In a 1988 feature story in the Somerset Messenger Gazette, Pete Biondi listed his favorite television program as Jeopardy. With Saturday's dedication ceremony in his honor, the title of this blog post now becomes the answer, in the form of a question, to this clue: Hillsborough's Municipal Building, opened in 1991, was renamed for this former mayor on September 15, 2012.
|The plaque will be placed at the entrance to the builing.|
But there is nothing trivial about Pete's longstanding commitment to the residents of Hillsborough and the town he loved.
|Mayor Carl Suraci|
It has often been said that Hillsborough is a big town with a small town feel. That is something that Pete always believed. Although many of the planning decisions that have shaped Hillsborough were already decided before the Biondi's moved to town in 1976, and certainly before Pete was elected to the Township Committee in 1983, Pete remained committed to that small town feel.
|Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno|
Hillsborough acquired the property for the municipal complex in the mid 80s as part of the development project that brought the Rohill Estates development and the paving of Beekman Lane.
|Congressman Leonard Lance|
By all accounts, it was Pete who pushed to have the new municipal building, just the second in Hillsborough's 200 year history,house not just township offices, but to also provide facilities for the police and courts, the school district offices, a modern library, and a senior citizens center.
|State Senator Christopher "Kip" Bateman|
While other townships, Branchburg for instance, were creating palaces for their municipal departments, Hillsborough built an efficient, workable complex to serve the residents first. And what says "small town feel" better than the general store that doubles as the post office and ticket agent, or the local tavern that serves as the town meeting hall.
|Former mayor Anthony Ferrera reads the proclamation.|
Pete was duly proud of this accomplishment, stating at the 1989 groundbreaking ceremony, "This building symbolizes an era of cooperation in Hillsborough Township which results in diverse township functions being centrally located for the benefit of our residents".
|Pete's grandchildren cut the ribbon as family and dignitaries look on.|
About 200 of Pete's friends, family, and Hillsborough neighbors came out on Saturday to witness the dedication ceremony, which included guest speakers, the reading of the proclamation, and the unveiling of a plaque and a new sign over the main entrance to the building.
|The new sign over the main entrance|
At the close of ceremonies, Mrs. Joan Biondi spoke eloquently about her husband, who is missed by all.
|Mrs. Joan Biondi|