1999-08-07 / Front Page

Super Leaves Park For Breezy Post

Buckley Bolts Gateway

Longtime Superintendent of Gateway National Park Service, Kevin Buckley retired from the post and has accepted a position of General Manager of the Breezy Point Co-op.

Buckley, vacationing in Ireland was unavailable for comment.

Billy Garrett has been named acting superintendent; Terry Savage, currently working for the Park Service in Boston will become Interim Superintendent until Buckley’s successor is chosen after a formal application process, and Washington approval, later in the year.

Buckley’s move surprised many Gateway employees although rumors had spread to parks in other states that he was on the way out.

Buckley, a Brooklyn native, first arrived in Gateway in 1980 and later became a deputy superintendent at the Statue of Liberty. In 1990 he was named superintendent of Gateway. Under his stewardship, the park’s bird sanctuary gained a national reputation, the Rockaway Little League found a home at Fort Tilden, renovation of the bathhouse at Riis park got underway, and Fort Wadsworth in Staten island was opened to the public.

Buckley’s tenure was also marked by budget cutbacks which sometimes meant understaffing of the park and deterioration of facilities. He leaves with a considerable amount of "unfinished business." Besides the incomplete renovation of the bathhouse, Buckley had plans to raze the blue-nose hangar on Flatbush avenue by year’s end. As he assumes the Breezy post, Gateway still wants for a sports complex, a completed bike path, and a swimming pool at Riis Park----all projects Buckley attempted to launch.

Whether his successor pursues these goals remains to be seen.

Buckley continues to live in Brooklyn but has summered in Breezy Point for years.

Although it is unclear what all of Buckley’s responsibilities will be at his new post in Breezy, many have noted the relationship between the Co-op---which sits on federal land--- and Gateway. Besides the protection of endangered birds in the area there are many issues surrounding land use.

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