97 years young and winning reelection for Tinton Falls mayor. We speak to Vito Perillo.
Vito Perillo, a 97-year-old won World War II veteran, won reelection last week as mayor of Tinton Falls.
Perillo beat his closest challenger last week by around 300 votes, likely becoming the oldest mayor in the United States.
“Sept. 22, it was my birthday,” says Perillo. “I was 97 and that Wednesday I was still 97. It's just another day to me."
Perillo is also a retired Department of Defense engineer, a retired CPA, a great-grandfather and a nonagenarian. Now he adds two-term mayor to his impressive resume.
“It's another job for me,” says Perillo. “I retired three or four times, every time I retired, I couldn't stay at home. You look in the paper, there's a job for this. I would apply and get the job."
Perillo says he won reelection because of his accomplishments.
“I accomplished at least what I set out to do when I first ran for mayor mainly to reduce the municipal taxes, and I know there were some difficulty in the police department. I thought there may have been some factions. I wanted to change the culture a little bit,” says Perillo.
One of the mayor's biggest accomplishments was securing grant money and opening Wardell Park, where people of all generations can enjoy the outdoor pickleball courts.
“A woman says she was in an automobile accident with a brain injury and when she found out about the court, the pickleball court, she went out there and played,” says Perillo. “She enjoyed playing not only that she got out of her doldrums, she was always in the house and she got to meet people. She made friends with people, and it changed her life 180 degrees.”
Perillo says he will continue to work to cut taxes. As far as a third term, it's still undecided. He will be 100 in 2024. He says he also credits his success to running as an independent, being not bound to any parties except the people.