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Rockleigh, New Jersey
Borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States
Rockleigh (pronounced ROCK-lee) is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 531, reflecting an increase of 140 (+35.8%) from the 391 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 121 (+44.8%) from the 270 counted in the 1990 Census. Bordering Alpine, a community ranked America's most expensive ZIP Code by Forbes, Rockleigh has a similar residential character, with large single-family homes on large plots of land.
Rockleigh was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 13, 1923 (based on the results of a referendum held on April 10, 1923) from portions of Northvale. The borough was named for a property in Virginia that had been owned by the borough's first mayor.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Rockleigh as its 13th best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.01 square miles (2.62 km2), including 1.00 square miles (2.60 km2) of land and 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2) of water (0.69%). Rockleigh is about 25 miles (40 km) from Manhattan in New York City.
Of the 75 households, 32.0% had children under the age of 18; 70.7% were married couples living together; 4.0% had a female householder with no husband present and 22.7% were non-families. Of all households, 13.3% were made up of individuals and 8.0% 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 3.28.
16.2% of the population were under the age of 18, 2.8% from 18 to 24, 8.9% from 25 to 44, 15.1% from 45 to 64, and 57.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 73.8 years. For every 100 females, the population had 58.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 47.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $137,778 (with a margin of error of +/- $87,096) and the median family income was $139,861 (+/- $77,779). Males had a median income of $76,719 (+/- $48,274) versus $70,3136 (+/- $43,416) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $36,771 (+/- $23,965). About none of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
There were 74 households, out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.6% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 10.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.40.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 26.3% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 15.6% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 32.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 68.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $152,262, and the median income for a family was $157,816. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $66,250 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $48,935. None of the families and 23.1% of the population were living below the poverty line, including no one under eighteen and none of those over 64.
Volvo Car USA, LLC., a Swedish company that manufactures safety-oriented luxury automobiles, maintains an American headquarters in Rockleigh.
Rockleigh 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 governing body is comprised of a Mayor and a Borough Council, 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 Rockleigh 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 Rockleigh is Republican Robert R. Schaffer, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022. Members of the Rockleigh Borough Council are Marilyn A. Bresnak (R, 2021), Frank S. Cumiskey (R, 2020), David C. Hansen (R, 2022), Douglas B. Johnsen Sr. (R, 2020), John Ivan Mender (R, 2021) and James G. Pontone (R, 2022).
In elections held in November 2010, Robert R. Schaffer ran a successful write-in campaign and defeated incumbent mayor Nick Langella by a 2-1 margin. Councilmembers Shirl Ewald and James Pontone were re-elected.
Law enforcement services in Rockleigh are provided under contract by the Northvale Police Department. The borough paid Northvale $325,000 per year for police coverage in 2017.
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 229 registered voters in Rockleigh, of which 59 (25.8% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 70 (30.6% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 99 (43.2% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 43.1% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 51.5% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 89 votes (53.3% vs. 41.6% countywide), ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton with 68 votes (40.7% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 5 votes (3.0% vs. 3.0%), among the 167 ballots cast by the borough's 256 registered voters, for a turnout of 65.2% (vs. 72.5% in Bergen County). In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 89 votes (53.6% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 76 votes (45.8% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 1 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 166 ballots cast by the borough's 260 registered voters, for a turnout of 63.8% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 97 votes (49.2% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 95 votes (48.2% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with votes (0.0% vs. 0.8%), among the 197 ballots cast by the borough's 281 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.1% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 100 votes (50.5% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 96 votes (48.5% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with one vote (0.5% vs. 0.7%), among the 198 ballots cast by the borough's 272 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.8% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 62.0% of the vote (75 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 12.4% (15 votes), and other candidates with 25.6% (31 votes), among the 92 ballots cast by the borough's 238 registered voters for a turnout of 38.7%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 70 votes (55.6% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 51 votes (40.5% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 5 votes (4.0% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with no votes (0.0% vs. 0.5%), among the 126 ballots cast by the borough's 258 registered voters, yielding a 48.8% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
Students from Rockleigh, a non-operating school district, attend the Northvale Public Schools in the Borough of Northvale as part of a sending/receiving relationship. The Rockleigh Borough Board of Education is a five-member board with the members appointed by the mayor since 2005. The district's last elected term expired in 2007 at which time the board consisted entirely of mayoral appointees. As of the 2017-18 school year, the district, comprised of one school, had an enrollment of 532 students and 47.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 11.2:1. As of the 2012-13 school year, Thomas Jefferson School (for grades K-4) and Nathan Hale School (for grades 5-8) were combined to create the Northvale Public School, as part of an effort to reduce costs associated with running two separate schools that shared a common campus and corridor.
Will Elder (1921-2008), illustrator and comic book artist who worked in numerous areas of commercial art but is best known for a zany cartoon style that helped launch Harvey Kurtzman's Mad comic book in 1952.
^Lightdale, Marc. "In stunner, write-in candidate knocks off Rockleigh mayor", Northern Valley Suburbanite, November 3, 2010. Accessed April 8, 2011. "Write-in candidate Robert R. Schaffer was elected mayor on Tuesday night, defeating the Republican incumbent Nick Langella.... Schaffer received 74 votes, according to Borough Administrator William McGuire, and Langella had 37, including absentee ballots.... Two council members, both Republicans, ran unopposed. James Pontone, who has been on the council since 2003, got 64 votes; Shirl Ewald, who has been on the council since 1995, received 65."
^Police Department, Borough of Rockleigh. Accessed November 25, 2017. "Rockleigh Borough contracts with the Borough of Northvale, NJ, for a full range of security services and resources."
^Biography, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Josh now lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with Marla, his wife who was a federal prosecutor, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben."
^ abRockleigh Public Services, Rockleigh, New Jersey. Accessed December 16, 2013. "Rockleigh Borough is a "sending district" in that there is no public school within the Borough, except for three special-education schools administered by Bergen County.... The Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, a nationally ranked high school, receives older children from Rockleigh Borough."
^Harris, Chris. "Giving Northvale school a new name isn't so easy", The Record, September 9, 2012. Accessed October 14, 2014. "A decision to consolidate and rename the borough's two public schools has raised the ire of several residents.... Changing the name of the Northvale schools -- which last year were the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and the Nathan Hale Middle School -- to Northvale Public School was not done lightly, Superintendent Michael Pinajian said."
^Home page, Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, backed up by the Internet Archive as of December 4, 2011. Accessed November 22, 2011. "Welcome to Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, home of the Golden Knights. Although our students reside in four different towns; Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood, and Old Tappan, once they arrive here they are treated as one."
^Northern Valley Regional High School District 2016 Report Card Narrative, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 4, 2020. "Located in the upper North Eastern corner of the state, Northern Valley Regional is comprised of two high schools, Northern Valley at Demarest and Northern Valley at Old Tappan.... Our long standing successful and cost efficient Pre-K-12 consortium remains an exemplar model of shared services including seven local Pre-K-8 districts that send their students to the regional high schools: Closter, Demarest, Harrington Park, Haworth, Northvale, Norwood and Old Tappan."
^Our Communities, Northern Valley Regional High School District. Accessed March 4, 2020. "The seven towns that make up the Northern Valley Regional High School District - Closter, Demarest, Harrington Park, Haworth, Northvale, Norwood, and Old Tappan - are situated in the northeast corner of Bergen County, New Jersey."