A life-long resident of the Bronx, John Marano was raised in Morris Park and in Throggs Neck where his family owned Dom’s Bakery on East Tremont Ave. He attended St. Dominick’s School, St. Frances DeChantal, and St Raymond’s High School for Boys. After graduating high school he worked in his family‘s bakery where his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic. He entered the New York City Police Academy in 1988. After his training in Washington Heights he was assigned as an officer in the 23 Precinct in East Harlem. In 1996 he transferred to the OCCB Narcotics Division in Manhattan. In May 1998, he entered the NYC Fire Academy and served the city as a firefighter for over eight years until his retirement in 2006.
During his retirement, John had a strong desire to serve the community. He volunteered as a coach for his son’s various sports teams. Then, in April 2007, he was asked by City Councilman, James Vacca, to serve as a volunteer board member on Community Board 10, in the Bronx. Two years later, he was appointed to chair the Municipal Service Committee. This position involved working directly with city agencies handling community issues. In June 2010, he was elected as Chairman of Community Board 10. He was voted in to serve four consecutive years as Chairman.
During his tenure as chairman, Marano worked closely with several elected officials on many community issues. He met with the NYPD Chief of the Department to discuss manpower issues in the 45 precinct and helped increase police protection in the neighborhood. As a former police officer, Marano knows the importance of having a strong police presence and continues to work hard to increase police manpower. In addition, he worked closely with the NYC Planning Agency to deal with zoning issues in the community as well as with the administrators of the NYC Parks Department working to keep the neighborhood parks clean and safe. Marano worked closely with the City Island Community Association and Senator Klein’s office helping to make sure that the new design of the City Island Bridge fit in with community landscape.
In June 2014, he was elected as First Vice Chair of Community Board 10, a position which he currently holds. In addition to serving on the board, Marano volunteers in many local organizations as well. Marano was asked to serve as a member of the New York State Rising Community Reconstruction Program, a state program that provides assistance to communities severely damaged by hurricanes and storms. (Locust Point Civic Association) Marano is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the residents of his neighborhood. He does this by helping residents deal with local traffic situations as a member of the East Bronx Traffic Coalition (EBTC), serving as a community partner for the 45 precinct, and sitting on the Community Advisory Board at Jacobi Medical Center . During the summer of 2015, Marano worked closely with the Throggs Neck Merchants Association to beautify the neighborhood by cleaning up the tree pits along the sidewalks. Teaming up with John Provetto, and Officer Malafronte, they continually remove graffiti from highways, commercial strips , and residential areas within the confines of the 45 Precinct.
Marano currently resides in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx, with his wife, Luz, and their three sons, John “JC”, Christian, and Andrew, who attend local community schools.
John Marano’s life has been all about re-inventing himself.
He’s been a police officer, firefighter, businessman and now chair of Community Board 10 covering Country Club, Pelham Bay and Throggs Neck.
And as far as he’s concerned, the community’s troubles are his, as a resident of Throggs Neck, living with wife Luz and kids John Christopher, Christian and Andrew.
“I don’t just look out for my block,” said Marano. “Whatever the community needs, I’m there.”
Marano, now 46, attended St. Frances de Chantal grammar school and later St. Raymond’s High School for boys, playing baseball.
And on days he wasn’t playing catcher, he was at Dom’s Bakery, parents Dominick and Lenore’s pastry shop where Tosca’s Restaurant now stands.
“We were very attached to the neighborhood,” said Marano, remembering his parents donating to local little league groups.
Marano said he learned leadership qualities from his folks, always taught to make decisions on his own.
But he had been indecisive about his career options. He thought Westchester Community College would answer it. It didn’t.
Back at the bakery once again, Marano’s dad had other plans for him – the NYPD.
“Once I left school,” recalled Marano, “Dad said ‘don’t think you’re staying at my house milking me.’”
Marano signed up to the force in 1987, later assigned to Harlem’s 23rd Precinct, and later assigned to the Narcotics Division, working housing projects in the 1990s when thugs would often throw cement buckets from rooftops or even fire at officers.
“We were driving and someone threw a liquor bottle from the projects,” said Marano. “It landed in the windshield, we thought we were getting shot at.”
But after 11 years on the force, Marano decided he wanted to try something else – the FDNY, where he was assigned to Engine 38/Ladder 51 in Eastchester.
Then came 9/11, with Marano spending three months at Ground Zero, sifting through the rubble for body parts.
“I cried,” Marano said. “But I’m a very strong-minded person.”
His toughness helped when he fractured his back while responding to a fatal fire in Pelham Bay in 2004, abruptly ending his firefighting career after over six years.
After recuperating, Marano opened Waterburys, a local Throggs Neck bar where he would hold teen nights for area youths.
The Friday events caught the attention of Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who recommended Marano join CB10.
He was eventually voted as CB10 chair, at the forefront of resolving community issues, all the while hoping his kids walk away with the same pride Marano’s dad instilled in him growing up.
“I want to teach my kids what my father taught me,” said Marano. “Don’t break under pressure.”
David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383
©2013 COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP
((l-r) Police officer Frank Malafronte, 45th Precinct captain Danielle Raia, Senator Jeff Klein, and volunteer John Marano stand at one of the cleanup sites, above a commercial shopping area at Hobart and Westchester avenues.
Assemblyman Gjonji and John Bonizio with John Marano at the "Stars Gala"
With Senator Klein at Jacobi Hospital for at the "Stand up to Violence (SUV) "