Our current Township Council members are Susan Poage (2018-2020), Stephen Yellin (2019-2021) and Alvaro Medeiros (2019-2021).
While Berkeley Heights has traditionally voted Republican in national, state and local elections, our community is growing more and more “purple” every year. The Democrats swept into power in the 2018 election, with Angie Devanney becoming Berkeley Heights’ first female mayor. Devanney’s victory coincided with Stephen Yellin and Alvaro Medeiros’ elections to the town council, giving the Democrats a 3-3 split on the council and the majority of power in the township. Berkeley Heights voters gave their support to Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016 – the first time since 1964 that Berkeley Heights backed a Democrat for president! In 2018, Susan Poage was the lead vote-getter in the town council election.
The Township of Berkeley Heights was formally incorporated in 1899, although originally it was called New Providence Township. The town received its own name in 1952. Until 2007, the township operated under a committee system, with five committee members choosing a mayor from among their ranks. Beginning in 2007, the township reverted to a mayor-council-administrator (MCA) system, with six council members and the mayor elected separately.
Locally, Democrats have served the people of Berkeley Heights with ability and distinction when given the honor of serving the community, beginning with Pat Loftus in 1933. Democrats have been regularly elected to office in Berkeley Heights since 1969. In 1972, 1974, 1986-1988 and 1990, voters entrusted Democrats to lead our community as the majority on the township committee. Additionally, John Roholl was elected as tax assessor in 1964 when that office was an elected position.
Some notable Democrats to have served in local office are:
Betty Wilson: A Berkeley Heights high school history teacher, Wilson was elected to the township committee in 1971, the first woman to be elected to that office. In 1973, she became the first woman elected to the state assembly from our legislative district (now the 21st district). She went on to serve in the Brendan Byrne administration as deputy director of the Department of Environmental Protection, and as chair of the Pinelands Commission in southern New Jersey.
Theodore “Ted” Romankow: Elected in 1984, even as Ronald Reagan swept the country, Romankow was chosen to serve as mayor of Berkeley Heights in 1986 and 1987. He was appointed Union County prosecutor in 2002, serving with distinction until his retirement in 2013. Most recently, he spearheaded the effort to revitalize and restore Berkeley Heights Memorial Park, across the road from Town Hall, giving Berkeley Heights veterans the respectful tribute they deserve. You can learn more about the Memorial Park at http://bhmemorialpark.com.
Lillian Weisgerber: A longtime resident, Weisgerber is a Republican who recognized that party affiliation doesn’t matter when it comes to making our town a better place to live. Elected to the Township Committee with Daniel Seib in 1987, she served as deputy mayor in 1990. She remains active in Berkeley Heights to this day, and served on the commission that proposed our current form of government in 2005.