CANDIDATE PROFILE: John Correri
Veteran politician is running to retain City Council seat.
The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for John Correri.
The veteran Havre de Grace politician finished fourth in the voting for three council seats last year, only to be appointed to council when Councilwoman Brenda Guldenzopf passed away in July.
“I raise my eyes to the heavens everyday and say, 'Thank you so much for this opportunity.’ For me to complete what Brenda started, it’s been an honor,” Correri said. “She was a friend, and an asset to the city that we really loved.”
Guldenzopf passed away July 19 after battling cancer. She had been elected to City Council in May 2009.
Correri, 59, finished five votes behind Councilman Jim Miller in the May 4, 2010 election. Councilman Fred Cullum and Council President Bill Martin also earned seats.
Correri was confirmed, 3-2, by the five members of council in August to finish Guldenzopf’s term. Councilmen Mitch Shank and Jim Miller voted against Correri’s appointment.
“It’s been rewarding,” Correri said of serving since August. “I think there was some communications out there about my selection, but I think I’ve proven I can work with all of [the members of council]. If I agree with them, I’m going to support them. I think one thing I was able to do is work with other people.”
Correri is a veteran of local politics.
He was elected to City Council in 1978, serving until 1987. He was Council President in 1978-79, Acting Mayor in 1979, re-elected to City Council in 1989, serving until 1997, re-elected in 2000 and again in 2002, when he was again elected Council President. He was elected to serve as Mayor from 2005 to 2007.
“I was sitting there at my house the other day, and I was looking out through our breakfast nook, and I was thinking, the grass is turning green, the three-year-olds are getting ready for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, Pimlico is open, the Orioles are playing ball, and political signs. It’s an election in Havre de Grace,” Correri said with a laugh. “I’ve been through quite a few of these battles. It just made me smile to know, Havre de Grace, here we go.”
In a report last August, Miller said he opposed Correri’s appointment for a number of reasons, namely because there was no other candidate considered. Shank felt a woman should have been appointed to replace Guldenzopf.
Correri, who is retired, is a graduate of The John Carroll School and the University of Baltimore. His family ran a business in Havre de Grace that dated back to the late 1800s. He met his wife, Linda, while he was working with the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps and she worked at Harford Memorial Hospital. He’s also a former member of the Susquehanna Hose Company.
Correri is perhaps known best for his big smile and cordial personality. He’s not at all a self-promoter, but he thinks there is work left to do for his hometown.
“I’d like to say I’d like to stick around for a little bit longer. I’d say give me another chance,” Correri said. “I have my own particular style. I’ll work hard, I can always promise that. My bottom line is that I’ll always do what’s best for the city, in my opinion.”