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EXCLUSIVE: CB1 chairwoman Catherine McVay Hughes not seeking reelection

Community Board 1 chairwoman Catherine McVay Hughes
Community Board 1 chairwoman Catherine McVay Hughes

BY YANNIC RACK  |

It’s the end of an era.

Catherine McVay Hughes, who has chaired Downtown’s Community Board 1 since 2012, will not seek reelection for a third term this year.

Hughes is expected to announce her intention to step down at the board’s monthly meeting on Apr. 26.

She has not yet given notice to the board office or CB1’s Nominating Committee, which solicits applications for community board positions, but confirmed her plans to Downtown Express after a committee meeting last week.

It wasn’t immediately clear if she would remain on the board in another function or will turn her talents to another endeavor after she steps down in June.

Anthony Notaro, current vice-chairman of the board and chairman of its Battery Park City Committee, plans to run for Hughes’s position, while Tribeca Committee chair Elizabeth Lewinsohn is aiming to replace him as vice-chair, according to the Nominating Committee.

Notaro previously ran against former CB1 chairwoman Julie Menin in 2005 but received only one vote.

Other applicants can still come forward to apply for any position — secretary, assistant secretary and treasurer are also up for grabs — before the full board meeting in May, where a final slate of applicants will be presented. Officers will then be elected by written ballot at the board’s June meeting.

If there are two or more candidates for any position, the board will schedule a special meeting for debate before the vote.

So far, current secretary Adam Malitz and current treasurer Joel Kopel are seeking reelection. Dennis Gault, the assistant secretary, has not handed in an application yet.

All CB1 offices are elected for two-year terms, with a maximum of three consecutive terms.

Hughes served as vice-chair for six years before she replaced Menin — now the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment — when the former chairwoman stepped down in 2012 at the end of her third term.

Hughes, who has lived with her family one block from the World Trade Center since 1988, has been an ardent advocate on many Downtown issues, from the James Zadroga Act and the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, to working with the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center and city agencies for many years on construction safety and mitigation in the area.

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