MAYOR JEFF CUSAT
Mayor Jeff Cusat
Is the Son of Rocco and Mary Ann (Solarek) Cusat, born on December 5, 1975, he is brother to Rocco Cusat and Kristin Hart, grandchild of Rocco and Lucy (Fierro) Cusat and William and Helen (Hudock) Solarek. Jeff’s roots originate from the Cusat family, originally from Milnesville, settled on the corner of 12th and Alter Streets in 1917 where they lived and opened a family operated general store. The Fierro family from Lattimer, The Solarek family from Freeland, and the Hudock family from Hazle Brook.
Jeff attended Monsignor Molino Elementary School from kindergarten through 8th grade, H. F. Grebey for 9th, the Hazleton High School for 10th, and graduated from Hazleton Area High School in 1994 before attending Penn State University to study accounting and HRIM (Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management).
As a child Cusat played minor league baseball with Hoppy’ s Coal, Hazleton Little League with the Lions, PAL with 14th Ward, basketball at Monsignor Molino, football and track and field from 9th through 12th grades as a Mountaineer and a Cougar.
Jeff, no stranger to the business world, started his own business in 1983 at the age of 8. He and his brother would walk to the shopping center, buy baseball cards, combine them into complete sets, and then walk around selling them. This continued through high school and into college with the selling of sports collectibles and TY beanie babies at the card shop “Cusat’s Cards and Collectibles” on Alter Street and sports memorabilia collecting shows throughout the tri-state region.
Jeff began cooking at the family restaurant, Cusat’s Café, which opened in 1936, at the age of 12 with his grandfather Rocky and Uncle Bellhop. Jeff continued to work and learn from his father through high school and college. With the passing of his uncle and grandfather in the early 2000’s, Jeff expanded Cusat’s Cafe to what you see now.
When elected to Hazleton City Council, Jeff willingly turned over his ownership of the business and liquor license, as required by Pennsylvania State law. To continue his love of the family business, Jeff opened Cusat’s Grill inside the Mohegan Sun off-track wagering facility in East Stroudsburg in early 2013; it continues to operate today.
In early 2018, recognizing there was a need for a small scale (up to 100) catering hall and casual dining restaurant in the area, Jeff helped establish Rocco’s on Muir Avenue in the Hazleton Heights.
Cusat also operated a bus trip and travel company, is a partner in a local telemarketing booking company, and owns rental properties throughout the area.
Jeff’s love of children and his community can also be recognized as a coach, referee, and sponsor of children’s sports teams in Hazleton and other communities. Dating back to the 1990’s Cusat organized golf tournaments and other events to help a variety of local charities. He became heavily involved with these local charities, especially Catholic Social Services Foster Care and Helping Hands, throughout the 2000’s and continuing. It was during one of these events where he felt the need to get involved with restoring the image that most people remember.
Cusat decided to run for mayor in 2011 after then Mayor Barletta took his seat in Congress. Cusat stayed involved by attending meetings and became a City Councilman in 2014 before becoming the 28th Mayor of Hazleton in January 2016.
During his time in office the Mayor Cusat Hazleton Revitalization Fund was created. This organization helps fund pet projects such as the playground picnic table project, make improvements to city hall, donations, the playgrounds, grant applications, sponsorships of city events, holiday decorations, and local causes and needs. Proceeds are raised through the annual Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament, sales of collectible challenge coins, T-shirts, model cars, and private donations.
Mayor Cusat, who joined and trained with the Diamond Volunteer Fire Company in 2016, has completed hundreds of hours of training and earned 13 certificates for fire training and safety, as well as additional certificates in Emergency Management, Code Enforcement, Zoning, and Health.
Availability and Transparency in City Hall
Mayor Cusat had a vision of being more available and more transparent than any other government official. He created a true open-door policy in that anyone can stop by office for a visit, ask a question, or raise a concern. In fact he had his mobile phone number, (570) Hi-Mayor, published on the front page of the newspaper. He has created social media accounts for increased direct contact. The Mayor has attended City Council Meetings, reinstated work sessions, and has scheduled public town hall meetings. To facilitate this, Mayor Cusat has created a centralized reception area that is monitored with a bi-lingual employee. This receptionist can be contacted by call or text message at the phone number (570) 459-4961 or at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Other hotlines were created such as “text for tips”,
The administration of Mayor Jeff Cusat is dedicated to creating safer neighborhoods, vibrant business districts, and a more efficient government in the City of Hazleton. Building on the strong roots of hard work and community engagement, the Cusat Administration continues to establish the City of Hazleton as a community that people enjoy living, working and visiting as they interact with friends, family and co-workers.
This mission focuses on treating every individual equally and fostering mutual understanding within entire Hazleton community.
The vision to accomplish this mission centers on individual responsibility for decisions and the willingness to face the consequences of those decisions. All will be held to the same standards of the codes, customs, and responsibilities embedded in the heart of our laws.
Don’t Forget to Vote for Mayor Jeff Cusat!