Harris Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, December 4, 2000


Victor “Little Bear” Rivera is the Bronx’s Employee of the Month for November. Victor began with Parks on September 25, 1989. He is a CPW and works with the fix-it crew in District 7 which includes Bronx Park, Harris Park and Williamsbridge Oval. Victor helps repair benches, fencing and play equipment in the district. In addition, Victor is effectively working with the borough sportskoter crew helping to renovate basketball and handball courts boro-wide. For his hard work in the Bronx, Victor was nominated by Fisherman, the 1998 Employee of the Year.

Benito “Bassman” Soto is Brooklyn’s Employee of the Month for November. Benito started with Parks on June 23, 1999 and is a maintenance worker in District 8 which includes Lincoln Terrace and Brower Park. Benito performs a wide variety of repairs including replacing swings, fixing benches and water fountains. Under time pressure, Benito recently took down and replaced an aging wall in St. John’s Recreation Center. For his hard work and dedication, Benito was nominated by Troutman.

Mahmoud A. “Khoffo” Gouda is Capital Projects’ Employee of the Month for October. Khoffo started with Parks on February 14, 1995 and is a Resident Engineer for Manhattan Construction. His job is to oversee the work of private construction contractors, and to ensure that all work is done correctly, on budget and on time. His recent projects include Carl Schurz Playground, Happy Warrior Playground, and LaGuardia Playground, which was completed one month ahead of schedule. At Happy Warrior Playground, Khotto also worked long hours to ensure that a previously unknown underground fuel tank was removed and the playground reopened within one week of discovery. A talented self-starter, Khotto was nominated by Waldorf.

Mohammed R. “Razorcat” Mashayekhi is Capital Projects’ Employee of the Month for November. Mohammed joined Parks on June 9, 1997 as an Associate Engineer. Mohammed began in the Environmental unit of Engineering and has now joined the Structural Engineering group. He has designed many water supply drainage systems and has worked on projects such as the $3 million structural renovation of the Ederly Amphitheater. He also worked on the Fort Washington Rock Slide project and Cromwell Center, and he has just completed schematics for the Midland Beach Fishing Pier, a $5 million project. Skilled and well liked, Mohammed was nominated by Energy.

Ramesh “Ramses” Ramkaran is Citywide Services’ Employee of the Month for November. Ramesh joined Parks on April 19, 1999 as a senior auto service worker at Cunningham Garage in Queens. While there, Ramesh helped Cunningham lower its out of service rate from 8.1% in 1998 to 5.4% in 1999. Ramesh is now an auto mechanic at 5-Boro Garage where he is an important part of efforts to achieve similar improvements at our largest repair facility. Hard working, competent and cheerful, Ramesh was nominated by Kermit.

Erica L. “Westerly” Messing is Management’s Employee of the Month for November. Westerly began with Parks on July 5, 1999 after graduating from Wellesley College and majoring in Psychology. As part of Marketing & Special Events, she has helped coordinate Central Park's largest family events, the Easter Eggstravaganza and Great Halloween Party. She has spearheaded recreational programs and events ranging from the citywide beach volleyball tournament to Silicon Park: A Design Your Own Park Contest. Westerly has also demonstrated her ability to secure sponsorships for Parks events and programs by recruiting companies such as Parmalat, M&M Mars, and New Line Cinema. For her hard work and long hours, Westerly was nominated by WorldWide.

Felix “The Cat” Perez is Manhattan’s Employee of the Month for November. Felix began with Parks on August 2, 1993 and works as a WEP Crew Chief in District 6, which includes Stuyvesant Square and Hammarskjold Park. For the 2000 inspection year, District 6 has received ratings of 86.4% Overall and 95.5% Cleanliness. Felix supervises and instructs 12 WEP participants in park cleaning and maintenance. This past summer, Felix also taught 23 Summer Youth Employment Participants the fundamentals of park operations, including planting and horticulture. Conscientious and organized, Felix was nominated by Borokeete.

Ella “Lion Queen” Ray is Queens’ Employee of the Month for November. Ella began with Parks on October 5, 1987 and is a CPW and seasonal APSW working from Cunningham Park. Year round, Ella operates heavy equipment including packers, dump trucks and rack trucks. This fall, she is also the main leaf vacuum operator for the borough. In the summer of 2000, Ella completed a successful first year as a seasonal pool supervisor at Astoria Pool. A dedicated Parkie, who maintains a small garden in Cunningham Park on her own time, Ella was nominated by PPS Steven Graf.

Arthur S. “I.A. One” Caprario is Staten Island’s Employee of the Month for November. Arthur joined Parks on June 8, 1999 and works as a City Park Worker in District 1, which includes Clove Lakes and Silver Lake parks. For the 2000 inspection year, District 1 has received ratings of 86% for Overall and 89.5% for Cleanliness. Arthur’s responsibilities include graffiti removal, trash removal, and minor repairs. This past summer, Arthur was stepped up to a PS. In that role, his responsibilities included Lyons Pool at Cromwell Recreation Center, the largest pool on Staten Island. For his hard work, Arthur was nominated by Outlaw.

Samantha L. “Scarlett” Brownstein is the Commissioner’s Employee of the Month for November. Scarlett began with Parks on September 27, 1999 as an analyst with Budget. There, she worked in the revenue and permits unit, helping to manage the Parks Store and to monitor recreation center finances. This September, Scarlett made the jump to Arsenal West as Deputy Director of Payroll and Benefits, assuming much of the role previously played by Rosebud. Scarlett is coordinating the Municipal Campaign, helping veteran employees understand the new retirement opportunities, and ensuring that all employees take full advantage of the city’s benefits programs. Focused and hardworking, Scarlett is a rising talent in administration. She was nominated by Starkeast and Liquidator.

By Keith (Kermit) Kerman and Laura (Lollipop) Gaul

(Monday, December 7, 1987)


“Happy Trails to You” was the theme song along the Central Park bridle path this past week where workers from the Central Park Conservancy joined forces with over a dozen Manhattan Borough Parkies in an intensive effort to stabilize and smooth the badly eroded bridle path. The five day spruce up and repaving of the path was concentrated at four sites surrounding the Reservoir: 96th Street and Transverse Road—lower level; 93rd through 95th Streets—West side: 7th Pumphouse Bridge—86th Street and East Drive; 96th Street and Transverse Road—upper level at East Drive.


Work: “Something made greater by ourselves and in turn that makes us greater.”

Maya Angelou (b. 1928)

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