If you don’t know Town Board incumbent Jimmy Bruno (R, C, I), you may have at least seen his house in Bishop’s Gate. Every holiday season, Bruno festoons his driveway and home with all of the trimmings, transforming his property into a holiday wonderland to the delight of visitors and passersby.
For Bruno, who has lived in Saugerties for his entire life (60 years, to be exact), decorating his house is but one of the many things he has done for his community. Bruno is an avid volunteer. Over the years, he’s coached Glasco/East Kingston Little League, served as the manager for Saugerties’ Babe Ruth team, and, until last year, was on the Saugerties Babe Ruth Board of Directors. Additionally, he’s volunteered with the Glasco Fire Department since the age of 18 and has been a member of the local Elks Club since 1974. Bruno was the first chairman of the Comprehensive Planning Board for Saugerties, which, under his leadership, put together the town’s first comprehensive plan. Together with his wife, Kathleen, Bruno has raised two sons, both age 33, and a stepdaughter, age 31, while living in Saugerties.
As a member of the Town Board, Bruno acts as the department liaison to the Glasco/Malden water/sewer plant, Historic Preservation Commission, Diaz Ambulance, Boys & Girls Club and Economic Development Committee. If reelected, Bruno will serve his second term as a Town Board member.
Why are you running for office?
I just love helping people. Even when I was at IBM, I got into management, and it wasn’t the title that mattered to me. I liked working with people, helping them out when they had problems. I wasn’t very technical, but I was always there for the people. Same way with this job in the town council. Every once in a while I get a thank you, and it makes it all worth it. All the aggravation that you put up with, it makes it all worth it. A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call from a gentleman, and I thought he had a concern, but he just wanted to thank me for helping his mother out. She had a problem with her water bill, and we helped her out. That made my day.
What is the job of a Town Board member as you see it?
All the laws that are in place in the town of Saugerties, I’m there to make sure they’re adhered to. We run the town, and we have the various departments that we make sure we’re liaisons to. We make sure they’re on target to do what they’re supposed to for the town, to make sure the town runs accordingly.
What issues are you most interested in?
I want to bring jobs to Saugerties. I’m very upset with our taxes, but unfortunately, there’s not much we can do. We have rising healthcare costs; that’s an ongoing problem. But the taxes… there are a lot of people losing their houses, and that bothers me. We have to get taxes under control. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to reduce them, but certainly we want to keep them from going up the way they were going up. That’s my main goal: To bring jobs in, and reduce taxes.