Westfield

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Westfield is a town in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town population was 30,316. The population increased by 672 (+2.3%) from the 29,644 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 774 (+2.7%) from the 28,870 counted in the 1990 Census.

The old village area, now the downtown district, was settled in 1720 as part of the Elizabethtown Tract. Westfield was originally formed as a township on January 27, 1794, from portions of Elizabeth Township, while the area was still part of Essex County, and was incorporated as a one of New Jersey’s first 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. It became part of the newly formed Union County on March 19, 1857. Portions of the township have been taken to form Rahway Township (February 27, 1804), Plainfield Township (April 5, 1847), Cranford Township (March 14, 1871), Fanwood Township (March 6, 1878, now known as Scotch Plains), Mountainside (September 25, 1895) and Hillside (April 3, 1913). The Town of Westfield was incorporated on March 4, 1903, replacing Westfield Township.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 6.743 square miles (17.463 km2), of which, 6.719 square miles (17.401 km2) of it is land and 0.024 square miles (0.062 km2) of it (0.36%) is water.

Six municipalities border the town of Westfield: Mountainside to the north, Springfield Township to the northeast, Garwood and Cranford to the east, Clark to the southeast, and Scotch Plains to the west and southwest.

Neighborhoods

The following are examples of some of the distinct neighborhoods in the town:

  • Brightwood
  • Country Club Estates
  • The Gardens
  • Indian Forest
  • Kimball Avenue Historic District
  • Manor Park
  • Stonehenge
  • Stoneleigh Park
  • Wychwood

Library

The Westfield Memorial Library was founded in 1873 as the “Every Saturday Book Club” and has evolved over the past century into the Westfield Memorial Library of today. The Library is located in a large, modern, Williamsburg-style building at 550 East Broad Street. The library’s collection consists of over 250,000 books, two dozen public computers, a wide array of multimedia options, a large youth services area with a vivid mural depicting Westfield history, and multiple tables and carrels for studying. The library offers classes for adults and children, storytimes for children, and computer instruction.

Downtown

Westfield’s downtown features many local and national stores, such as Lord & Taylor and several landmarks that were shown and used in the NBC network television show Ed such as the Rialto Theater. There are over 40 restaurants and casual dining establishments throughout the downtown. Downtown is located mostly north of the Westfield train station. The downtown area has a mix of independent stores and boutiques as well as national stores, and provides a pleasant shopping environment. Over one-third of the retailers and restaurants have existed for 25 years or more.

Downtown Westfield, with over 200 retail establishments and 400 commercial enterprises, is a regional destination in New Jersey. The Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC) manages the Special Improvement District (SID) area’s growth and enhancement. The DWC is participates in the National Main Street program associated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is funded by a SID assessment on downtown properties and operates as the district’s management agency. The DWC sponsors marketing efforts and promotions, special event planning, urban design and building improvement projects. The DWC works closely with the town government and volunteer groups to improve the downtown area. In 2004, Westfield won the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust. In 2010, Westfield was the winner of the America in Bloom contest for communities with a population of 25,001 – 50,000 against the other two towns entered in their category. Shopping and dining in Westfield also attracts citizens from other communities across the State of New Jersey.

Several war memorials (including ones dedicated to the Korean War, World War II, and the Spanish-American War) are located in a plaza near the downtown. The plaza is also home to the September 11 Memorial Park, which pays special tribute to the residents of Westfield who died on September 11, 2001.

Demographics

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 30,316 people, 10,566 households, and 8,199 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,512.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,742.2 /km2). There were 10,950 housing units at an average density of 1,629.8 per square mile (629.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.17% (26,729) White, 3.25% (984) African American, 0.12% (36) Native American, 5.67% (1,718) Asian, 0.03% (10) Pacific Islander, 0.79% (241) from other races, and 1.97% (598) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.92% (1,492) of the population.

There were 10,566 households out of which 43.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% 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 3.31

In the town the age distribution of the population shows 30.0% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.0 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The Census Bureau’s 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $127,799 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,580) and the median family income was $150,797 (+/- $11,480). Males had a median income of $111,762 (+/- $7,767) versus $71,217 (+/- $5,624) for females. The per capita income for the town was $63,498 (+/- $4,577). About 0.9% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 29,644 people, 10,622 households, and 8,178 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,403.1 people per square mile (1,700.7/km²). There were 10,819 housing units at an average density of 1,607.0 per square mile (620.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 89.98% White, 3.88% African American, 0.09% Native American, 4.08% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.82% of the population.

There were 10,622 households out of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.0% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.0% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $98,390, and the median income for a family was $112,145. Males had a median income of $82,420 versus $45,305 for females. The per capita income for the town was $47,187. About 1.7% of families and 2.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Local government

Westfield is governed under a Special Charter granted by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature. The government consists of a Mayor and an eight-member Town Council, with all positions filled in partisan elections. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Town Council consists of eight members, with two members elected from each of four wards. Town Council members are elected to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with one seat in each ward coming up for election every other year. The Town Council holds weekly meetings open to the public where it discusses legislation under consideration.

As of 2012, the Mayor of Westfield is Andrew Skibitsky (R, whose term of office ends December 31, 2013). Members of the Westfield Town Council are Frank Arena (R, Ward 1 – 2015), Sam Della Fera (R, Ward 1 – 2013), JoAnn Neylan (R, Ward 2 – 2015), Vicki Kimmins (R, Ward 2 – 2013), David Haas (D, Ward 3 – 2013), Mark LoGrippo (R, Ward 3 – 2015), James Foerst (R, Ward 4 – 2015) and Keith Loughlin (R, Ward 4 – 2013).

Emergency services

Police

The Westfield Police Department (WPD) has been a vital part of the town’s culture since its foundation. The Chief of police is David Wayman, who was appointed in April 2012 to succeed John Parizeau. The department operates a Patrol Division, Traffic Safety Bureau, Records Bureau, Detective Bureau, Juvenile and Community Policing Bureau, and its own Emergency Services Unit. Westfield’s Parking Services also falls under the jurisdiction of the WPD.

Fire

The Westfield Fire Department was formed in 1875 following a fire that destroyed a city block on East Broad Street. The WFD is a combination department with 28 paid/career firefighters and 15 volunteer firefighters. There are four platoons of seven (a Battalion Chief, a Lieutenants and five Firefighters) working a 24/72 hour work schedule out of two fire stations. Administrative members include the Chief of Department and the Deputy Chief.   The current Chief of Department is Daniel J. Kelly.

The WFD responds annually to approximately 2,000 calls for service. The WFD serves as a back-up EMS agency for the town if the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad is not readily available. The WFD is also a partner in the Union County Fire Mutual Aid agreement, responding to numerous requests for aid to any of the other 20 municipalities in Union County.

Education

Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade attend the Westfield Public Schools. The district has a central kindergarten, along with six grade 1 – 5 elementary schools and two grade 6 – 8 middle schools divided by a “North Side / South Side” boundary, as well as a single high school. The schools in the district (with 2009-10 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Lincoln School (285 students), six elementary schools for grades 1-5 — Franklin Elementary School] (633; North), Jefferson Elementary School (444; South), McKinley Elementary School (348; South), Tamaques Elementary School (426; South), Washington Elementary School (329; North) and Wilson Elementary School (468; North) — Roosevelt Intermediate School (780; North) and Thomas Alva Edison Intermediate School (759; South) for grades 6-8, along with Westfield High School (1,796) for grades 9-12.

There is also a Middle States accredited Catholic school, Holy Trinity Interparochial School, run by the three parishes of Holy Trinity and St. Helen’s in Westfield along with Our Lady of Lourdes in Mountainside, which offers education from Pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade and operates under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

Public transportation

New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley Line provides rail service from the Westfield train station to Newark Penn Station in Newark with connecting service to Penn Station New York. Westfield’s position and schedule on the Raritan Valley line make it highly desirable for commuters, as several times in the morning and evening rush hours a non-stop service is operated to/from Newark Penn Station. On these non-stop services, the one-way journey time to/from New York Penn Station is 50 minutes, or 20 minutes to/from Newark Penn Station. New Jersey Transit’s 113 route provides bus service to New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal seven days per week from the town center, taking approximately one hour to NYC, with additional service available along Route 22 on the northern edge of the town (New Jersey Transit bus routes 114 & 117), taking approximately 45 minutes, and the 59 route provides local bus service between Plainfield and Newark. Olympia Trails also offers weekday bus service to New York City.

Newark Liberty International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away, most conveniently reached via Route 22, and Linden Airport, a general aviation facility is in nearby Linden, New Jersey. Newark Liberty International Airport is also easily accessible via New Jersey Transit train.

Westfield Community Television (WCT)

The local community access channel 36 operates out of the Municipal Building on Broad Street in Westfield on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and half of every Sunday. WCT provides limited community related programming, coverage of town council meetings, and operates the WCT Bulletin Board. WCT shares time on channel 36 with Blue Devil Television which originates from Westfield High School and produces nearly 200 original productions each academic year.

All information about Westfield courtesy of Wikipedia.

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