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 the past 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.
Jim has served on the Spring City Planning Commission for nine years, the last four+ 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 Wolf's Fresh Start plan is an increase to the minimum wage.
Jim supports increasing the minimum wage to at least $15.00 and indexing it to inflation. The Fresh Start plan
gives more information on why this is important: “According to the Economic Policy Institute, this would raise
wages for 20 percent of Pennsylvanians, and lead to the creation of 5,000 new jobs by 2016.”
Jim supports equal pay for an equal job. This is beyond just sexual discrimination or the glass ceiling effect. There
should be equal opportunity in the workplace.
Gender Rights goes well beyond LGBTQ rights. It is universal; be it straight or gay.
The state has no reason to involve itself in a woman's intimate life or reproductive issues. Jim is not a advocate of
abortion, being Catholic by raising; however, those choices are one's own; not the state's. We as a community must respect the
individual's right while supporting pro-life as a better alternative - not as a legal agenda. As such he supports Planned Parenthood.
Jim feels a protection order should be just that. We need to make sure that such court ordered documents are monitored and that the
individuals that they are intended to protect be it female, male, gay, lesbian or transgendered are actively monitored.
Jim supports the former House bill HB300 which prohibits discrimination based upon sexual preference, orientation or gender identity.
Equality is something he has supported his whole adult life; be it by nationality, color, sex or sexual diversity.
This includes job hiring, salary administration, job security or parental / spousal / domestic partner legal rights.
Transgender individuals should be allowed to utilize facilities and participate in activities that they most identify with sexually.
Now that marriage is legal between same sex couples in the state of Pennsylvania - the newly planned SR1306 and SR1307 bills should be passed.
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 supports the taxation of exploitation of our natural resources be it gas, coal, fracking in an effort to encourage the reduction of
activites that promote global warming. He promotes the increase in the use of renewable green energy sources. The exploration of
fossil fuels in our precious state parks and game preserves should have regulatory environmental oversight with the objective to eliminate it completely.
What the Mayor and Council have done
Ms. Corbin stood with House Republicans by not passing a fully funded budget in a timely fashion; putting most school districts in dire financial risk.
HB805 voted yea on the bill that prohibits layoffs based on seniority and requires schools to instead use teacher performance evaluation.
Ms. Corbin voted no on the medical marijuana bill - delay of this bill prolonged the suffering of many people during their painful final days.
Becky voted yea for HB874 for the repeal of exemptions for harassments during labor disputes.
HB1234 yea reducing the size and representation in the house to 153, currently it is 203.
Becky supported HB1948 which limits a woman's right to an abortion to 20 weeks. Governor Wolf has already indicated he will veto the measure. The act is seen as an effort to eliminate abortion rights completely.
• Did not support a non-discrimination bill for LGBT individuals in the community and the workplace (HB300)
• against marriage equality (HB1686)
• against the repeal of DOMA (HB1647)
• against banning conversion therapy (HB1811)
• against making crimes targeting LGBT individuals a hate crime (HB177)
Voted against HB2354 which required the Dept. of Environmental Protection to submit a plan to the EPA for
the reduction in C02 emmisions from fossil fuels at power plants.