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Riding Off Into The Sunset

Village trustees, staff bid

Robert Schoelle, Jr. farewell

All good things must come to an end and for Robert Schoelle, Jr., that would be the 34 years he spent as the Village of Garden City’s chief administrative officer. Schoelle attended his final board of trustees meeting in this capacity on Thursday, March 20. The long-time village resident has held the post since 1980 and served under 18 mayors.

“I would like to thank the boards of trustees for giving me the opportunity to be of service to this wonderful community. It has been an honor and something that I will never forget,” he said.

Mayor John Watras said Schoelle has been “a big brother and great friend” over the years. “I can’t say enough about him,” he said. “We just think the world of him and we’re going to miss him an awful lot.”

“When the history of Garden City is written, the names that will be associated with Garden City are Stewart, Hubbell and Schoelle,” Trustee Dennis Donnelly added.

During his tenure, Schoelle oversaw and coordinated projects too numerous to list that have greatly improved the quality of life in the village. Some highlights include establishment of the Belmont Festival; beautification of Garden City’s three business districts; designation of Stewart and Franklin avenues as the Garden City Village Green; purchase of the St. Paul’s campus and improvement of the surrounding playing fields; and, most recently, renovation of the Garden City Pool.

Trustees and village staff alike praised the tireless leadership of the exiting chief administrative officer.

Village Clerk Brian Ridgway applauded his unwavering dedication to Garden City, stating, “It’s second to none … It was common for Bob Schoelle to be on the fire scene, at a water main break, at a snowstorm, whatever type of situation this village had, this man was there.”

This was evident when Superstorm Sandy hit. Schoelle and his staff immediately moved into action. He worked closely with the departments of public works, police and fire in an effort to quickly clear streets of debris as the storm downed more than 650 village trees. His coordination of the monumental operation brought accolades not only from residents and business owners but from other municipalities as well.

“He has always done what’s in the best interest of the village,” Trustee Robert Bolebruch said.

Trustee Andrew Cavanaugh, who has served five years on the board of trustees, said Schoelle was one of the best teachers he’s ever had. “In his quiet way, in his conversational way, in his narrative manner, he really imparts an awful lot of information and an awful lot of his experience, which he shares so graciously with all of us, certainly with me,” he said. “I found it to be a wonderful learning experience to work alongside Bob.”

Schoelle, who retires effective March 31, will serve as a short-term consultant to aid his successor, Ralph V. Suozzi, during the transition.

The village intends to host an event in Schoelle’s honor, Mayor Watras announced. He will receive the Garden City Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Award at this year’s Pineapple Ball, to be held May 9 at The Garden City Hotel.

News

The Senior Advisory Committee is the Senior group that helps plan trips, parties, and programs for all seniors in cooperation with the recreation and parks department. It consists of: Kathy Auro, Richard Bankowsky, Evelyn Iagrossi, Joe Leto, Ellen Moynahan, and Gloria Weinrich. Please feel free to suggest trips to anyone on the committee.

Preparedness is the best remedy for Ebola

Winthrop University Hospital hosted a presentation on the current Ebola epidemic, at the Garden City Library, on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Sponsored by the village’s Property Owners’ Associations, John F. Collins, president and CEO of Winthrop University Hospital and Dr. Michael Ammazzalorso, Winthrop’s Chief Medical Officer provided an overview of the disease along with an update on Winthrop’s preparedness plan.

Dr. Ammazzalorso began his presentation heeding that despite the waning in the press, the disease is still with us. He provided both historical and current day perspectives regarding the epidemic, advising that Ebola is not a new disease. The medical community has been aware of the disease for at least 40 years. Originating in the Congo, Ebola is a zoonosis a disease which has its reservoir in animals and was known for small sporadic outbreaks associated with people who handled bats and rodents or those who consumed bush meat. The current outbreak originated in West Africa, specifically Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. He noted in Africa that more than 45,000 people have died from the disease.


Sports

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes begin the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, please visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave. Space is limited so please register early.


Calendar

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, December 1

AARP Driver Safety Program

Tuesday, December 2

Here Comes Brother Sun

Friday, December 5



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

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