BY LYNN EDMONDS
Marilyn Bitterman, Community Board 7’s long-time District Manager, bid the board goodbye at Monday’s meeting, the last before summer break.
Bitterman is preparing to retire after 40 years with CB 7. She worked part-time with the board since its inception in 1976, before transitioning to full-time in the role of Assistant District Manager in 1984. Four years later, Bitterman was promoted to District Manager, a position she has held until today.
During her tenure, Bitterman has helped organized events such as Lunar New Year and the Korean American Internal Fair, and she has worked with immigrants from Korean and China to make sure their small businesses are compliant with city and state regulations.
Bitterman is also involved in the community in a myriad of other ways, including with the Administration for Children’s Services. She sits on the Community Advisory Boards of Flushing Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital Queens. She graduated from the Citizen’s Police Academy in 2000 and is Co-President of the Bay Terrace Garden Jewish Center.
Chair Eugene Kelty thanked her for her service, along with elected officials bearing proclamations, including Councilmen Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing).
“This is one of the very largest community boards in the city, and it’s very hard to manage, and she’s done a wonderful job,” Kim said.
The board also had a banquet table set up with cookies and other treats in her honor, and allotted time for attendees to socialize and wish her well under a large banner reading “Happy Retirement.”
“Marilyn I’m going to miss you very much. You’ve been fantastic for us. You taught so many of us how to be good community people, thank you,” Kelty said.
He stressed Bitterman’s role behind the scenes in getting things accomplished for the community.
“The chair person may be this focal point for everything that goes on, but it’s really the District Manager that knows what is actually going on,” Kelty said. “They meet with the city agencies. They hold them accountable.”
Kelty read aloud from a letter that Bitterman wrote to him and the rest of the board.
“You and I have been on a very interesting and at times whirlwind journey over the past 32 years, over half of a lifetime,” she wrote.
Though she said she was ready to retire and “live life to its fullest,” Bitterman said she would continue to maintain her connection with the board.
“If you need the help, I will be there for you as well as the board, which has become my second and perhaps closest family,” she said.
Her last day will be Aug. 25.
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400 x127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Ellinoamerikana