Mancino lauded as he presides over his final Hawthorn Woods village board meeting
Longtime Hawthorn Woods Mayor Joe Mancino was lauded by village colleagues, peers from surrounding communities and leaders from across the state Monday as he presided over his final village board meeting, ending 11 years as the town's top elected official.
Before a packed room of well-wishers, Mancino said he's moving to Chicago to start a new phase of his life.
"It was time," said Mancino, who formally announced his resignation Feb. 4. "I'm an empty nester; we are downsizing."
The village board unanimously appointed Dominick DiMaggio, a village trustee since 2010, to serve as mayor until the next municipal election in April 2021.
Mancino's legacy includes presiding over a financial turnaround, enacting a five-year capital plan for the village, modernizing the police and public works departments, and opposing the controversial proposal to extend Route 53 into Lake County.
He said Monday he is moving into a two-bedroom condo in Lincoln Park on March 2 and has accepted a position as a new member at the Metropolitan Planning Council, a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on economic development, housing and transportation issues. He's also enrolled in acting classes at Second City.
Before he left, friends and colleagues from his 11 years as mayor of Hawthorn Woods gave him a proper send-off Monday night. It included a slideshow of photos from Mancino's tenure played to the "Rocky" theme song -- a nod to his status as a licensed amateur boxer.
The Lake County Board released a proclamation commemorating his service, and the Illinois Senate gave him a certificate of recognition, which was accompanied by a letter from state Sen. Dan McConchie.
The mayors of Kildeer, Lake Zurich, Wauconda, Long Grove, Barrington and Deer Park showed up to wish him well. The Lake County Municipal League, Metropolitan Mayors' Caucus, Illinois Association of Park Districts and Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County also honored his contributions.
Finally, the village board passed a resolution recognizing Mancino as "a highly respected public servant" and expressing "heartfelt" gratitude and appreciation.
"It is humbling to hear all these folks coming out to see me off," Mancino said. "But it's also not surprising, because this village is filled with compassionate, good people."
When it came time for him to step down, Mancino delivered a thank-you speech to the village. He said his proudest achievement was assembling such a strong municipal team.
"I enjoyed doing this immensely, but the fact is that I stood on the shoulders of so many people," he said. "I'm going to come back and visit often. This is not a goodbye for me. It's, I'll see you later."
His remarks received a standing ovation.
"I know I have some massive shoes to fill with Mayor Joe, and I hope to make him proud," DiMaggio said.