Michael Razze is the current mayor of Pitman, a position he is working tirelessly to resume following the 2023 election. His passion for serving as the town’s mayor began in Kindle Elementary School and came to a head in 2007 when the Broadway Theater was making its grand comeback.
Michael has lived in Pitman almost his entire life. He graduated from PHS in 1989 and chose to raise his family here. Pitman’s strong sense of community, where friends and neighbors look out for one another and always lend a helping hand, helped shape that decision. In an era where many small towns have lost their sense of community, Pitman’s remains. He is running for re-election to make sure it stays that way for decades to come.
While Pitman is a thriving community with quaint neighborhoods, historical districts, and a downtown business center, it wasn’t always this way. Michael has lived here long enough to remember when the business district was empty, lost to malls and big box stores, with a long list of vacant homes and for sale signs as residents were seeking to move to other areas. Michael made the decision to run in 2007 when former Mayor Batten (who was a councilman at the time) suggested the town capitalize on the traffic expected from theater patrons to court new restaurants and businesses in effort to turn the tide. He, too, could see the town had the potential to be on the cusp of its renaissance and knew he needed to be a part of it. Fast forward to 17 years later, and he’s not only helped champion that through, but he has made it his mission to preserve the town’s essence for his children and generations after them.
Serving as mayor and on the town council is only a fraction of the community service Michael has given back to Pitman. He’s spent many years coaching soccer, baseball and basketball and serving on several of the youth sports boards. He has been an active member of the Pitman Economic Development Committee, Pitman Recreation Commission, Pitman Planning and Zoning Board, Pitman Public Safety Committee, Pitman Environmental Commission, Pitman Parade Committee, Miss Pitman Pageant Committee, Pitman DEI Committee, and Pitman School District Strategic Planning Committee. But that’s not all. He serves as the borough’s Fund Commissioner to the Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem Counties Municipal Joint Insurance Fund where he continues to leverage his 30+ years of experience in the insurance industry to benefit the community. And, he also serves as the President of the Gloucester County Mayors Association and as its representative to the Gloucester County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
If you are looking for a reason why Michael isn’t the most capable, passionate, and best-suited mayor for Pitman, please read that paragraph again.
When we asked Michael how he would describe Pitman to someone who wasn’t familiar with the town, his response was “I’d say Mayberry, but that doesn’t really cut it. Pitman is more than that, so much so that ‘Mayberry’ doesn’t even fully capture what we have here.” Pitman’s small-town charm, walkable district, and mantra “Everybody Likes Pitman” are exactly why Michael is running for re-election. He’s not interested in special interests taking over the town he, and approximately 9,000 other people, call home.
Over the years, Michael has watched as county and state officials make decisions that are not in the best interest for Pitman. Decisions that fit other agendas, but do not benefit the community, residents or business owners who want to build on the success and progress Pitman has experienced. That doesn’t mean Michael objects to growth or change, but he’s keen on doing so in a way that preserves the small town character. His primary motivation for serving Pitman is to keep it a warm and welcoming community for those who choose to visit or to make it their home. Not one that is plagued by irreversible changes that will have a negative impact on this thriving community.
As a father of four (two sets of twins), an insurance professional serving as the president and CEO of Big I New Jersey, and all of the above, it’s a wonder that Michael sneaks in any free time. His wife, Tammy, would have something to say about that, however. You can often find her at his side whether it’s on the sidelines at their children’s sports events, taking in a school concert, or enjoying the many outdoor events around our town. Together, they are the team for Pitman.