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West New York honors local doctors

The town also honored retiring municipal employees at its last meeting of the year

WNY honored Dr. Gastell (left) and Dr. Verea (right) with a proclamation at its Dec. 15 meeting.

The West New York Board of Commissioners have passed multiple proclamations honoring two local doctors and retiring municipal employees.

The town honored two doctors including Dr. Jorge Verea and Dr. Gilberto Gastell. While neither doctor was present at the virtual meeting on Dec. 15, Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez praised the doctors as being essential amid the pandemic.

“We wanted to have it on the agenda today,” Rodriguez said. “We wanted to be sure that we ended the year thanking these two very important physicians to this community, not only for their outstanding service throughout the years, but more importantly for their service throughout this pandemic.”

Rodriguez said that both Verea and Gastell were pivotal in the establishment of West New York’s vaccination distribution center at Memorial High School in conjunction with Holy Name Medical Center.

“They have been extremely instrumental not only in helping us in guiding us through the process, but in establishing our vaccination site,” he said. “They were key players in making that site successful.”

Commissioner Margarita Guzman echoed Rodriguez, adding that she had personally been treated by one of the doctors.

“As the mayor said, they have been instrumental in bringing this partnership with Holy Name and our community to ensure that everyone gets immunizations,” Guzman said. “They’ve been there through these difficult times and they’re still standing. And it has special meaning for me, because what I am one patients that Dr. Gastell treated.”

According to Rodriguez, the town will be presenting them with the proclamation in person soon.

Saying goodbye to retiring employees

Rodriguez also offered his thanks to the retiring municipal employees prior to the passage of the proclamations.

“We would like to outline and celebrate those individuals who are retiring this year, many of which you see on the proclamation have served this community for many years,” he said.

According to Rodriguez: Kathleen Lordo served the town for 53 years; Carmela Ricci served for 33 years; Maria Barrios served for 32 years; Ruben Candelaria served for 26 years; Patricia De Luca served for 25 years; Nelson Rodriguez served 25 years; Estela Longo-salvador served for 25 years; and Michael James served 22 years of service.

“We want to make sure that we recognize those individuals who have given so many of their years to serve our residents in our community want to thank them,” he said. “So that’s why we have this proclamation.”

At the end of the meeting, Rodriguez took time to recognize those municipal employees who aren’t retiring but have been vital to keeping the town going. Rodriguez also thanked Special Projects Manager Jonathan Castaneda, Business Administrator Luis Baez, the Police Department, among other municipal employees and emergency personnel, as well as Holy Name Medical Center.

“What a year it has been,” Rodriguez said. “I want to take the opportunity to thank everybody that is on this meeting on this call that works very diligently to make this ship move. I want to thank Commissioner Margarita Guzman of Finance for watching the pennies and making sure that we’re all in line and obviously for all her efforts in making our Cultural Affairs department shine bright, especially for our kids. I want to thank Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo for doing the best that you can under the pandemic and quarantining and providing our kids and our seniors with something to do and positivity during a very difficult time.

“I want to thank Commissioner Victor Barrera, who does an outstanding job with our senior program. It has been very difficult as we all know to reach our seniors during this pandemic, especially during the quarantine. He has been outstanding and reaching out to them, reaching out for their needs, their health needs, and getting them vaccinated. Last but not least, I’d like to thank the Public Works Department under Commisioner Yoleisy Yanez who continues to try and make this community clean and safe. It has been a task because the pandemic has made everything more difficult, we all know this, but we are trying our best and I think we are succeeding within that.

“This has not been an easy year, we all know this. We have all felt this. But as you all know, thank you is the most important thing you will ever learn to say. And so I’m thanking you guys on the record for all that you do.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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