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Palisades Park, New Jersey
Borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.28 square miles (3.32 km2), including 1.24 square miles (3.21 km2) of land and 0.04 square miles (0.11 km2) of water (3.28%).
Of the 6,934 households, 26.1% had children under the age of 18; 53.7% were married couples living together; 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present and 27.6% were non-families. Of all households, 19.8% were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.20.
16.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 37.9% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.0 years. For every 100 females, the population had 99.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 98.3 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $55,602 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,300) and the median family income was $66,725 (+/- $8,196). Males had a median income of $43,919 (+/- $8,170) versus $46,014 (+/- $6,780) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,666 (+/- $2,900). About 12.0% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over.
In 2000, 36.38% of Palisades Park residents identified as being of Korean heritage. This was the highest percentage of Korean Americans of any place in the country with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry and more than double that of second-ranked Cerritos, California. Also in the 2000 Census, 3.1% of Palisades Park's residents identified themselves as being of Croatian ancestry. This was the second highest percentage of people with Croatian ancestry in any place in New Jersey with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 6,247 households, out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 22.9% 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 2.73 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the borough, the population was spread out, with 19.4% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 37.8% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.8 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $48,015, and the median income for a family was $54,503. Males had a median income of $37,204 versus $31,997 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $22,607. About 8.5% of families and 9.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.9% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.
Palisades Park 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 government is comprised 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 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 Palisades Park 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 Palisades Park is Democrat Christopher J. Chung, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Chung is the first Korean-American mayor in Bergen County and the second in the State of New Jersey. Members of the Palisades Park Borough Council are Council President Frank Donahue (D, 2020), Chong Paul Kim (D, 2021), Jong Chul Lee (D, 2021), Son K. "Andy" Min (D, 2022), Cyndy A. Pirrera (D, 2020) and Michael P. Vietri (D, 2022).
In January 2019, Andy Min was unanimously appointed to fill the seat expiring in December 2019 that became vacant when Christopher Chung took office as mayor.
In August 2019, Michael Vietri was appointed to fill the seat expiring in December 2019 that was vacated by Henry Ruh after he resigned the previous month as he was moving out of the borough.
During the 2018 primary election for mayor, former Mayor James Rotundo's mother Lorraine Rotundo went on a "racist tirade" on Facebook two days after the primary election. At this point in time, the race was extremely close with Christopher Chung winning by a narrow margin. Lorraine Rotundo made the post in response to the massive number of Koreans at the voting booths. She stated that Palisades Park should "go to hell," and exclaimed that the Korean residents could "have this F'n town." She later went on to post that only English should be spoken in the Borough Hall. Former Mayor James Rotundo apologized on behalf of his mother and strongly denounced her comments. "I'm disgusted with her statement," he said. Rotundo claimed that he was not raised by these sentiments.
Christopher Chung was sworn into office as a council member in January 2014, having been selected by the council from among three names submitted by the Democratic Municipal Committee to fill the vacant seat of Jason Kim, who had resigned earlier that month.
Federal, state and county representation
Palisades Park is located in the 9th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 37th state legislative district.
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year; a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore are selected from among its seven members at a reorganization meeting held each January.
As of 2018[update], the County Executive is Democratic James J. Tedesco III of Paramus, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Bergen County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Chairman Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman ends 2018),
Freeholder Vice-Chairwoman Germaine M. Ortiz (D, Emerson, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder vice-chairwoman ends 2018),
Freeholder Chairman Pro-Tempore Mary J. Amoroso (D, Mahwah, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman pro-tempore ends 2018),
David L. Ganz (D, Fair Lawn, 2020),
Steve Tanelli (D, North Arlington, 2018),Joan Voss (D, Fort Lee, 2020) and
Tracy Silna Zur (D, Franklin Lakes, 2018), Bergen County's constitutional officials are
County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale, 2021),
Sheriff Michael Saudino (D, Emerson, 2019) and
Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill, 2021).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 6,410 registered voters in Palisades Park, of which 1,839 (28.7% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,128 (17.6% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 3,443 (53.7% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 32.7% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 39.1% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,487 votes here (67.1% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 1,147 votes (31.0% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 39 votes (1.1% vs. 0.9%), among the 3,704 ballots cast by the borough's 6,925 registered voters, for a turnout of 53.5% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,646 votes here (58.7% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 1,746 votes (38.7% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 46 votes (1.0% vs. 0.8%), among the 4,508 ballots cast by the borough's 6,906 registered voters, for a turnout of 65.3% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 2,650 votes here (58.6% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 1,830 votes (40.4% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 22 votes (0.5% vs. 0.7%), among the 4,525 ballots cast by the borough's 7,033 registered voters, for a turnout of 64.3% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 50.6% of the vote (919 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 47.6% (864 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (33 votes), among the 1,878 ballots cast by the borough's 6,473 registered voters (62 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 29.0%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 1,498 ballots cast (58.1% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 913 votes (35.4% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 91 votes (3.5% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 14 votes (0.5% vs. 0.5%), among the 2,578 ballots cast by the borough's 6,693 registered voters, yielding a 38.5% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 28.00 miles (45.06 km) of roadways, of which 22.80 miles (36.69 km) were maintained by the municipality, 1.01 miles (1.63 km) by Bergen County and 4.19 miles (6.74 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
In May 2012, borough officials in Palisades Park rejected requests by two diplomatic delegations from Japan to remove a small monument from a public park, a brass plaque on a block of stone, dedicated in 2010 to the memory of the 200,000 comfort women forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Japanese officials from the first delegation had cited apologies offered by that country's government for its involvement as justifying the removal of the monument, while officials from the second delegation claimed the "comfort women were a lie". Days later, a South Korean delegation endorsed the borough's decision.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Palisades Park include:
^Perez-Pena, Richard. "Palisades Park Journal; As Koreans Pour In, a Town Is Remade", The New York Times, December 16, 2010. Accessed July 24, 2014. "But none more so than Palisades Park, whose population is now 54 percent Asian-American and 44 percent Korean-American, the Census Bureau reported this week. Major population centers like Queens and Los Angeles have more Koreans, but Palisades Park, with fewer than 20,000 people, is, proportionally, the most heavily Korean municipality in the country, according to Pyong Gap Min, a distinguished professor of sociology at Queens College."
^Astudillo, Carla. "The 41 N.J. towns where English is not the dominant language", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 10, 2017, updated May 15, 2019. Accessed March 2, 2020. "New Jersey is home to 41 towns where English is not the dominant language for the majority of the population. Towns like Union City and West New York are primarily dominated by Spanish speakers, while Korean is the language spoken by more than half of residents in Palisades Park and Englewood Cliffs.... 3. Palisades Park, Bergen- 80.9%"
^Cattafi, Kristie. "Palisades Park Council will decide on longtime councilman's replacement", The Record, August 9, 2019. Accessed October 5, 2019. "The three candidates -- Michael P. Vietri, Arlene Star and Michael Lee -- were submitted by the borough's Democratic county committee members. Last month, Councilman Henry Ruh, who was first elected to the council in 2008, resigned. Ruh, 76, served the community as a police officer and captain before retiring in 2001."
^Biography, Congressman Bill Pascrell. Accessed January 3, 2019."A native son of Paterson, N.J., Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. has built a life of public service upon the principles he learned while growing up on the south side of the Silk City."
^Kim, Yung. "William J. Dorgan, 81; former mayor and freeholder director", The Record, October 15, 2003. Accessed October 29, 2013. "William J. Dorgan, a former Bergen County freeholder director and mayor of Palisades Park, died Saturday in Florida. He was 81. A Republican, Mr. Dorgan won his first term as Palisades Park mayor in 1960 and served until 1967."
^Goodridge, Michael. Filmcraft: Editing: Editing, p. 55. Taylor & Francis US, 2011. ISBN9780240818658. Accessed December 12, 2013. "Certainly the profession would have been a less inclusive one without the pioneering career of Barbara McLean, who, like Booth, was one of the first women to work as a film editor in Hollywood. Born in 1903 in Palisades Park, N.J., she grew up working in the film laboratory of her father, Charles Pollut, and became an assistant editor at First National Studio before going to work at 20th Century Pictures (before it merged with Fox Film Corporation in 1935)."
^Pascrell, Bill. "Honorable Patrick J. Roma", p. 15615, Congressional Record, Extensions of Remarks, Vol.160, pt. 11, November 12, 2014. Accessed June 11, 2020. "During his time as Partner at Freidman, Pearlman & Roma, P.C., Judge Roma was elected as Council President and Police Commissioner for the Borough of Palisades Park."