HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. After 26 years as the superintendent of the Hastings Recreation Department, Ray Gomes decided now was as good a time as ever to start his retirement.
Time flies, he said. I turn 55 in May and my plan all along was to retire at 55 and its almost like a rebirth. Its time to start a second life.
The village had a retirement dinner Thursday for Gomes at the Rainwater Grill in Hastings as village staff, family and friends celebrated his milestone.
Ray hired me about four and a half years ago and just to be given the chance to work here when I was still in high school was amazing, said Hastings recreation assistant Bryan Healy. Hes just given me so many opportunities. He was a fantastic boss.
I think my biggest accomplishment was rebuilding the infrastructure of the village," Gomes said. "We built the pool, we built a new community center, we rebuilt the cove, we acquired Draper Park; every facility over my tenure got an upgrade.
Kendra Garrison, who is filling in as the acting superintendent of recreation, said her time working with Gomes has been memorable.
I worked with him for almost 11 years and the opportunity to run new programs was great, she said. He was very understanding and Ill miss him.
Working with a small staff in the recreation department, Gomes said the people he works alongside have been one of the highlights of his career.
Hiring a quality staff that has a lot of energy and a lot of passion and they check their egos at the door so thats probably the biggest thing Im going to miss, he said.
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