BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Councilman Craig Pastore will attend his last meeting of the Township Council on Tuesday, May 8.

The announcement came at the April 17 meeting of the council and took many people by surprise. His departure from the council was not unexpected – he had not filed to run for re-election. Still, the news that he would attend only one more meeting of the governing body took residents in the audience by surprise. He told the council his house, which he had just put on the market, had sold and he would be moving out of town.

He thanked everyone and said, “I enjoyed my time here.” 

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Council members expressed their appreciation for all Pastore’s work on the council and in town before he first ran for council in 2009. He and former Councilman Kevin Hall ran as a team and were sworn in by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick  (R-21) in 2010.

Council President Jeanne Kingsley said, “I’m sorry your house sold so fast,” and credited him with being her “mentor” when she was first elected to council.

Mayor Robert Woodruff said, “I’ve known Craig for 40 years … He will be missed.” Woodruff said he has been serving the “town for twenty to twenty-five years … One more meeting, (it will be) your last budget.”

During the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Charlie Pratt said to Pastore, “I want to thank you from this side of the dais.”  He added he was a friend and a man who “worked behind the scenes,” to make the town a better place. “He’s a stand-up guy … and always wanted to the do right thing,” for Berkeley Heights.

Following the meeting, residents gathered around the three-term councilman, offering their congratulations on the sale of his house and thanking him for his service.

When asked how Santa Claus would do without him when he comes to visit Berkeley Heights’ children, Pastore, who is always the first to greet Santa when he arrives in his wagon, said he would be back for that special event, “That’s my favorite event.”

Pastore is the man behind Santa’s visit with the children and has planned and executed the event for years.