is a borough
in Bergen County
, New Jersey
, United States
. As of the United States 2000 Census
, the borough population was 26,247.
Bergenfield was formed on the basis of a referendum held on June 25, 1894, from portions of Englewood Township and Palisades Township at the height of the "boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Bergenfield as its 231st best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
Bergenfield is located at (40.923748, -73.998795).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km²), all of it land.
Bergenfield is informally known as the Little Manila of Bergen County. Of the 14,224 Filipino population in the county as a whole, 3,133 (22% of the county total) live in Bergenfield.
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,247 people, 8,981 households, and 6,753 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,065.4 people per square mile (3,494.5/km²). There were 9,147 housing units at an average density of 3,159.3/sq mi (1,217.8/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 62.90% White (16,509 Whites), 6.90% African American (1,811 African Americans), 0.24% Native American (63 Native Americans), 20.41% Asian (5,357 Asian), 0.02% Pacific Islander (5 Pacific Islander), 6.47% from other races (1,696 others), and 3.06% from two or more races (803 multiple races). Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.05% of the population.(4,475 Hispanic or Latino). (NOTE: Some races overlap.)
There were 8,981 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.8% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.41.
In the borough the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $62,172, and the median income for a family was $71,187. Males had a median income of $42,074 versus $35,137 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,706. About 2.6% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
Bergenfield is governed under the Borough
form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.
The Mayor of Bergenfield is Timothy J. Driscoll (D, term ends December 31, 2011). Members of the Borough Council are Council President Bruce Carlson (D, 2010), Barry Doll (D, 2010), Robert Gilman (D, 2009), Thomas A. Lodato (D, 2009), Dennis Mulligan (D, 2008) and Elaine Rabbitt (D, 2008).
In elections held on November 6, 2007, voters filled a four-year term for mayor and two three-year seats on the Borough Council. Democrat Timothy J. Driscoll (2,600 votes), outran
Republican Patricia Walsh Di Rienzo (1,116), and write-in campaigns for Republican Mayor Richard Bohan (289) and Democratic Councilman Dennis Mulligan (167). Incumbent Democratic Councilmember Bruce Carlson (2,749) and newcomer running mate Barry Doll (2,623) won council seats, outpolling Republicans Costas Constantinou (1,361) and James P. Kneisler (1,297). With these election wins, the Democrats retained complete control in the 2008 Council.
On Election Day, November 7, 2006, Democrats Thomas A. Lodato (3,294 votes) and Robert Gillman (3,161) swept the two open seats on the Borough Council, defeating Republicans Matthew G. Capizzi (2,952) and Mary S. Kirsch (2,823) and Independent Laurie Shestack (655). When the two took office on January 1, 2007, the council was all Democrats. Two ballot initiatives — one increasing salary ranges for borough officials and the other seeking a new reassessment of properties in the borough — both failed, by margins of 4,263-612 and 2,928-1,973 resepectively.
Federal, state and county representation
Bergenfield is in the Fifth Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 37th Legislative District.
As of April 1
, out of a 2004 Census estimated population of 26,210 in Bergenfield, there were 13,261 registered voters (50.6% of the population, vs. 55.4% in all of Bergen County). Of registered voters, 3,023 (22.8% vs. 20.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats
, 2,118 (16.0% vs. 19.2% countywide) were registered as Republicans
and 8,115 (61.2% vs. 60.1% countywide) are registered as Undeclared
. There were five voters registered to other parties.
On the national level, Bergenfield leans strongly towards the Democratic Party. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 55% of the vote here, defeating Republican George W. Bush, who received around 45%.
Student's in grades Kindergarten through 12 are educated by the Bergenfield Public Schools
which serve a total of 3,900 students. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics
) are five elementary schools serving Kindergarten - 5th grade —
with 454 students, Hoover School
with 239 students, Jefferson School
with 280 students, Lincoln School
with 417 students, Washington School
with 280 students — Roy W. Brown Middle School
with 907 students in grades 6 - 8 and Bergenfield High School
with 1,287 students.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Bergenfield High School as its 192nd best New Jersey high school in its 2006 ranking of the "Top High Schools" in New Jersey.
New Jersey Transit
bus service is available from Bergenfield to the Port Authority Bus Terminal
in Midtown Manhattan
on the 166
routes and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station on the 186
route; and to other New Jersey communities served on the 753
Main roads include Washington Avenue, Main Street, and New Bridge Road.
On December 13
, a gas main was nicked and started a leak at an apartment building under construction. The fire department responded and when they got there, the fire chief elected not to evacuate the building as there was no smell of gas. Moments later, the building exploded, killing three people and injuring around a dozen or so more.. Local fire departments and local EMS services were dispatched to put out the fire and give emergency care to the injured. A National Transportation Safety Board
report issued on May 1
, blamed PSE&G
for failing to properly supervise excavation that led to damage of the gas main, and the Bergenfield Fire Department for its failure to evacuate the building, even after the smell of gas had been reported.
On May 4, 2006, the hit show on ABC, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Bergenfield to build a home for the Llanes family. The episode aired as the pre-season two-hour special originally broadcast on September 17, 2006.
On July 22, 2007, the Team Bergenfield Roller Hockey Club, won the NARCh National Roller Hockey Championship defeating the Nor-Cal Patriots 6-5 in Estero, Florida. Team Bergenfield went 6-0-1 in the tournament en route to winning the Men's Silver Championship. The team formed in Bergenfield in 1994 and is currently one of the longest running roller hockey clubs in the United States.
- Harry Basil, stand-up comic, frequent collaborator with Rodney Dangerfield, actor (Peggy Sue Got Married), director.
- Michelle della Fave, who was a member of The Golddiggers.
- Al Di Meola (born 1954), a highly technical, jazz fusion guitarist, attended Bergenfield High School.
- Frank Eufemia, Major League Baseball, pitcher.
- Thom Fitzgerald (born 1968), filmmaker, The Hanging Garden, 3 Needles''.
- George Gately (1928-2001), creator of the Heathcliff comic strip.
- Bob Gaudio (born 1942), from the Four Seasons.
- Bob Guccione (born 1930), founder and former owner of Penthouse.
- The Knickerbockers, 1960s band took their name from Knickerbocker Avenue in Bergenfield.
- Jimmy Lydon (born 1923), who played Henry Aldrich in the movies, honored in the Bergenfield Hall of Fame.
- James Plotkin, musician, founded the bands O.L.D., Khanate, and Khlyst.
- Tom Reilly, actor who played Bobby Nelson on CHiPs.
- Floyd James Thompson (1933-2002), America's longest held Prisoner of War.
- Ron Villone (born 1970), Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for the New York Yankees in the 2006 season.
- Jacklyn Zeman (born 1953), actress who has played Barbara "Bobbie" Spencer on General Hospital since 1977.
- Singer Tom Russell wrote a song called Bergenfield, discussing the suicide via carbon monoxide of four teenagers in the borough in 1987. There is also a book written about the teenage suicides called, Teenage Wasteland.
- "History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1630-1923;" by "Westervelt, Frances A. (Frances Augusta), 1858-1942."
- "Municipal Incorporations of the State of New Jersey (according to Counties)" prepared by the Division of Local Government, Department of the Treasury (New Jersey); December 1, 1958.