COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Tom Pinto is the president and treasurer of the Doug Bay Manor Civic Association in Douglaston. He attends community board meetings, collects dues, writes newsletters and maintains property. The Association has fought, since 1960, to get new sewer systems, new roads and is currently fighting the city to have a “pocket park,” a small park accessible to the general public, placed in the community. They also want a “Welcome to Doug Bay” sign placed at the entrance to the neighborhood, just north of the Long Island Rail Road’s Port Washington line. “It’s small things to people but big things to us, said Pinto.”
JOB: Pinto was the assistant director of patient accounts in the billing office of Elmhurst Hospital for 25 years and has been retired since 2003. His basic job responsibilities were “to keep collecting money to keep the hospital remaining viable.”
PERSONAL: Born and raised in Jamaica Estates, Pinto, 61, lived in Maspeth for a year and currently resides in the “back bay” section of Douglaston with his wife of 20 years, Anita Pitas. He attended Jamaica High School and then graduated from Queens College in 1974 with a Liberal Arts degree. Now, in his free time he plays video games, spends time with his friends and runs errands. “Retirement gets a bit boring but I do my best to keep myself busy,” he said.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: When Pinto moved in to the neighborhood, nestled along the southeastern rim of Little Neck Bay, the streets were sinking and flooding; he joined the Association founded by the late Edward Jawin, and the improvement campaign. Pinto said his biggest challenge as the president of the Association was “getting the roads in the community fixed and trying to get people to come out to the meetings.”
FAVORITE MEMORY: After going to numerous meetings over the years to get the community’s roads fixed, Pinto said it was “very gratifying to have that done. They repaved all the streets and redid the sidewalks and the sewers. Everything came out nice and they did a great job.”
INSPIRATION: “I was a new resident [and] homeowner and I was approached via the mail about the organization. I went to a meeting and got involved. It’s good to get into your community and to watch and see that things are going right,” Pinto said. “It’s a beautiful place to live and we try to keep it that way.”