Monmouth County

America's Oldest Mayor is Ready for His Second Term At Age 97

While he's coming off his successful reelection bid, Vito Perillo has already said that this will be his final term, he won't be running for a third term

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The mayor of Tinton Falls, a small town in Monmouth County, is hitting the peak of his political career after just having been reelected to his second term in office.

But what makes Vito Perillo's administration so unique? He's doing it at 97 years old, making him the oldest mayor in America.

Within his first four years in as mayor, Perillo already made his mark in the town, boasting about $8 million in road projects and lowering taxes. One of his most popular additions so far: the pickleball courts that were incorporated into Wardell Park.

Town residents praise Perillo for what he's done for the town. But the World War II veteran brushes off the compliments, just as he brushed off three challengers in Tuesday's election to secure another term as mayor.

"I felt good about the election," Perillo said.

He was first elected back in 2017, when he wore out two pairs of shoes on the campaign trail while knocking on every single door in town.

Now that he's experienced what it's like to be in office, Perillo said the job was as he expected it to be.

"I've got the feeling people like what we did the last four years in the borough. The streets were good, the playgrounds," Perillo said.

The nonagenarian is very devoted to the job, coming in to the office every day. His office and the halls have become stocked with important memories, like messages from a group of eighth graders, a baseball from when he threw out a first pitch, pictures from big events, and a parade sash from a St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Perillo is the oldest mayor in New Jersey and the country, but he's not the oldest mayor ever. That goes to another mayor in Kentucky who did the job until nearly 100 years old.

Perillo isn't too concerned about making history — he just wants to serve his constituency of almost 18,000 residents.

"I just want to keep doing what I have been doing," he said.

Perillo said that he won't be running for a third term. And while some borough hall staffers surprised him with some congratulatory signs after his win, Perillo said there isn't too much time to celebrate — he's got more work to do.

"We've done some good things here," he said.

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