Jim is the first commissioner of our Get to Know profile section. He is an empathetic, optimistic, and dedicated guy that just gets things done for our township. We are glad to have him on our side!
Below is a list of questions meant to examine exactly what our commissioners do and who they are. Here are his responses:
What are your accomplishments as a commissioner?
It is hard for me to talk about “my” accomplishments, because they are really collective successes. I can say that during my term, with the help of residents and my fellow commissioners, we have achieved much in the areas of storm water management, recreational opportunities and preserving open space.
In March 2013, after a lengthy application process, the Township secured a $4.2 million FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant for the acquisition of 12 homes on Hemlock Road, Flourtown. For several years these families have experienced some of the worst flooding in the township. To date, a majority of the 12 homes have been purchased by the Township. I am happy say that several of these families have purchased new homes here in the Township.
We were able to secure $174,000 Montgomery County open space funding to construct a Tot Lot/Pocket Park and underground storm water detention system on Oreland Mill Road (Oreland Park). We also secured $185,000 county open space funding to construct a fishing pier, walking bridge and park at the Oreland Quarry. (Sandy Run Park Grand Opening Saturday, October 26, 2013)
Recently, we were able to secure a Court injunction to hold a Bus Depot applicant in Oreland accountable to the Township’s land development ordinaces.
We improved Township communications by launching a new website, email blast system and televising Township Meetings. www.springfieldmontco.org
Through fiscal discipline, we have been able to continue to provide exceptional police, fire and public works services even during the downturn in the economy. Further, I am proud to say that Township taxes were not raised in 7 out of the last 8 years.
What are your future goals as a commissioner?
Continue to work for long term solutions for storm water management problems throughout the township.
Secure additional multipurpose athletic fields. We have a shortage of fields, and securing more fields will allow more recreational activities for our kids.
Construct a new Township Library and Community Center. Our present Township Library is used extensively by our residents, however, it is over 50 years old and the cost of maintenance and repairs is no longer justified. A Township owned multiuse Community Center will further increase recreational and group activities.
Implement and enforce our recently enacted “DO NOT SOLICIT” registry to protect residents from unwanted door to door solicitations.
Continue to support our three volunteer fire companies, and assist then with long term member recruitment and retention initiatives.
What makes you a good commissioner?
I strive to make myself as available as possible to listen to a concern or question. I have found it best to address the area of concern in a timely manner, and provide a solution or suggestion. I do not promise something that I can’t do. Also, there must be follow up with the person or group. Many times, depending on the issue, I find meeting with a smaller group of concerned residents outside of our Township meetings is more productive.
Why should people vote for you?
I am hopeful that I have demonstrated the experience and commitment to serving the community, and have shown leadership and sound judgment. As a Commissioner I possess over seven years of experience in the areas of municipal budgeting, operations, storm water management, land development and zoning. Professionally, I possess thirteen years of successful litigation experience as an Assistant Counsel representing the Pennsylvania State Police and the PA Department of Transportation. I have served as a member on boards of local service organizations, such as Flourtown Erdenheim Little Leauge and Springfield Rotary Club. It has also been my pleasure to have coached little league baseball, soccer, basketball and flag football. My overall experiences have provided me with the unique qualifications to serve our local community as a Commissioner.
On the personal side…
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Empathetic, Optimistic, Dedicated
Why did you choose to live in Springfield?
I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia. I became familiar with the area while in college at Temple University, Ambler. When I began working at St. Joseph’s Villa in Flourtown after college, I truly knew I wanted to live here. I liked being close to the City, yet far enough away. Also liked the small town feel, and that people who grew up here stay here. I met my wife Sue, who is a lifetime resident of Springfield and we decided this is where we wanted to raise our family.
What do you like about Springfield?
The sense of community and that you know your neighbors. You feel there is always someone there for you or family if you ever need help. I also feel our schools, teachers and public services are top notch.
Do you have a favorite restaurant?
ALL of them, I like to eat alot.
Do you have a favorite event in Springfield?
The FELL & OWLL opening day ceremonies, and the Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My wife and I have four children, John (12), Danny (10), Grace (8) and Caroline (2 ½) so much of the free time is happily spend with them. I enjoy coaching and attending our kids’ events, spending time with family, reading, working out, and golfing.
Any advice for township residents to get involved?
Attend School Board, Commissioner and advisory committee meetings. This is great way to see what is going on in our township, and see if there is an advisory committee that interest you. As a Commissioner I have been able to appoint residents to be members of our advisory committees, and have been extremely impressed with the vast talent and experience residents have contributed.
What superpowers would you choose if you could choose one?
Power to heal, especially to be able to heal kids with terminal illnesses.
Do you volunteer?
Recently I began teaching Prep/CCD at Holy Martyrs Church. I have also coached sports, was member of Springfield Rotary Club (2005-2010), Flourtown/Erdenheim Enhancement and Community Day committees.
Are there employment or volunteer opportunities within the township?
I would suggest anyone interested go to www.springfieldmontco.org.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Jim. If you, or someone you know would like to be profiled by Everyday Springfield. Send us a message via our Contact Us page.