BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Community Board 1’s longtime chairman Vinicio Donato and district manager Lucille Hartmann announced Tuesday night that they will both retire before the end of the summer.
The Board – which covers Astoria and parts of Long Island City and Woodside – appeared saddened by the announcement and thanked Donato and Hartmann for their years of service in rounds of applause.
Hartmann, who has been CB1 district manager since 2008, will retire as of July. Donato will stay to the end of August, through the transition to a new district manager. He said a committee of Board members will review applications before bringing candidates to the full Board.
“I can’t believe that this much time has passed,” Hartmann told the Board. “I’ve just been blessed and I thank you all for the opportunity.”
Donato became CB 1 chairman in 1976.
“I think I’ve had enough time,” he said. “It’s really been a pleasure.”
In a conversation with the Queens Tribune, the chairman reflected on issues that were close to his heart over his time with CB 1.
“One thing that I fought personally for the longest time was to build a new high school, and we finally got that,” he said, referring to the construction of a new building for Long Island City High School.
He also contemplated changes in the district over the decades, from a neighborhood of one- and two-family houses to bigger residences and a more commercial region.
“Some say that’s improvement,” he said, but noted that he would prefer smaller family homes to dominate.
“Over the years, we’ve had very nice board members,” Donato added. “They’re good people, they give their time.”
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, email@example.com or @JNStrawbridge.