James moved to the borough of Spring City at the end of 1999. His home is one of a few original homes in town (The Paper Mill Mansion) and Jim is
happy to be a part of preserving the history of the borough.
• James served six years on Borough council and was instrumental in helping to move the borough forward in technology.
He is neither a lawyer or a career politician and approaches problems with the precision analysis of a software developer.
• James is an independent software developer and consultant with experience in mainframe and web development.
He is currently working at a major international financial software firm and looks forward to bringing his expertise to work in Harrisburg.
• As President of the Spring City Lions Club for the past 9 years, Jim has been involved with various community
programs and his leadership has developed this important service organization in the community.
• He sits on the Board of the Spring-Ford Area Historical Society.
• He served the Spring City Chapter of Meals on Wheels as a volunteer for several years.
• In his spare time James enjoys administering as webmaster several web sites, collecting vintage lighting, traveling, gardening and cooking.
As a member of Borough Council for over 6 years James Burns helped to govern the Borough in the following capacities and leadership roles:
• He sponsored the ordinance that created a borough web site - the first of its kind for the borough at a faction of the cost of the current service. He served as webmaster for two years bringing borough ordinances, council minutes and local events to the general public via public media for the first time.
• He sponsored an ordinance permitting him to apply for grants that would not commit borough funds. He successfully wrote a proposal which was awarded a grant from the Schyulkill Highlands Trust that created three Spring City Keystone signs for the Schyulkill River Trail.
• While not eager to increase taxes, he was instrumental in encouraging the borough manager to increase sewer fees in small increments in anticipation of a much larger tax burden due to EPA mandated sewer enhancements. He proposed that bond funding was necessary to reduce a larger fee burden to residents.
As Chair of Spring City Parks and Recreation Committee:
• He increased community activities while utilizing less than 15% of its budget allocation.
• Served as Master of Ceremonies and organizer of the holiday tree lighting event and organized free Borough trolley ride. One of the most popular and well attended events held annually.
• Organized, arranged volunteers and emceed the annual Borough Easter Egg Hunt for 5 years.
• He acted as the liaison with the school administration in the recognition of the Spring City School safety patrol and participation in the annual Spring City Holloween Parade when it was hosted by the Spring City Lions Club.
Jim has served on the Spring City Planning Commission for over nine years, the last six+ years as Chair. His accomplishments were in part:
• He worked closely on the direction and planning of the new Spring City Library and worked closely with Senator Dinniman's office to bring the project to fruition.
• He has helped plan the development of the Spring City land assets even under the EPA building moratorium pending sewer enhancements.
He served on the Spring City Council Police Committee.
As a member of Council Jim, sometimes alone and other times with the assistance of Councilor Hays, made forward movement in the borough that was needed and much appreciated:
• Councilors Burns and Hays proposed the creation of an official borough website with a steering committee. That website was launched as www.SpringCityBoro.org.
The website was created and operated with local volunteers at the cost of $40 per year.
• Councilor Burns with assistance of America Responds with Love put together a project utilizing high school students to beautify
the borough by planting over 1,000 spring flowering bulbs. As part of the Schyulkill Heritage River Trail Project he sourced another 1,000 bulbs for the two projects, including the Boyertown Hidden Valley Railroad project.
• Councilor Burns wrote a proposal for and received a grant from the Schuylkill Heritage Foundation for the design, manufacture,
casting and installation of three Spring City Keystone markers to be installed at the borough boundaries on the Schuylkill
River Trail and New Street. Matching funds were in the form of donations from the Keystone Marker Trust, Penn Organic,
America Responds with Love, Spring City Electrical among others. The project was done completely without any cost to taxpayers.
• As a volunteer, Mr. Burns worked at organizing the fund raising, project planning for a community center and proceedural
processes of senior housing at Flag House and the Bard Center senior housing for Petra, Inc. for over 1.5 years.
Jim has a B.A. degree in Psychology from Rutgers University - New Brunswick, NJ.
His major focus was Organizational Psychology.
He has a Six-Sigma Green Belt certification.
What Voters Want
Jim is not a career politician. He is not a lawyer. He has the analytical mind of a software developer.
He comes to this position with fresh eyes and a clear mind.
At the same time he appreciates that he has the opportunity to listen to all points of view on an issue and listen to
the subject matter experts to render a decision on the best course of action.
Jim also supports Tom Wolf’s plan to implement a funding formula to more equitably distribute funds to our public schools.
The current administration has raised fees and other taxes that typically hit the middle class.
Increasing the gas tax (pending) and hopefully some of extraction fees on our natural resources. There
are other sources of revenue that have the potential of reducing or eliminating direct school property taxes.
Jim wants to work with Joe Ciresi in passing a sound budget that restores educational funding and ensures funding of the pension system.
An important aspect of the Spring City tax base is efficient development of ratable proproperties. That would include the promotion of the two
land development applications currently sitting before the Planning Board.
Jim supported the idea of purchasing the blighted parking lot at the end of Yost Avenue; if not that then the condemation of the property as it
has impacted the economic development of downdown.
Jim feels that as a Councilor and or Mayor he would encourge the Council; as he has been saying for many years, that the downtown district should
consider a State application for an 'economic zone'. Such a district encourages business development due to lower sales tax incentives.
Jim sought to have the building and land ordinances more strickly enforced, but received opposition from the Council when it came to forcing the
enforment officer to apply them or get a new enforcment officer.
Our land, air and water belong to all Pennsylvanians and it is the job of elected officials to protect them,
as stated in the Pennsylvania Constitution:
Natural Resources and the Public Estate Section 27:
"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and
esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people,
including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them
for the benefit of all the people."
Jim Burns and Mike Hays; in a former Council enhanced the Sewer Committee and made it an active force in the development of a better
sewer system in compliance to the State EPA requirements.
Jim supported the slight increases in sewer taxation to meet these goals; but he has supported the issuance
of a bond to take advantage of the Borough's excelent credit rating at a time when bond rates were at an all time low.
What the Mayor and Council have done
lay of the land
The County Republican Party does not mention or support local candidates below the county level.
Local Republican Committee neither endorses or supports the candidacy of
President of Council Mr. DeGuesippi or Mayor Michael Weiss.
Mayor Weiss proudly boasts that he is a member of the Spring City Lions Club. He would be a member 'in absentia'. While James Burns was president of the club
the Mayor rarely participated in any club activites or attended meetings.
Borough Council President seems to have missed some of the particulars of Robert's Rules of Order which states that the president is automatically a member of
all standing committees but may not chair them.
Borough Council President begins each council meeting with the pledge to the flag; which he accomplishes as if he were attempting to beat a race to the end.
The Borough Council was complicit in letting the State EPA put the Borough in a position of a building moritorium; delaying economic development.
The Council sat on its hands for several years lamenting the condition of its downtown area with increased business blight and the unslightly parking lot at
the end of Yost Avenue. Just now it is starting to do something about the problem.
The Council following the Borough Manager's suggestion did not fund the enhancements required by the State EPA for sewer improvemtents which
but the Borough in a building moritorium that lasted over 6 years. That deprived the development of the Borough which would have contributed to its