels.
“Ferries go out of the Browns River,” Mullen said. “That is a priority for me.”
Mullen also touched upon the need for sewers in Sayville and other eastern areas of the township, adding that restaurants face limitations with the lack of access to a sewer district.
Mullen expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the Town of Islip thus far. “It is an honor and a privilege,” she said. “The four years have just flown by.”