GC Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs to speak

Rotary will welcome as guest speaker, Paul Blake, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and of Cultural and of Recreational Affairs, Village of Garden City, on Tuesday, May 24. The Commissioner is pictured at the tree planting on Arbor Day.

On Tuesday, May 24, at 12:15, at its lunch meeting at Calogero’s Italian Restaurant, Mineola-Garden City Rotary will be pleased to welcome as guest speaker, Paul Blake, Village of Garden City’s Chairman of the Board of Commissioners and of Cultural and Recreational Affairs. Commissioner Blake will enlighten Rotarians and Guests about the inner workings of cultural affairs and of the field of Recreation and Parks.

According to its website, the Garden City Department of Recreation and Parks takes pride in its mission to enhance the lives of residents.  It fosters a sense of community by providing diverse and valued parks and open recreational facilities along with a wide variety of programs and activities for Garden City Residents of all ages – all which have achieved the Village’s recognition as a unique and model community.

Of note, the Parks Department plants more than 100 new trees each year and this fall, planted 47,000 tulip bulbs currently in full bloom throughout the commercial districts and specific areas throughout the Village.

As Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Paul Blake recalls his work in the field since 1971 when he began as a part time Recreation Attendant.  He held numerous jobs throughout the years which included Superintendent of Recreation from 1994 to early 2001.

It was then, in 2001, that Paul left Garden City to work for the Town of North Hempstead as a Deputy Commissioner of Parks. a position he held until he took retirement in 2010.

Paul went on to operate a successful training and consulting firm from 2010 until spring of 2019.  It was then that he was hired as a consultant by the Village of Garden City to assist in the operation of the Recreation Department while a new Parks Commissioner was sought.  After several months as a consultant, Paul was encouraged to apply for the Parks Commissioner position, and after an extensive search and interview procedure, was hired as Commissioner in October of 2019.

The cliche “what goes around comes around!” appears to apply in Paul’s case, for he says it all actually started as a 17 year old “kid” working at Garden City’s Nassau Haven Park!  Another interesting note: Paul is married to Garden City Village Clerk, Karen Altman.

Guests are welcome to hear Commissioner Paul Blake’s talk while enjoying a great Calogero’s lunch of choice (fee, $35 payable at the door.) To reserve, please email Diane Marmann, Club president at diane.marmann@gmail.com

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