Government

Business Leaders Gather in Somerville to Honor Peter Palmer’s 55 Years of Public Service

88393978edc0a0b41f4d_sompixpeterpalmertribute1.JPG
Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter Palmer at Friday's tribute luncheon. The longtime elected official is retiring after 55 years of public service on the local and county level. Credits: Rod Hirsch
c2e579d31c6ecd32965e_sompixpeterpalmertribute4.JPG
Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter Palmer with his wife Kathleen at Friday's tribute luncheon. Credits: Rod Hirsch
75ef61d49f449b073b27_sompixpeterpalmertribute2.JPG
Newly-elected 16th District Assemblyman and Democrat Roy Freiman, foreground, listens to remarks by Peter Palmer, a longtime Republican at Friday's tribute luncheon.
601b40376e5d6b678183_sompixpeterpalmertribute3.JPG
Peter S. Palmer speaks to guests at Friday's tribute luncheon. Seated, from left, are John Anderson, co-chair ELC; Carol Bianchi, co-chair ELC and Mike Kerwin, Somerset County Business Partnership. Credits: Rod Hirsch
88393978edc0a0b41f4d_sompixpeterpalmertribute1.JPG

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Director Peter S. Palmer is set to retire after 55 years of serving as an elected official on the local and county level.

However, he is not about to turn his back on his prolific life as a public servant.

He let that be known during a tribute luncheon Friday hosted by the Somerset County Employers Legislative Committee at Verve Restaurant, Bistro & Bar.

Sign Up for E-News

Dozens of guests, including fellow elected officials, business leaders, civic leaders, lawyers and small business owners took turns table-to-table to congratulate Palmer or to share an anecdote before Palmer was handed the microphone.

“Somerset County is without a doubt the best-managed county government in the state,” Palmer said.

“We have been bold and I trust that we will continue to be bold and I hope to be a part of that,” Palmer added.

The longtime Republican will retire from the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders after serving since 1997. He opted not to seek reelection in 2017. Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher, a Republican, ran for Palmer’s seat and won the election in November. Palmer’s final day in office will be Jan. 5, at which time Gallagher will be sworn to the office during the Freeholder’s annual reorganization meeting at the County Administration Building in Somerville.

Palmer is a lifelong resident of Bernardsville and was 25 when he was first elected to the Bernardsville Board of Education in 1962, serving until 1968, when he was elected to the Bernardsville Borough Council, serving until 1984. He served as the town's mayor from 1985-1994.

He was elected to his seventh 3-year term as a freeholder in November 2014.

He is also 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 and was honored as Freeholder of the Year in 2011 by the NJAC.

One guest called him the “soul” of Somerset County, while another spoke of his approachability.

“He makes you feel like you’ve known him forever.”

Somerset County Freeholder Patricia Walsh, who has served alongside Palmer since 2008 lauded her colleague's institutional knowledge, one of several guests who made reference to his longtime service.

“He knows how to get the job done, and who to call,” Walsh said. “We revere him; we respect him and we will miss him, all over the building,” she added.

 “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.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Franklin Township: Tips for a Stress-Free Tax Season

February 22, 2018

Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes but many people find preparing their tax return to be stressful and frustrating. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be. Here are six tips for a stress-free tax season.

Don't Procrastinate. Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the very last minute. Your haste to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Pillar College, Somerset

Pillar College Open House

Education

Carousel_image_7afaa705d7bbed27c95f_somerset-saturday-night-2018

Sat, February 24, 8:00 PM

Somerset

Somerset Saturday Night

Arts & Entertainment Education

Following Florida Massacre, EB Schools Add Armed Officers to Security

February 17, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At a meeting Thursday night, the East Brunswick board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to engage the East Brunswick Police department to place armed police officers at each school building in the district throughout the entire school day.  

In a report released by superintendent Victor Valeski yesterday, township officials asserted that the move ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Township Teen in Wooded Area

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

Filthy, dangerous conditions, theft and assault alleged at recently-opened Newark shelter

Newark, NJ—Antoinette Jackson, Sonya Webb and Andrea Eaddy sit in a McDonald’s on a cold winter morning, not far from the homeless shelter they currently call home.

During the day, they count on places like McDonald's to stay warm. They must leave the shelter at 7 a.m. and can only return after 4 p.m., even when temperatures drop below freezing.

When the ...

Following Florida Massacre, EB Schools Add Armed Officers to Security

February 17, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At a meeting Thursday night, the East Brunswick board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to engage the East Brunswick Police department to place armed police officers at each school building in the district throughout the entire school day.  

In a report released by superintendent Victor Valeski yesterday, township officials asserted that the move ...

Bernards Police Locate Body of Township Teen in Wooded Area

BERNARDS TWP., NJ -  Bernards Township Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the body of a 19-year-old township resident, Lydia Comtois, had been located in a wooded area of Liberty Corner following a search by personnel and volunteers from numerous public safety organizations. 

A preliminary investigation indicated the young woman's death was not deemed to ...

Filthy, dangerous conditions, theft and assault alleged at recently-opened Newark shelter

Newark, NJ—Antoinette Jackson, Sonya Webb and Andrea Eaddy sit in a McDonald’s on a cold winter morning, not far from the homeless shelter they currently call home.

During the day, they count on places like McDonald's to stay warm. They must leave the shelter at 7 a.m. and can only return after 4 p.m., even when temperatures drop below freezing.

When the ...

Somerville Merchants Endorse Plan to Reduce Parking Lot Fees

February 21, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Borough’s controversial parking fees are set to undergo another revision, with hourly parking reduced from 75 to 50 cents in municipal lots 1,2,4 and 6, according to a merchant-driven plan endorsed by Mayor Ellen Brain.

The $1 hourly rate for parking on Main Street will remain the same, according to the mayor.

The hours of enforcement will also be changed to ...

Whole Foods in Bridgewater to Officially Open Doors March 21

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Whole Foods Market Bridgewater, the first Somerset County location for the retailer, will officially open its doors on Chimney Rock Road March 21.

According to a release from the company, the 49,000-square-foot store will open at 9 a.m., and there will be prize giveaways, special sales and product demonstrations and samples.

"We can't wait to serve Bridgewater and ...

Somerville Grieves Over Death of Jerome Gonzalez, a Modern-Day Renaissance Man

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Jerome Luiz Gonzalez, a devoted father, artist, author and the heart and soul of the burgeoning downtown arts community, died early Saturday morning, Feb. 17 pursuing another one of his passions, competing in an endurance race in North Carolina.

A 1992 graduate of Somerville High School and a resident of Bridgewater, he was 44.

The obituary provided by Cusick ...

Somerville Merchants Endorse Plan to Reduce Parking Lot Fees

February 21, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Borough’s controversial parking fees are set to undergo another revision, with hourly parking reduced from 75 to 50 cents in municipal lots 1,2,4 and 6, according to a merchant-driven plan endorsed by Mayor Ellen Brain.

The $1 hourly rate for parking on Main Street will remain the same, according to the mayor.

The hours of enforcement will also be changed to ...

Whole Foods in Bridgewater to Officially Open Doors March 21

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Whole Foods Market Bridgewater, the first Somerset County location for the retailer, will officially open its doors on Chimney Rock Road March 21.

According to a release from the company, the 49,000-square-foot store will open at 9 a.m., and there will be prize giveaways, special sales and product demonstrations and samples.

"We can't wait to serve Bridgewater and ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...