A lifelong resident of Huntington, Don McKay was born and raised on Eaton’s Neck. For the past 24 years, Don has lived in Dix Hills with his wife, Lauren, children Allison and Kyle and Parker, the family’s faithful canine.
Following graduation from Northport High School in 1983, Don attended Bethany College in West Virginia where he majored in print journalism and communications. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in 1987.
For nearly a year following graduation, Don worked for his alma mater as an admissions officer. In the fall of 1988, Don returned home and embarked on a 10-year career as a newspaper reporter first covering the towns of Islip, Brookhaven and Huntington for the North Shore News Group in Smithtown. Don was honored as recipient of the Long Island Press Club’s Cub Reporter of Year award.
In 1990, Don was hired as the government reporter for The Saratogian, a Gannett daily newspaper in Saratoga Springs, New York. He later switched coverage as the beat reporter for the city of Saratoga Springs. In 1994, Don returned to his hometown to run a new weekly, The Huntington News. For four years, Don covered Town Hall, school and water districts, library boards, not-for-profits, local businesses and the villages of Lloyd Harbor and Huntington Bay.
As a journalist, Don held elected officials at all levels of government accountable for their actions and votes. As Councilman, he promises do the same to ensure a checks and balances on spending, taxes and decisions that directly affect Huntington’s quality of life.
In January 1998, Don joined the Town of Huntington as a legislative aide to then Councilman Steve Israel. When Steve was elected to Congress, Don joined the staff of Supervisor Frank Petrone as the Town’s public information officer. In 2006, he had the honor of being appointed Director of Parks and Recreation.
During his tenure as Parks director, Don assisted with major enhancements at Veterans Park in East Northport, Manor Field in Huntington Station, Breezy Park in Huntington and an expansion of the Dix Hills Ice Rink.
In February 2018, Don was appointed deputy commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. As deputy, he assists in the administration of a broad and diverse department whose responsibilities include the management of more than 50,000 acres of parkland; 14 major active parks with numerous facilities; four golf courses; two marinas; 11 campgrounds; bay and ocean beaches; nature trails; and the preservation and restoration of more than 200 historic structures.
Don has extensive experience in the preparation of operational and capital budgets and most importantly, ensuring the spending plans are delivered on-time and on-budget. He has worked closely with civic organizations, local business leaders, not-for-profits, veterans’ groups and numerous youth and adult sports organizations to assist in resolving concerns and helping to carry out their missions and goals.
As a public servant for 25 years, Don has always strived to carry out his responsibilities in a fair and honest manner. He understands the importance of being accessible to the public and doing what it takes to assist those in need.