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Hamburg village Mayor Thomas J. Moses Sr. is known for putting his heart and soul into the southern Erie County community that he loves.

But Monday night he announced at the Village Board meeting that his heart is making him step back. He will, however, continue to serve as mayor.

“I did not have a heart attack,” said Moses. “My coronary artery was 97 percent blocked.”

Last Monday night, he went to the hospital, where a stent placed in his blood vessel. Word spread quickly around the village of 9,400, where the former longtime recreation director was just elected to his third term.

“I was blessed. I was back home on Thursday,” Moses said, as his voice broke with tears and he struggled, not always successfully, to control his emotions. “I’ve got to take it a little easy.”

Village Board members were wiping their eyes as he continued: “I do have to back off some of the commitments that I have. It will be just for a short period of time.”

Moses, who turned 67 last month, said he had exhibited signs of heart trouble, but he ignored them and “didn’t practice what I preach.” Lest he forget, he has a copy of the film taken during his stent procedure in his appointment book. The reminder shows his artery almost totally blocked, and then fully open after the stent was inserted.

Moses said he will cut down on his activities, but remains committed to serving his four-year term. He noted that Saturday’s Music Fest was successful. Although he couldn’t be on hand as he has in the past, he was inspired that workers and volunteers came through. “This is a great community, great support,” he said.

“My phones went off the hook, which is good, because I was not allowed to take my cell phone to the hospital.”

The mayor, who also has attended many meetings of the Hamburg Central School Board in the last year as a resident and observer, said he will step back from his involvement in the school district as well.

“This village is the utmost, the greatest thing that I can say that has come forward in my lifetime, and I’ve been a person to never say no,” he said.

“There are certain things I’m going to have to say no to. That’s hard but I will be here to do my utmost best for this village.”

He thanked residents for their support, announced the next Village Board meeting is June 2, and adjourned the meeting.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com