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Pennsauken, New Jersey
Township in Camden County, New Jersey, United States
The exact origin of the name Pennsauken is unclear, but it probably derives from the language of the Lenni Lenape people (a Native American group which once occupied the area) from "Pindasenauken", the Lenape language term for "tobacco pouch". Alternatively, the "Penn" in the township's name refers to William Penn, while "sauk" is a water inlet or outlet.
Pennsauken was home to America's first drive-in movie theater, created in 1933 with the opening of the Camden Drive-In in Pennsauken. It featured the comedy Wives Beware, released in the theaters as Two White Arms.
For 50 years, the township was the home to the Pennsauken Mart, a large multi-vendor indoor market, which was closed in January 2006 to make way for a sports arena/conference complex, however that did not materialize. In its place in 2018 a new high-end luxury apartment complex will be built-Haddon Point. Most of the vendors moved to the Grand Market Place in Willingboro Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 12.082 square miles (31.291 km2), including 10.435 square miles (27.027 km2) of land and 1.647 square miles (4.264 km2) of water (13.63%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Amon Heights, Bethel, Biedemon, Delair, Delair Station, Delaware Gardens, Dudley, East Pennsauken, Fish House, Hillcrest, Homesteadville, Jordantown, Merchantville Park, Morris, Morrisville, North Pennsville and Wellwood.
The township includes Petty's Island, a 392-acre (1.59 km2) island in the Delaware River although most of the island actually sits across a narrow strait from neighboring Camden. Once an oil storage and distribution facility, the island is now the site of a container cargo shipping operation and nesting bald eagles. Petty's Island is currently in the process of being turned over to the State of New Jersey by Citgo to be transformed to a new state park and nature center .
The 12,633 households accounted 30.7% with children under the age of 18 living with them; 46.9% were married couples living together; 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 23.8% 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 2.83 and the average family size was 3.36.
In the township, the population age was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.0 years. For every 100 females, the population had 91.8 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.8 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $57,241 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,957) and the median family income was $65,910 (+/- $3,272). Males had a median income of $47,651 (+/- $3,101) versus $39,229 (+/- $2,035) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,048 (+/- $1,438). About 6.4% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.4% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
There were 12,389 households out of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 16.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% 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 3.34.
In the township the age distribution of the population shows 27.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $47,538, and the median income for a family was $52,760. Males had a median income of $37,652 versus $30,100 for females. The per capita income for the township was $19,004. About 6.1% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
Pennsauken Township is governed under the Township form of government. The five-member Township Committee is elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor and another as Deputy Mayor, each serving a one-year term.
As of 2019[update], members of the Pennsauken Township Committee are Mayor Tim Killion (D, term of office on committee and as mayor ends December 31, 2020; elected to serve an unexpired term), Deputy Mayor Marco DiBattista (D, term on committee ends 2021; term as deputy mayor ends 2020), Almar "Al" Dyer (D, 2022), Elizabeth W. "Betsy" McBride (D, 2020) and Jessica Rafeh (D, 2021).
In July 2019, the Township Committee appointed Tim Killion to fill the seat expiring in December 2020 that had been held by former Mayor Jack Killion until he resigned from office the previous month; Betsy McBride was selected to replace Jack Killion as mayor. In November 2020, Killion was elected to serve the balance of the term of office.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 22,704 registered voters in Pennsauken Township, of which 9,989 (44.0%) were registered as Democrats, 2,263 (10.0%) were registered as Republicans and 10,443 (46.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 9 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 78.4% of the vote (12,200 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 20.8% (3,233 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (135 votes), among the 15,722 ballots cast by the township's 24,313 registered voters (154 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.7%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 74.0% of the vote (12,195 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain, who received around 23.2% (3,824 votes), with 16,485 ballots cast among the township's 21,669 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.1%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 63.7% of the vote (9,384 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush, who received around 32.1% (4,720 votes), with 14,726 ballots cast among the township's 20,846 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 70.6.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 51.4% of the vote (414 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 44.3% (357 votes), and other candidates with 4.2% (34 votes), among the 915 ballots cast by the borough's 2,793 registered voters (110 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 32.8%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 64.% of the vote (5,594 ballots cast), ahead of both Republican Chris Christie with 28.8% (2,517 votes) and Independent Chris Daggett with 4.2% (364 votes), with 8,745 ballots cast among the township's 22,497 registered voters, yielding a 38.9% turnout.
Daily NJ Transit bus service between the township and Philadelphia is available on routes 317, 404, 406, and 409. Additional service to Philadelphia is available through routes 414 and 417, which run on weekdays during morning and evening rush hours. The township is also serviced by intrastate or
local routes 405, 407, 413, and 419, as well as express route 418.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Pennsauken Township include:
^Strauss, Robert. "Final Days for the Pennsauken Mart", The New York Times, January 8, 2006. Accessed July 24, 2012. "But at the end of the month, Mr. Kramer will be moving his stool, along with the polyester and cotton, the jeans and the shirts, out of Pennsauken for good. The Mart, a downscale 50-year-old shopping barn -- a precursor and perhaps progenitor of the mall culture that came just after it -- is closing, the victim of redevelopment."
^Ung, Elisa; and Ott, Dwight. "New plan for Petty's Island Pennsauken now is backing a proposal with less development.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 22, 2007. Accessed July 24, 2012. "That, he said, is 12 percentage points less than the current, controversial footprint proposed by developer Cherokee Pennsauken L.L.C. for the island's 392 acres.... Petty's Island was home to a pair of nesting bald eagles when it became an environmental and political controversy after Citgo Petroleum offered to donate it to the state as open space in 2004. Pennsauken officials and state Democratic power brokers, however, wanted to develop it as part of a $1 billion makeover of formerly industrial waterfront."
^Salmans, Sandra. "In Person; The Suburban Mobster as Genre", The New York Times, June 8, 2003. Accessed January 1, 2018. "Mr. Dezenhall (pronounced DEHZ-in-hall), 40, was born in Camden and grew up in Pennsauken and Cherry Hill, in a family that was solidly middle class; his father is a stockbroker and his mother, who died 16 years ago, was president of the PTA."
^Leadership, United States Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps. Accessed December 14, 2014. "DeRenzi was born in Philadelphia, and raised in Pennsauken, N. J."
^Whittaker, Celeste E. "Pennsauken grad Fisher wins MAC's top honor at Kent State", Courier-Post, March 27, 2008. Accessed July 24, 2012. Al Fisher couldn't have asked for a better first season at Kent State. The former Pennsauken High School standout was the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, led his team in scoring and assists, and topped it off by making an appearance in the NCAA tournament."
^Six, Jim. "Garcia confirmed for reappointment to parole board", NJ.com, January 10, 2008. Accessed July 25, 2016. "The full Senate this week confirmed Governor Jon Corzine's nomination of Carmen M. Garcia for reappointment to a six-year term on the state parole board. Garcia, who grew up in Camden and Pennsauken, is one of two appointed parole board members exclusively assigned to decide parole matters related to juvenile offenders housed in juvenile institutional and residential facilities under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), as well as juvenile offenders housed in State prisons."
^Staff. "Pennsauken reliving past glory", Courier-Post, September 18, 2005. Accessed July 24, 2012. "It is not just the current players who think Pennsauken football is well on its way back. Former Pennsauken great Dwight Hicks was at the game."
^Laible, Don. "Wilt, Dr J, the ABA Melchionni Saw It All", Observer-Dispatch, April 16, 2016. Accessed August 11, 2016. "From starring as a guard at Bishop Eustace Prep in his hometown of Pennsauken, New Jersey, to becoming a collegiate star in the mid-1960's at Villanova, and ultimately being a member of three professional championship teams, Melchionni saw, first-hand, some of the game's all-time greats, up close and personal."
^Didinger, Ray. "This Pennsauken Corner Grows Pros", Philadelphia Daily News, January 22, 1990. Accessed December 14, 2014. "The Griggs brothers grew up on the corner of Remington Avenue. Two doors down were the Taylors: John (wide receiver, 49ers) and Keith (defensive back, Indianapolis). Around the corner was Todd McNair (running back, Kansas City)."