After 11 years, Mancino to step aside as Hawthorn Woods mayor
After 11 years, Joe Mancino is stepping aside as Hawthorn Woods mayor.
Perhaps best known as a feisty opponent of the now defunct proposal to extend Route 53 into Lake County, Mancino ran unopposed for the office in 2009 and was reelected in 2013 and 2017.
In a special announcement Tuesday, he told residents he will be relocating out of town in March and relinquishing the gavel effective Feb. 24 as a result.
"Through the years, I have had the chance to get to know you -- your emails, letters, phone calls and the impromptu grocery store meetings," he wrote.
"Doing so has shown me the goodness of our residents and it inspired me to work hard, always shoot straight and never give up."
Mancino, 54, who owns a billboard advertising company, told residents that as an immigrant, he appreciated the opportunities he has been afforded.
"I have always believed in volunteerism and service to others and serving as mayor has been the pinnacle of that belief," he said.
While self-effacing about his 5-foot, 6-inch stature, Mancino has been a sizable force in Lake County and tenacious supporter of the village and its initiatives.
Over the past 11 years, the village has seen a financial turnaround, upgraded and modernized the police and public works departments, enacted a 5-year capital plan, paid down debt without incurring new debt and increased the number of free special events, Mancino said.
One of the village's first major actions during his tenure was to appoint Pam Newton as the village's chief operating officer. She remains in that role today.
He credited the village's professional staff for much of the success.
"I have stood on the shoulders of all these people as they humbly serve this village," he wrote.
Mancino also served as head of the Lake County Municipal League and represents the village and county on the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.
During his tenure, Mancino also became a licensed amateur boxer. Over the past two years of what he described as intense life-changing training for Golden Gloves competition, he dropped 45 pounds and built stamina.