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Head of Hastings Rec Dept Retires After 26 Years

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 it’s almost like a rebirth. It’s 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. “He’s 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 I’ll 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 that’s probably the biggest thing I’m going to miss,” he said.

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