Victory Gardens, New Jersey
Victory Gardens, New Jersey
|Borough of Victory Gardens|
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||September 18, 1951|
|• Body||Borough Council|
|• Mayor||David Holeman Jr. (D, term ends December 31, 2020)|
|• Administrator / Municipal clerk||Deborah Evans|
|• Total||0.15 sq mi (0.38 km2)|
|• Land||0.15 sq mi (0.38 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2) 0.00%|
|Area rank||562nd of 565 in state|
39th of 39 in county
|Elevation||646 ft (197 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||513th of 566 in state|
39th of 39 in county
|• Density||10,419.2/sq mi (4,022.9/km2)|
|• Density rank||35th of 566 in state|
1st of 39 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||862/973 and 908|
|GNIS feature ID||0885427|
Victory Gardens is a borough in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 1,520, reflecting a decline of 26 (-1.7%) from the 1,546 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 232 (+17.7%) from the 1,314 counted in the 1990 Census. The borough is the fourth-smallest municipality by area in the state.
Victory Gardens is Morris County's smallest municipality, measured both by size and population, and its most densely populated.
The origins of the borough began in 1941, when the federal government acquired 91 acres (370,000 m2) in Randolph Township as the site of a 300-unit housing project for war industry employees. The borough's name is derived from the victory gardens planted at homes and parks during World War II to provide additional supplies of fruits and vegetables. The federal government paid for all infrastructure. Streets are named for U.S. Presidents.
Randolph Township residents approved a referendum as part of a September 1951 special election in which voters were asked if the township's Victory Gardens neighborhood should be removed from the township and created as an independent municipality for its 1,300 residents covering 92 acres (37 ha). Residents of other areas of Randolph Township argued that the compensation paid by the federal government for the more than 250 students attending the Randolph Township Schools did not adequately cover the cost of their public education, that the housing and other structures in Victory Gardens was out of compliance with the Township's building and zoning ordinances and that the overwhelming Democratic Party political leanings of residents of Victory Gardens were out of sync with the largely Republican Party township.
Victory Gardens was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on June 20, 1951, from portions of Randolph Township, based on the results of the referendum passed on September 18, 1951.
A project approved in 1973 brought the construction of 184 units of garden apartments on a site covering 12.4 acres (5.0 ha), providing additional rateables and offering permanent housing for an estimated 400 people, that would contrast with the temporary original structures built in the 1940s that had long passed their expected lifespan.
The 2010 United States census counted 1,520 people, 533 households, and 398 families in the borough. The population density was 10,419.2 per square mile (4,022.9/km2). There were 566 housing units at an average density of 3,879.8 per square mile (1,498.0/km2). The racial makeup was 58.49% (889) White, 16.25% (247) Black or African American, 0.66% (10) Native American, 2.43% (37) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 17.43% (265) from other races, and 4.74% (72) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 62.96% (957) of the population.
Of the 533 households, 41.7% had children under the age of 18; 43.0% were married couples living together; 21.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 25.3% were non-families. Of all households, 20.3% were made up of individuals and 3.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.16.
26.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 6.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.3 years. For every 100 females, the population had 92.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 90.8 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $53,269 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,599) and the median family income was $52,500 (+/- $6,885). Males had a median income of $34,063 (+/- $5,135) versus $33,750 (+/- $9,755) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,340 (+/- $1,640). About 11.9% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.6% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 1,546 people, 564 households, and 381 families residing in the borough. The population density was 10,582.6 people per square mile (3,979.4/km2). There were 588 housing units at an average density of 4,025.0 per square mile (1,513.5/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 51.36% White, 21.41% African American, 0.06% Native American, 5.43% Asian, 15.27% from other races, and 6.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 50.65% of the population.
There were 564 households, out of which 39.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 17.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 26.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 39.3% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $44,375, and the median income for a family was $43,594. Males had a median income of $32,841 versus $24,875 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,616. About 8.9% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.4% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
Victory Gardens 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. 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. The Borough form of government used by Victory Gardens 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.
As of 2020[update], the Mayor of Victory Gardens is Democrat David L. Holeman Jr., whose term of office ends December 31, 2020. Members of the Borough Council are Vera C. Cheatham (D, 2022), Ondria Garcia-Montes (D, 2021), James R. Glass (D, 2022), Kendyll Hedgepath (D, 2021; elected to serve an unexpired term), Ismael Lorenzo Sr. (D, 2020), Tara White (D, 2020).<
Joan Cegelka won election in November 2013 to serve the balance of the term expiring in 2014 that had been held by David Holeman before he took office as mayor, with Vera Cheatham winning re-election to a full three-year term and Independent Hector Lorenzo Jr. knocking off incumbent Sonia Hall for terms starting January 1, 2014.
In December 2010, Councilmember Ondria Garcia-Montes was placed on probation for 12 months after an incident in which she falsely told police that a criminal suspect who was the subject of a search warrant was not in her apartment.
Dover serves as the lead agency operating a joint municipal court that include Victory Gardens and the neighboring municipalities of Mine Hill Township, Mount Arlington and Wharton. Established in 2009, the joint municipal court was forecast to offer annual savings in excess of $250,000 over the 10-year life of the agreement.
Federal, state and county representation
For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Mikie Sherrill (D, Montclair). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027) and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).
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).
Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of County Commissioners, 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 Commissioner Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by County Administrator, John Bonanni. As of 2021[update], Morris County's Commissioners are Commissioner Director Stephen H. Shaw (R, Mountain Lakes, 2021), Commissioner Deputy Director Deborah Smith (R, Denville, 2021), John Krickus (R, Washington Township, 2021), Douglas Cabana (R, Boonton Township, 2022), Kathryn A. DeFillippo (R, Roxbury, 2022), Thomas J. Mastrangelo (R, Montville, 2022), and Tayfun Selen (R, Chatham Township, 2023). 
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 served the remainder of her term which ended in 2020 and was elected to a full three-year term in the November general election that year.
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). As of 2021[update], they are County Clerk Ann F. Grossi (R, Parsippany, 2023), Sheriff James M. Gannon (R, Boonton Township, 2022) and Surrogate Heather Darling (R, Roxbury, 2024).
|2020||75.00% 315||24.05% 101||0.95% 4|
|2016||78.22% 298||18.64% 71||3.15% 12|
|2012||81.79% 301||17.66% 65||0.54% 2|
|2008||78.24% 302||21.24% 82||2.19% 2|
|2004||65.52% 209||33.86% 108||0.63% 2|
|2000||80.92% 212||17.56% 46||1.53% 4|
|1996||75.18% 209||17.27% 48||7.55% 21|
|1992||56.45% 162||27.87% 80||15.68% 45|
|1988||54.37% 137||45.63% 115||0.00% 0|
|1984||57.32% 188||42.68% 140||0.00% 0|
|1980||63.40% 149||28.94% 68||7.66% 18|
|1976||73.27% 222||26.73% 81||0.00% 0|
Every Democratic Party nominee for president since at least Jimmy Carter has carried Victory Gardens.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 523 registered voters in Victory Gardens, of which 234 (44.7%) were registered as Democrats, 58 (11.1%) were registered as Republicans and 231 (44.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie and Democrat Barbara Buono each received 48.4% of the vote (90 cast), ahead of other candidates with 3.2% (6 votes), among the 224 ballots cast by the borough's 556 registered voters (38 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 40.3%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 58.4% of the vote (118 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 27.2% (55 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.4% (17 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (1 votes), among the 202 ballots cast by the borough's 544 registered voters, yielding a 37.1% turnout.
Victory Gardens is a non-operating school district, with all public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in Victory Gardens attending the schools of the Dover School District in Dover, which has been consolidated between the two municipalities since 2010. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of five schools, had an enrollment of 3,262 students and 211.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 15.4:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Academy Street Elementary School with 547 students in grades K-6, East Dover Elementary School with 468 students in grades K-6, North Dover Elementary School with 673 students in grades PreK-6, Dover Middle School with 511 students in grades 7-8 and Dover High School with 983 students in grades 9-12. Public school students in grades 7-12 from Mine Hill Township attend Dover Middle School and Dover High School as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Mine Hill School District. The high school was recognized with the National Blue Ribbon School Award in 2013.
Roads and highways
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- "Township To Vote On Excluding Area; Randolph, N.J., to Decide by Ballot Tomorrow Fate of Victory Gardens Section", The New York Times, September 17, 1951. Accessed November 10, 2013. "Citizens in near-by Randolph Township will ballot Tuesday to decide whether the Victory Gardens section should be excluded from the township and ordered to form a municipality of its own."
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- Staff. "Victory Gardens Expanding", The New York Times, March 11, 1973. Accessed November 10, 2013. "Victory Gardens-This tiny community, which faces an uncertain future, is engaged in its biggest expansion ever, the development of Carmel Gardens, a 184-unit garden-apartment complex on 12.4 acres of land."
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- Martin, Liz. "Voters have their say on the budgets", Neighbor News, April 28, 2010. Accessed July 11, 2016. "The school board goes from 11 members to 10 after this election as the temporary Board seat assigned to the Victory Gardens representative Danielle Press expired permanently on April 20. Now that Victory Gardens has merged with the Dover school district, there will no longer be a dedicated Victory Gardens seat on the Board. Any resident from either Dover or Victory Gardens will be eligible to run for any available Board seat."
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