SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Employers Legislative Committee (ELC) will celebrate both the holiday season and Peter Palmer’s five-decade history of contributions to the people of Somerset County on Friday, Dec. 29 with a “Tribute to Peter Palmer,” outgoing Somerset County Freeholder.

The luncheon will take place at Verve Bistro, Bar, & Lounge, 18 East Main St. from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Palmer will be the guest speaker as he retires from the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders after serving since 1997. He opted not to seek reelection in 2017. He will step down at the Freeholders' reorganization meeting Jan. 5, and will be replaced by Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher, who is stepping down as mayor after winning the November race for Palmer's seat.

Sign Up for E-News

Palmer is a lifelong resident of Bernardsville and has served the public as an elected official for 55 years. He served on Bernardsville’s Board of Education from 1962-1968, on the Borough Council from 1968-1984, and as the town's mayor from 1985-1994.

He was elected to his seventh term as freeholder in November 2014.

He is chairman of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition. He is a past president of the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) and was honored as Freeholder of the Year in 2011.

“Peter Palmer has been the face of Somerset County government for decades,” said Carol Bianchi, co-chair of Somerset ELC. “His contributions are far too many to mention but it is safe to say that his impact will be felt by generations to come.”

Registration is $30 and includes lunch and the business meeting. A cash bar will also be available. Seating is limited and participants are encouraged to register online by Friday, Dec. 22, at

A check or voucher can be mailed ahead in the name of Somerset County ELC to the Somerset County Business Partnership, 360 Grove St., Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807.

For information on the activities of the collaborative organization contact Takeena Deas at 908- 218-4300 or email