He is a former schoolteacher and social worker, a world-renowned furniture designer and, later, a master event planner for the likes of former Mayor Ed Koch and UNICEF.
These days, he sells hot dogs.
Mauro, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, owns and operates a hot dog stand called The Landing at the picturesque Fulton Ferry Landing in DUMBO. But don’t let the red apron and latex gloves fool you: Mauro, who has come out of retirement more than once, is also the president of the Fulton Ferry Business Association.
He said he helped found the group, which consists of the roughly one-dozen businesses on Old Fulton Street, in 2008 in order to protect small business interests in one of Brooklyn’s most iconic, well-traveled neighborhoods.
“We’re a band of twelve, but we’ve found out we have an army behind us,” said Mauro. “We’re not just a drop in the bucket.”
Indeed, the business association represents approximately 300 employees, and pays the city of New York $4 million annually in taxes, fees, and licenses, according to Mauro.
He believes this entitles the group to have say in all matters concerning Fulton Ferry Landing, though the city, apparently, disagrees.
Mauro said in planning the building of nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park, neither city nor state officials have solicited advice or suggestions from his business association.
Mauro is opposed to a city plan that would alter the configuration of Fulton Ferry’s unique open plaza, which has breathtaking views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan that have changed very little over time.
For small business owners like Mauro’s, to a large extent those views constitute their livelihoods, attracting tourists to the area’s growing collection of waterside restaurants and bars.
“Our goal is to keep the commercial and mercantile feel of the street alive,” Mauro said. “We’re trying to protect the integrity of the block.”