Rockaway, New Jersey

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Rockaway, New Jersey
Borough of Rockaway
Joseph Jackson House
Joseph Jackson House
Location in Morris County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Morris County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Rockaway, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Rockaway, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°53′45″N 74°31′02″W / 40.895853°N 74.517323°W / 40.895853; -74.517323Coordinates: 40°53′45″N 74°31′02″W / 40.895853°N 74.517323°W / 40.895853; -74.517323[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyMorris
IncorporatedJune 19, 1894
Government
 • TypeBorough
 • BodyBorough Council
 • MayorThomas Mulligan (R, term ends December 31, 2023)[3][4]
 • Administrator / Municipal clerkPatricia Bussow[5]
Area
 • Total2.12 sq mi (5.49 km2)
 • Land2.07 sq mi (5.37 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.12 km2)  2.22%
Area rank400th of 565 in state
34th of 39 in county[1]
Elevation538 ft (164 m)
Population
 • Total6,438
 • Estimate 
(2019)[11]
6,276
 • Rank332nd of 566 in state
27th of 39 in county[12]
 • Density3,106.7/sq mi (1,199.5/km2)
 • Density rank209th of 566 in state
9th of 39 in county[12]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)973[15]
FIPS code3402764050[1][16][17]
GNIS feature ID0885374[1][18]
Websitewww.rockawayborough.com

Rockaway is a borough in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 6,438,[8][9][10] reflecting a decline of 35 (-0.5%) from the 6,473 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 230 (+3.7%) from the 6,243 counted in the 1990 Census.[19]

Rockaway was formed as a borough on June 19, 1894, from portions of Rockaway Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day.[20][21] Additional portions of Rockaway Township were annexed by the borough in 1908.[22]

The borough shares its name with the Rockaway River and the neighboring township. The name is derived from a Native American term, variously said to mean "place of sands",[23][24] "creek between two hills"[25] or "bushy" / "difficult to cross".[26]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.12 square miles (5.49 km2), including 2.07 square miles (5.37 km2) of land and 0.05 square miles (0.12 km2) of water (2.22%).[1][2]

Rockaway borders the Morris County municipalities of Denville Township and Rockaway Township.[27][28][29]

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Rockaway has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[30]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19001,483
19101,90228.3%
19202,65539.6%
19303,13218.0%
19403,51412.2%
19503,8128.5%
19605,41342.0%
19706,38317.9%
19806,8527.3%
19906,243−8.9%
20006,4733.7%
20106,438−0.5%
2019 (est.)6,276[11][31][32]−2.5%
Population sources: 1900-1920[33]
1900-1910[34] 1910-1930[35]
1930-1990[36] 2000[37][38] 2010[8][9][10]

Census 2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census counted 6,438 people, 2,443 households, and 1,656 families in the borough. The population density was 3,106.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,199.5/km2). There were 2,521 housing units at an average density of 1,216.5 per square mile (469.7/km2). The racial makeup was 82.79% (5,330) White, 3.22% (207) Black or African American, 0.14% (9) Native American, 7.66% (493) Asian, 0.06% (4) Pacific Islander, 4.05% (261) from other races, and 2.08% (134) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.07% (970) of the population.[8]

Of the 2,443 households, 31.2% had children under the age of 18; 51.7% were married couples living together; 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present and 32.2% were non-families. Of all households, 24.6% were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.20.[8]

22.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 30.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.7 years. For every 100 females, the population had 95.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 92.0 males.[8]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $77,861 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,631) and the median family income was $108,776 (+/- $9,129). Males had a median income of $57,770 (+/- $13,090) versus $37,868 (+/- $9,230) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $37,636 (+/- $4,186). About 6.3% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 1.6% of those age 65 or over.[39]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[16] there were 6,473 people, 2,445 households, and 1,709 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,098.9 people per square mile (1,195.8/km2). There were 2,491 housing units at an average density of 1,192.5 per square mile (460.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 87.75% White, 1.41% African American, 0.20% Native American, 6.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.98% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.39% of the population.[37][38]

There were 2,445 households, out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.16.[37][38]

In the borough the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.[37][38]

The median income for a household in the borough was $61,002, and the median income for a family was $66,997. Males had a median income of $44,673 versus $35,956 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,500. About 3.0% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.[37][38]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

Rockaway is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government, which is used in 218 municipalities (of the 565) statewide, making it the most common form of government in New Jersey.[40] The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the Borough Council, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. The Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council is comprised of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle.[6] The Borough form of government used by Rockaway is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.[41][42]

As of 2020, the Mayor of Rockaway is Republican Thomas Mulligan, whose term of office ends December 31, 2023. Members of the Rockaway Borough Council are Council President Robert Smith (R, 2022), Melissa Burnside (R, 2020; appointed to serve an unexpired term), Russell Greuter (R, 2022), Thomas J. Haynes III (R, 2021), James R. Hurley (R, 2021) and Patrick McDonald (R, 2020; appointed to serve an unexpired term).[3][43]<[44][45][46][47][48]

In October 2019, the Borough Council appointed Patrick McDonald to fill the term expiring in December 2020 that became vacant following the death of Joyce Kanigel the previous month.[49] In January 2020, the Borough Council selected Melissa Burnside from a list of three candidates nominated by the Republican municipal committee to fill the seat expiring in December 2020 that became vacant when Thomas Mulligan resigned to take office as mayor.[50]

Federal, state, and county representation[edit]

Rockaway Borough is located in the 11th Congressional District[51] and is part of New Jersey's 25th state legislative district.[9][52][53]

For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Mikie Sherrill (D, Montclair).[54] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021)[55] and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).[56][57]

For the 2020–2021 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 25th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Tony Bucco (R, Boonton Township) and in the General Assembly by Brian Bergen (R, Denville) and Aura K. Dunn (R, Mendham Borough).[58][59]

Senator Anthony R. Bucco died in September 2019. A special convention of the Republican County Committee members from the district met on October 15, 2019, and unanimously selected his son, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco to fill his father's seat until a 2020 special election. Assemblyman Bucco then resigned from the Assembly and on October 24, 2019, was sworn into the Senate. In a special convention following the 2019 general election, Dunn was slected and will serve until the end of the current legislative session, January 14, 2020.[60]

Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large in partisan elections, to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with either one or three seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees.[61] Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by County Administrator, John Bonanni.[62] As of 2020, Morris County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Deborah Smith (R, Denville, 2021),[63] Deputy Freeholder Director Stephen H. Shaw (R, Mountain Lakes, 2021),[64] Tayfun Selen (R, Chatham Township, 2020),[65] John Krickus (R, Washington Township, 2021),[66] Douglas Cabana (R, Boonton Township, 2022),[67] Kathryn A. DeFillippo (R, Roxbury, 2022),[68] and Thomas J. Mastrangelo (R, Montville, 2022).[69][70]

Tayfun Selen was elected by a county Republican convention to the vacant seat of Heather Darling, who was elected Morris County Surrogate in 2019. He will serve the remainder of her term which ends in 2020.[71]

Pursuant to Article VII Section II of the New Jersey State Constitution, each county in New Jersey is required to have three elected administrative officials known as "constitutional officers." These officers are the County Clerk and County Surrogate (both elected for five-year terms of office) and the County Sheriff (elected for a three-year term).[72] As of 2020, they are County Clerk Ann F. Grossi (R, Parsippany, 2023),[73] Sheriff James M. Gannon (R, Boonton Township, 2022)[74] and Surrogate Heather Darling (R, Roxbury, 2024).[75]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 3,911 registered voters in Rockaway, of which 838 (21.4%) were registered as Democrats, 1,359 (34.7%) were registered as Republicans and 1,710 (43.7%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties.[76]

In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 51.4% of the vote (1,464 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 47.8% (1,362 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (22 votes), among the 2,872 ballots cast by the borough's 4,103 registered voters (24 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 70.0%.[77][78] In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 51.2% of the vote (1,464 cast), while Democrat Barack Obama received 47.6% (1,362 votes) and other candidates collected 1.2% (34 votes), among the 2,872 ballots cast by the borough's 4,103 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.0%.[79] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 53.0% of the vote (1,625 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 45.3% (1,388 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (28 votes), among the 3,067 ballots cast by the borough's 4,007 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.5%.[80] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 58.6% of the vote (1,715 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 40.3% (1,180 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (24 votes), among the 2,926 ballots cast by the borough's 3,938 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 74.3%.[81]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 69.1% of the vote (1,146 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 28.7% (476 votes), and other candidates with 2.2% (36 votes), among the 1,685 ballots cast by the borough's 4,071 registered voters (27 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 41.4%.[82][83] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.9% of the vote (1,188 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 28.9% (573 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.4% (167 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (26 votes), among the 1,984 ballots cast by the borough's 3,962 registered voters, yielding a 50.1% turnout.[84]

Education[edit]

The Rockaway Borough Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.[85] As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of two schools, had an enrollment of 580 students and 50.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.6:1.[86] Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[87]) are Lincoln Elementary School[88] with 230 students in grades PreK-3 and Thomas Jefferson Middle School[89] with 348 students in grades 4–8.[90][91]

Public school students in ninth through twelfth grades attend Morris Hills High School, in Rockaway Borough, which also serves students from Wharton and some from Rockaway Township (the White Meadow Lake section and other southern portions of the township).[92][93] The Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, a magnet high school program that is part of the Morris County Vocational School District is jointly operated on the Morris Hills campus.[94] The two high schools are part of the Morris Hills Regional High School District.[95] As of the 2017–18 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,300 students and 120.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.8:1.[96]

Divine Mercy Academy, operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, is the only private school in Rockaway. It opened in September 2016 with the merger of the two Catholic schools in Rockaway, Sacred Heart of Jesus School and St. Cecilia School.[97][98]

Transportation[edit]

I-80 eastbound at Exit 37 in Rockaway

Roads and highways[edit]

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 25.88 miles (41.65 km) of roadways, of which 20.16 miles (32.44 km) were maintained by the municipality, 3.53 miles (5.68 km) by Morris County and 2.19 miles (3.52 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[99]

Interstate 80 clips the northeast corner of the borough. Access is provided via Exit 37 (County Route 513). U.S. Route 46 passes through the southern end of the borough.

Public transportation[edit]

NJ Transit train service does not stop in the borough, but is accessible in adjacent towns at Denville station and Dover station.

NJ Transit offers local bus service on the 880 route,[100][101][102] which replaced the MCM10 route that operated until 2010.[103]

Lakeland Bus Lines offers bus service along Main Street to the New York City Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on its Route 46 and Route 80 lines.[104][105]

In pop culture[edit]

Many scenes (the train tracks, Main Street and The Old Mill Tavern) from the 2003 movie, The Station Agent, were filmed in Rockaway. The film starred actor Peter Dinklage.

The band Houston Calls had its start here.

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Rockaway include:

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b Mayor & Council, Borough of Rockaway. Accessed March 4, 2020.
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