Woodland Park, New Jersey

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Woodland Park, New Jersey
Borough
Borough of Woodland Park
Lambert Tower in Garret Mountain Reservation
Lambert Tower in Garret Mountain Reservation
Map of Woodland Park in Passaic County (shown under its former name West Paterson). Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Woodland Park in Passaic County (shown under its former name West Paterson). Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Detailed Census Bureau map of West Paterson in 2000
Detailed Census Bureau map of West Paterson in 2000
Coordinates: 40°53′24″N 74°11′40″W / 40.889908°N 74.194581°W / 40.889908; -74.194581Coordinates: 40°53′24″N 74°11′40″W / 40.889908°N 74.194581°W / 40.889908; -74.194581[1][2]
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Passaic
Incorporated May 1, 1914 (as West Paterson)
Renamed November 3, 2009 (to Woodland Park)
Government[5]
 • Type Faulkner Act (Small Municipality)
 • Body Borough Council
 • Mayor Keith Kazmark (term ends December 31, 2018)[3]
 • Administrator / Clerk Kevin V. Galland[4]
Area[1]
 • Total 3.115 sq mi (8.068 km2)
 • Land 2.964 sq mi (7.676 km2)
 • Water 0.151 sq mi (0.392 km2)  4.85%
Area rank 329th of 566 in state
13th of 16 in county[1]
Elevation[6] 348 ft (106 m)
Population (2010 Census)[7][8][9]
 • Total 11,819
 • Estimate (2014)[10] 12,403
 • Rank 206th of 566 in state
9th of 16 in county[11]
 • Density 3,987.9/sq mi (1,539.7/km2)
 • Density rank 152nd of 566 in state
8th of 16 in county[11]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07424[12][13]
Area code(s) 973[14]
FIPS code 3403182423[1][15][16]
GNIS feature ID 0885439[1][17]
Website www.wpnj.us

Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson[18]) is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 11,819,[7][8][9] reflecting an increase of 832 (+7.6%) from the 10,987 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5 (+0.0%) from the 10,982 counted in the 1990 Census.[19]

What is now Woodland Park was formed as a borough under the name "West Paterson", by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 25, 1914, from portions of Little Falls Township, based on the results of a referendum held on May 1, 1914.[20]

On November 4, 2008, the citizens of West Paterson voted to change the official name of the borough from West Paterson to Woodland Park.[21] The new name retains the initials "W.P." and is a reference to the community's wooded areas. At a November 10, 2008, community meeting attended by 200 residents, a number of residents demanded that a recount be held if the official results showed that the measure had passed. In case the recount demand was unsuccessful, the group discussed filing a petition to change the name back to West Paterson, including discussion of how to raise the $33,000 needed to cover the cost of a special election in spring 2009 for voters to reconsider the name.[22] By November 25, 2008, the provisional vote counts had been tallied, and the name change won by 25 votes. The Mayor and Council approved Resolution R08-253 at the council meeting on December 17, changing the borough's name to the Borough of Woodland Park, effective January 1, 2009.[23][24] A referendum held on November 3, 2009 affirmed the name change.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 3.115 square miles (8.068 km2), including 2.964 square miles (7.676 km2) of land and 0.151 square miles (0.392 km2) of water (4.85%).[1][2]

The borough borders the Passaic County municipalities of Clifton, Little Falls, Paterson and Totowa.[25]

Borough renaming[edit]

Borough residents voted in November 2008 to change the community's name to Woodland Park. This close decision — the majority was only 33 votes according to early results — marked the fourth attempt to change the borough's historic name of West Paterson: voters rejected the names "Whispering Pines", "West Park," and "Garret Mountain" in 1989, 1995, and 2001 respectively.[26]

Such a change is not unique in recent New Jersey history: Dover Township in Ocean County became Toms River Township in November 2006,[27] and Washington Township in Mercer County became Robbinsville Township in November 2007.[28] Moreover, the Paterson vicinity has also seen a previous name change in recent decades, as the borough of East Paterson (located in adjacent Bergen County) changed its name to Elmwood Park in 1972.[26]

Both East and West Paterson changed their names in hopes of dissociating themselves from the larger city of Paterson, which is significantly poorer and faces higher levels of crime, while preserving their E.P. and W.P. initials. In West Paterson, proponents of name change argued that their proposal would improve the borough's reputation and thus property values within the borough, as outsiders would be less likely to confuse it with Paterson. Opponents of the renaming saw no need to change, with businesses and the fire department citing the cost of changing references to the borough's name and the consequences of forgetting the community's history as West Paterson. The name change has been marred with accusations of racism and discrimination due to the city of Paterson's lower quality of life and diverse minority demographics. Some Paterson residents and advocates have jokingly suggested renaming Paterson to East Woodland Park and West Elmwood Park.[29]

Residents who voted "No" to the name change petitioned the municipal government in an attempt to change the name back to West Paterson. A referendum was held on November 3, 2009, and the proposal was defeated by 2,248 votes to 2,216.[30]

There is an unincorporated area called Woodland Park in the city of Summit, in Union County, adjacent to New Providence.[citation needed]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 1,858
1930 3,101 66.9%
1940 3,306 6.6%
1950 3,931 18.9%
1960 7,602 93.4%
1970 11,692 53.8%
1980 11,293 −3.4%
1990 10,982 −2.8%
2000 10,987 0.0%
2010 11,819 7.6%
Est. 2014 12,403 [31] 4.9%
Population sources:
1920[32] 1920-1930[33]
1930-1990[34] 2000[35][36] 2010[7][8][9]

Census 2010[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,819 people, 4,632 households, and 3,215 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,987.9 per square mile (1,539.7/km2). There were 4,835 housing units at an average density of 1,631.4 per square mile (629.9/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 82.33% (9,730) White, 4.23% (500) Black or African American, 0.16% (19) Native American, 4.20% (496) Asian, 0.10% (12) Pacific Islander, 6.15% (727) from other races, and 2.83% (335) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 20.66% (2,442) of the population.[7]

There were 4,632 households, of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.06.[7]

In the borough, 19.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.9 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.[7]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $67,250 (with a margin of error of +/- $8,035) and the median family income was $75,080 (+/- $7,661). Males had a median income of $48,514 (+/- $6,624) versus $41,659 (+/- $6,602) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $31,623 (+/- $3,252). About 5.6% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.6% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.[37]

Same-sex couples headed 32 households in 2010, a 60% increase from the 20 counted in 2000.[38]

Census 2000[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 10,987 people, 4,397 households, and 3,025 families residing in the borough. The population density was 3,715.5 people per square mile (1,433.1/km2). There were 4,497 housing units at an average density of 1,520.8 per square mile (586.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 86.53% White, 3.16% African American, 0.08% Native American, 3.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.17% from other races, and 3.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.06% of the population.[35][36]

As of the 2000 census, 34.3% of Woodland Park residents were of Italian ancestry, the 18th-highest percentage of any municipality in the United States, and seventh-highest in New Jersey, among all places with more than 1,000 residents identifying their ancestry.[39]

There were 4,397 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.01.[35][36]

In the borough the population was spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.[35][36]

The median income for a household in the borough was $60,273, and the median income for a family was $67,292. Males had a median income of $47,389 versus $36,814 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $29,758. About 3.2% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.[35][36]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

The Borough of Woodland Park was chartered by the State of New Jersey to function under the Faulkner Act (formally known as the Option Municipal Charter Law) within the Small Municipality form of government (Plan C), implemented by direct petition as of January 1, 1967.[40] The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a three-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with elections take place in a three-year cycle, with the mayor elected one year and three council seats up for election in both years two and three.[5] A government reorganization takes place on January 1 of every year, at which time a mayor-elect or newly elected council members are sworn in.

The Mayor exercises executive power and appoints department heads with Council approval. The Council may adopt the municipal budget proposed by the Mayor, but revisions may be required by a majority of the governing body before final approval.

As of 2015, the Mayor of Woodland Park is Democrat Keith Kazmark, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Members of the Woodland Park Borough Council are Council President Tracy Kallert (D, 2015), Vincent Bennett DeCesare (D, 2015), Tina Gatti (D, 2015), Gary W.Holloway (D, 2016), Rita Pascrell (D, 2016) and Joseph Spinelli (D, 2016).[41][42][43][44][45][46]

In 2012, Borough resident Matthew La Corte was fined for his planting of a political lawn sign. After nationwide backlash towards the borough and a series of court hearings, the borough agreed to drop the case and waive the nearly $24,000 in fines that had accumulated at $100 per day for each day the signs were up.[47]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Woodland Park is located in the 11th Congressional District[48] and is part of New Jersey's 40th state legislative district.[8][49][50] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Woodland Park had been in the 34th state legislative district.[51] Prior to the 2010 Census, Woodland Park had been part of the 8th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[51]

New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R, Harding Township).[52] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021)[53] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).[54][55]

The 40th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Kevin J. O'Toole (R, Cedar Grove) and in the General Assembly by Scott Rumana (R, Wayne) and David C. Russo (R, Ridgewood).[56] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[57] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[58]

Passaic County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large to staggered three-year terms office on a partisan basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At a reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects a Director and Deputy Director from among its members to serve for a one-year term.[59] As of 2015, Passaic County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Hector C. Lora (D, term ends December 31, 2015; Passaic),[60] Freeholder Deputy Director Bruce James (D, 2017; Clifton),[61] John W. Bartlett (D, 2015; Wayne),[62] Theodore O. Best, Jr. (D, 2017; Paterson),[63] Ronda Cotroneo (D, 2015; Ringwood),[64] Terry Duffy (D, 2016; West Milford),[65] and Pat Lepore (D, 2016; Woodland Park).[66][67][68] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Kristin M. Corrado (R, 2019),[69] Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik (2016)[70] and Surrogate Bernice Toledo (2016).[71][72][73]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,930 registered voters in Woodland Park, of which 2,309 (29.1% vs. 31.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,448 (18.3% vs. 18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 4,171 (52.6% vs. 50.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties.[74] Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 67.1% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 83.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).[74][75]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 55.4% of the vote (3,119 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 43.9% (2,471 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (44 votes), among the 5,714 ballots cast by the borough's 8,489 registered voters (80 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 67.3%.[76][77] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,897 votes (49.0% vs. 58.8% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 2,782 votes (47.0% vs. 37.7%) and other candidates with 68 votes (1.1% vs. 0.8%), among the 5,918 ballots cast by the borough's 8,031 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.7% (vs. 70.4% in Passaic County).[78] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 2,686 votes (48.6% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 2,642 votes (47.8% vs. 42.7%) and other candidates with 37 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 5,531 ballots cast by the borough's 7,506 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.7% (vs. 69.3% in the whole county).[79]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 59.4% of the vote (2,188 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 39.7% (1,461 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (32 votes), among the 3,769 ballots cast by the borough's 8,648 registered voters (88 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 43.6%.[80][81] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 2,165 votes (45.3% vs. 43.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 2,151 votes (45.0% vs. 50.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 238 votes (5.0% vs. 3.8%) and other candidates with 64 votes (1.3% vs. 0.9%), among the 4,776 ballots cast by the borough's 7,814 registered voters, yielding a 61.1% turnout (vs. 42.7% in the county).[82]

Education[edit]

Students in public school for Kindergarten through eighth grade are educated by the Woodland Park School District. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's three schools had an enrollment of 1,087 students and 80.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.57:1.[83] Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[84]) are Charles Olbon School[85] (grades K-2; 349 students), Beatrice Gilmore School[86] (3-4; 233) and Memorial Middle School[87] (5-8; 505).[88][89]

For ninth through twelfth grades, public school students attend Passaic Valley Regional High School, which also serves students from Little Falls Township and Totowa. The school facility is located in Little Falls Township.[90]

The Garret Mountain campus of Berkeley College is located in Woodland Park.[91]

Transportation[edit]

Roads and highways[edit]

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 33.47 miles (53.86 km) of roadways, of which 23.88 miles (38.43 km) were maintained by the municipality, 8.22 miles (13.23 km) by Passaic County and 1.37 miles (2.20 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 1.86 miles (2.99 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.[92]

Interstate 80 runs along the northwest corner of the borough for 1.0 mile (1.6 km), entering from Totowa to the west and continuing east into Paterson, and includes Exit 56 for County Route 636 Squirrelwood Road, with Exit 56A for Woodland Park and 56B for Paterson.[93] U.S. Route 46 enters from Little Falls Township from the west, follows the borough's southern border with Little Falls for 0.7 miles (1.1 km) and continues into Clifton.[94]

Public transportation[edit]

New Jersey Transit provides bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 191 and 194 routes, with local service offered on the 704 route.[95][96]

Notable people[edit]

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

References[edit]

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  3. ^ 2014 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, as of December 15, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2015. As of date accessed, Kazmark is listed as mayor with a term-end year of 2014.
  4. ^ Administrator / Municipal Clerk, Borough of Woodland Park. Accessed January 16, 2013.
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  6. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Borough of Woodland Park, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed March 14, 2013.
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