In trying to describe James Brunozzi, who is retiring from Jessup Borough politics this year, you could just list his accomplishments. It’s a long list.
He was on council for 36 years and served as president of council for 29 of those years. He oversaw the construction of a new borough building, the replacement and upgrade of railroad crossings in the borough, the development and construction of the Mid Valley Industrial Park, and the addition of Veteran’s Drive, Station Park and the train station, the construction of the Kids Korner playground, the renovation and addition of sports complexes, town parks, sidewalks, street-lights, the Sterry Creek and Grassy Island culvert flood control projects, the Valley View Industrial Park and Jessup Small Business Center and, most recently, he was part of the negotiations for the $80 million municipal host agreement for the natural gas-fired power plant.
Brunozzi is a lifelong Jessup resident and can recall fondly “playing kickball, kick-the-can and baseball with my friends at the Grassy Island Avenue soccer field; having to be home before the nine o’clock siren, taping broken baseball bats received from grownups; going to all of my father’s baseball games; and being outside and being with friends.”
As a senior at Jessup High School he met Joyce, his wife of 57 years.
He got interested in local politics because, he said, “I saw people from the borough do things to help other people and help the town. I wanted to follow in their footsteps. When a borough official’s term was up, I was asked to run and said yes.”
Asked which project brought him the most satisfaction, he replied, “I’d have to say it was great to see Kids Korner being built by the community for the children. Also, the Mid Valley Industrial Park which brought in businesses, bringing in many jobs to the area. The Jessup Small Business Center and Valley View Business Park, brought more than 2,000 jobs to the area. The state and county were very instrumental in helping the borough work with the Chamber of Commerce to develop these businesses.”
He also points to the controversial power plant project.
“For a year and a half the borough officials worked hard, having numerous meetings to make sure the community was heard. This was one of the biggest projects that the borough was involved in. After a year and a half the borough decided that the power plant would be a great way to keep Jessup and the surrounding towns moving forward.”
His plans for retirement are pretty simple.
“Watching my youngest granddaughter, while still keeping up with the older four grandchildren; running errands for my family and spending more time with them all. Being a borough official takes up a lot your time.”
His message to the community is one of gratitude.
“I’d like to thank all the borough officials and everyone I worked with — there are many — through the past 36 years,” he said. “I enjoyed it very much. As the sign says, ‘Jessup: a nice place to visit, a better place to live.’ ”