In 2007 in his fifteenth year as Mayor of Elizabeth, Chris Bollwage has created a more efficient city government while sparking $800 million in economic redevelopment, including Jersey Gardens Mall which solidified Elizabeth as a destination of choice. Mayor Bollwage, a native of the city, was elected to his first term in 1992, was reelected for his second term in 1996, reelected for his third term in 2000, and reelected for his fourth term in 2004.

Since Mayor Bollwage took office in 1992, the City of Elizabeth has experienced a 49 percent reduction in overall crime, the introduction of more than 6,000 new jobs and the lowest property taxes in Union County.

In his State of the City 2007 Address, Mayor Bollwage shared his vision of Elizabeth as the City of the Future and highlighted the tremendous transformation that continues to take place throughout the City.  That vision includes the implementation of New Jersey first municipal Wi-Fi free Internet access program, a new $7.5 million Emergency Response facility, and a $12 million street repaving schedule the most aggressive to date.

In 2006 Mayor Bollwage emphasized how Elizabeth G.R.O.W.S as a Gateway to Revitalization through Opportunity, Work, and Strong partnerships, improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Providing a gateway through access to technology, revitalization in our neighborhoods, the creation of opportunities for success, and working with valued and dedicated partners has and will continue to positively impact our businesses and neighborhoods.

Focusing on residential and business attraction, in 2005 Mayor Bollwage highlighted Elizabeth’s metropolitan flavor, cosmopolitan feel, and hometown charm. Building upon our comprehensive vision, strong economic base, and solid foundations we have led our City through an incredible transformation-- Making us one of the greatest cities in our State.

In other areas, Mayor Bollwage has worked to open up City government to the residents, holding open office hours and seeking input from residents in planning for the city's future. He created the Infoline, which gives residents one phone number to call to get answers for their questions and to offer suggestions.

Mayor Bollwage has been active in the United States Conference of Mayors and currently serves on its National Advisory Committee. He has previously served on the Legislative Committee and currently serves as co-chairman of the Brownfields Task Force and chairman of the Highway Safety Subcommittee. Mayor Bollwage has served as President on the Executive Board of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities and as Chair of the United States Conference of Mayors’ Criminal and Social Justice Committee. 

Before becoming Mayor, Chris Bollwage was a Councilman for 10 years, serving as Council President in 1989. He was also a member of the Elizabeth Planning Board for four years.

Mayor Bollwage holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from Kean College where he received honors and was later inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha honor society. Currently, the Mayor is an adjunct professor in the Public Administration Department at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, where he teaches undergraduate courses in Public Administration.

Mayor Bollwage is married to the former Nancy Kirk and has one daughter.

J. Christian Bollwage

Honorary Marshal - 2007