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Westfield, New Jersey

Westfield, New Jersey
Town of Westfield
Miller-Cory House Museum
Map of Westfield in Union County. Inset: Location of Union County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Westfield, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40.651644°N 74.343447°WCoordinates40.651644°N 74.343447°W[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Union
Formed January 27, 1794
Incorporated February 21, 1798 as township
Reincorporated March 4, 1903 as town
 • Type Special Charter
 • Mayor Andrew Skibitsky (term ends December 31, 2013)[3]
 • Administrator James H. Gildea[4]
 • Clerk Claire J. Gray [5]
 • Total 6.743 sq mi (17.463 km2)
 • Land 6.719 sq mi (17.401 km2)
 • Water 0.024 sq mi (0.062 km2)  0.36%
Area rank 245th of 566 in state
5th of 21 in county[2]
Elevation[7] 118 ft (36 m)
Population (2010 Census)[8][9][10][11]
 • Total 30,316
 • Estimate (2012[12]) 30,639
 • Rank 74th of 566 in state
5th of 21 in county[13]
 • Density 4,512.2/sq mi (1,742.2/km2)
 • Density rank 127th of 566 in state
12th of 21 in county[13]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07090-07091[14]
Area code(s) 908
FIPS code 3403979040[15][2][16]
GNIS feature ID 0885436[17][2]

Westfield is a town in Union CountyNew Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 30,316,[8][9][10] reflecting an increase of 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.[18]

The old village area, now the downtown district, was settled in 1720 as part of theElizabethtown 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 on February 21, 1798, as a one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature. 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 asScotch Plains), Mountainside (September 25, 1895) and Hillside (April 3, 1913). The Town of Westfield was incorporated on March 4, 1903, replacing Westfield Township.[19]



Westfield is located at40°39′06″N 74°20′36″W(40.651644,-74.343447). According to theUnited 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.[1][2]

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.


Westfield consists of two sides of the town, the North Side and the South Side. The following are distinct neighborhoods in the town:

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



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.[20]


Downtown Westfield, NJ. July 21, 2005

Westfield's downtown features many local and national stores, such as Lord & Taylorand several landmarks that were shown and used in the NBC network television show Edsuch 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. 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.[21] 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 theSeptember 11 Memorial Park, which pays special tribute to the residents of Westfield who died on September 11, 2001.[22][23]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  
1810 2,152  
1820 2,358   9.6%
1830 2,492   5.7%
1840 3,150   26.4%
1850 1,577 * −49.9%
1860 1,719   9.0%
1870 2,753   60.2%
1880 2,216 * −19.5%
1890 2,739   23.6%
1900 4,328 * 58.0%
1910 6,420   48.3%
1920 9,063 * 41.2%
1930 15,801   74.3%
1940 18,458   16.8%
1950 21,243   15.1%
1960 31,447   48.0%
1970 33,720   7.2%
1980 30,447   −9.7%
1990 28,870   −5.2%
2000 29,644   2.7%
2010 30,316   2.3%
Est. 2012 30,639 [12] 1.1%
Population sources:
1810-1920[24] 1840[25] 1850-1870[26]
1850[27] 1870[28] 1880-1890[29]
1890-1910[30] 1910-1930[31]
1930-1990[32] 2000[33][34] 2010[8][9][10][11]
* = Lost territory in previous decade.[19]

2010 Census[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 30,316 people, 10,566 households, and 8,199 families residing in the town. Thepopulation 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)Black or African American, 0.12% (36) Native American, 5.67% (1,718) Asian, 0.03% (10) Pacific Islander, 0.79% (241) fromother races, and 1.97% (598) from two or more races. Hispanicor Latino of any race were 4.92% (1,492) of the population.[8]

There were 10,566 households 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.[8]

In the town, 30.0% of the population were 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.[8]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Surveyshowed 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 incomefor 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.[35]

2000 Census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[15] 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.[33][34]

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.[33][34]

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.[33][34]

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.[33][34]


Local government[edit]

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. The 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.[6] The Town Council holds weekly meetings open to the public where it discusses legislation under consideration.

As of 2013, the Mayor of Westfield is Andrew Skibitsky (R, term of office ends December 31, 2013). Members of the Westfield Town Council are Frank Arena (Ward 1; R, 2015), Sam Della Fera, Jr. (Ward 1; R, 2013), James M. Foerst (Ward 4; R, 2015), David Haas (Ward 3; D, 2013), Vicki L. Kimmins (Ward 2; R, 2013), Mark LoGrippo (Ward 3; R, 2015), Keith Loughlin (Ward 4; R, 2013) and JoAnn Neylan (Ward 2; R, 2015).[36] [37][38][39] The GOP will hold a 9-0 majority in the Town Council (including Mayor Skibitsky) through 2015 when four Council seats will be contested.

In the 2013 Mayoral and Town Council elections, Mayor Skibitsky and Council Members Della Fera, Kimmins, Loughlin, and Councilman-elect David Oliveira were victorious.[40]

In the 2011 Town Council elections, incumbent Council Members Arena, Neylan, LoGrippo and Foerst were victorious.[41]

In the 2009 Mayoral and Town Council elections, Mayor Skibitsky and Council Members Della Fera, Kimmins, Haas and Loughlin were victorious.[38][42]

Westfield politics are dominated by a two-party system in which the Republican Party and theDemocratic Party compete for elected offices. Historically, Westfield politics have been dominated by the GOP. The Westfield Republican Committee is chaired by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and the Westfield Democratic Committee is chaired by Janice Siegel.

Emergency services[edit]


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.[43] 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. Parking Services is responsible for monitoring parking and traffic safety within Westfield's Central Business District. This division in recent years has provided a major source of income for the town. In 2007, Westfield Parking Services issued 27,444 parking tickets of which 16,306 were for overtime parking at meters or in pay station lots.[44] Each division of the WPD operates different vehicles, most with a classic black-and-white paint scheme. As of June, 2012, they are as follows:

  • Patrol Division: Ford Crown Victorias (Units 41-49, 25 and 27-29), a Ford Expedition (Unit 40), an unmarked Crown Victoria (Unit 39), and an unmarked Ford Police Interceptor Utility (38). Units 25 and 40 are designated as supervisory vehicles.
  • Detective Bureau: Unmarked Ford Crown Victorias and a Dodge Durango
  • Traffic Safety Bureau: Ford Crown Victoria (24), Ford F-150 (22), and a GMC Sierra 1500 (23)
  • Emergency Services Unit: Ford E-150 (70), Ford Expedition (71),a trailer, a Mobile Special Operation Command Center, a Ford F-350, and a Polaris ATV.
  • Parking Services: Ford Crown Victorias (61-63) and a Ford Connect van (U1)
  • Other: 2 BMW motorcycles (31-32) donated by JMK BMW of Springfield, NJ and a Chevy Tahoe used by the Chief of Police.

The Westfield Fire Department was formed in 1875 following a fire that destroyed a city block on East Broad Street.[45] The WFD is a combination department with 36 paid/career firefighters and 15 volunteer firefighters. There are four platoons of eight (a Battalion Chief, two Lieutenants and five Firefighters) working a 24/72 hour work schedule out of two fire stations. Administrative members include the Chief of Department, the Deputy Chief of Operations, and the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention. The Fire Safety Inspector position in the Fire Prevention Bureau was been eliminated in January 2009 due to budget cuts. The current Chief of Department is Daniel J. Kelly.[46]

Westfield Fire Headquarters, located at 405 North Avenue West, is manned 24 hours a day by a Battalion Chief (Shift Commander), a Lieutenant and three Firefighters. These personnel man an Engine Company, first due on the north side of town, and the Ladder Company. A reserve Engine Company and a Utility Pick-Up are also housed at Fire Headquarters. The office of the Chief of Department and the Deputy Chief of Operations are located here as well.

Station 2, located at 1029 Central Avenue, is manned 24 hours a day by a Lieutenant and two firefighters. These personnel man an Engine Company, first due on the south side of town. A reserve Engine Company, a Utility Pick-Up, and a spare SUV are also housed at Station 2. The Fire Prevention Bureau is located at Station 2 and houses the office of the Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention.

The WFD in operates a fleet of four E-One Engines (2 x 2,000 GPM & 2 x 1,500 GPM) and 1 E-One 110' Ladder with two support pick-ups, one support SUV, and three staff 4x4 vehicles. The paint scheme for the older apparatus (Engine 4 and Truck 1) are yellow, with the newer apparatus (Engine 2,3,5) being red bodies with white cabs. The support vehicles, a Ford Pick-Up (Utility 7), a Chevy Pick-Up (Utility 8), and a Jeep Cherokee (Car 9) are red with white striping and the remaining staff vehicles, for Chief Officers, are unmarked Dodge Durangos (Car 1,11,12).

The WFD responds annually to approximately 2,000 calls for service. The WFD serves as a backup EMS agency for the town if the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad is not readily available. All members are CPR-Defib certified with 27 members currently New Jersey certified EMTs with the remaining members trained to the first responder level. Both stations are always manned with FF/EMTs 24 hours a day.

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.[47]

The career firefighters (excluding the Chief and Deputy Chiefs) are members of The New Jersey Firefighter's Mutual Benevolent Association (NJ FMBA) Local 30.[48]

Rescue squad[edit]

The Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad is manned around the clock by volunteer certified EMT's. Shifts range from 5 hours in the morning and afternoon to 14 hour overnights. The Squad has three ambulances to go out on calls with at least a crew every shift. Members are paged in the event that another emergency comes in and the original crew is answered a medical call. Dispatchers are also volunteer, answering phones directly from the Police line.[49]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Westfield is located in the 7th Congressional District[50] and is part of New Jersey's 21st state legislative district.[9][51][52]

New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District is represented by Leonard Lance (RClinton Township).[53] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (DNewark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[54][55] and Bob Menendez (D, North Bergen).[56][57]

The 21st Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate byThomas Kean, Jr. (RWestfield) and in the General Assembly by Jon Bramnick (R, Westfield) and Nancy Munoz (R, Summit).[58] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (RMendham Township).[59] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[60]

Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year, with an appointed County Manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Chairman and Vice Chairman from among its members.[61] As of 2013, Union County's Freeholders are Chairman Linda Carter (DPlainfield, term ends December 31, 2013),[62] Vice Chairman Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, 2014),[63] Bruce Bergen (D, Springfield Township, 2015),[64] Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth, 2014),[65] Mohamed S. Jalloh (D, Roselle, 2015),[66]Bette Jane Kowalski (D, Cranford, 2013),[67] Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, 2015),[68] Daniel P. Sullivan (D, Elizabeth, 2013)[69] and Vernell Wright (D, Union Township, 2014).[70][71]Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union Township, 2015),[72] Sheriff Ralph Froehlich (D, Union Township, 2013)[73] and Surrogate James S. LaCorte (D, Springfield Township, 2014).[74][75][76] The County Manager is Alfred Faella.[77]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 20,684 registered voters in Westfield, of which 6,485 (31.4% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 5,244 (25.4% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 8,942 (43.2% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 13 voters registered to other parties.[78] Among the town's 2010 Census population, 68.2% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 97.5% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).[78][79]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 8,080 votes here (50.9% vs. 66.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 7,555 votes (47.6% vs. 32.3%) and other candidates with 147 votes (0.9% vs. 0.8%), among the 15,866 ballots cast by the town's 21,797 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.8% (vs. 68.8% in Union County).[80][81] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 9,345 votes here (54.5% vs. 63.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 7,541 votes (44.0% vs. 35.2%) and other candidates with 154 votes (0.9% vs. 0.9%), among the 17,141 ballots cast by the town's 21,251 registered voters, for a turnout of 80.7% (vs. 74.7% in Union County).[82] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 8,442 votes here (50.6% vs. 58.3% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 8,037 votes (48.2% vs. 40.3%) and other candidates with 110 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 16,683 ballots cast by the town's 20,441 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.6% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).[83]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 6,070 votes here (51.0% vs. 41.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 4,776 votes (40.2% vs. 50.6%), Independent Chris Daggett with 900 votes (7.6% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 58 votes (0.5% vs. 0.8%), among the 11,893 ballots cast by the town's 20,982 registered voters, yielding a 56.7% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).[84]


Public school students in Kindergarten through 12th grade attend the Westfield Public Schools. As of the 2010-11 school year, the district's 10 schools had an enrollment of 6,426 students and 448.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.31:1.[85] The district has a central kindergarten, six elementary schools (grades 1-5), two middle schools (grades 6-8) divided by a "North Side / South Side" boundary, and one high school (grades 9-12). The schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[86]) are Lincoln School[87] (242 students), six elementary schools for grades 1-5 — Franklin Elementary School[88] (642; North), Jefferson Elementary School[89] (469; South), McKinley Elementary School[90] (367; South), Tamaques Elementary School[91] (437; South), Washington Elementary School[92] (334; North) and Wilson Elementary School[93] (424; North) — Roosevelt Intermediate School[94] (740; North) and Thomas Alva Edison Intermediate School[95] (769; South) for grades 6-8, along with Westfield High School[96] (1,839) for grades 9-12.[97][98]

For high school, public school students are also eligible to apply to attend the Union County Vocational Technical Schools, which include Union County Magnet High SchoolUnion County Academy for Information TechnologyUnion County Academy for Allied Health SciencesUnion County Vocational Technical High School and Union County Academy for Performing Arts.[99]

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.[100][101]

Public transportation[edit]

New Jersey Transit's Raritan Valley Line provides rail service from the Westfield train station toNewark 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.[102] 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.


Residential telephone service is handled by Verizon Communications. Westfield cable television is supplied by Comcast [3], which also delivers the Westfield Community Channel (channel 36),[103] News 12 New Jersey (channel 62) and Scotch Plains Local Access Channel (channel 34)[104] Public-access television cable TVVerizon's Fiber Optic Service (FiOS) is also offered in Westfield, which gives the option of digital cable, high-speed internet and telephone service. Power is supplied through the Public Service Electric and Gas Company. Gas is supplied by Elizabethtown Gas and water by American Water of New Jersey. Recycling is collected curbside by private haulers contracted by the Department of Public Works on a biweekly basis, while trash is collected by private haulers hired by residents.


Westfield is currently served by the weekly locally-published newspaper, The Westfield Leader.[105] The Record-Press[106] had served the community until it ended publication in 2008. Westfield is also served by multi-community newspapers including the Courier News, a daily newspaper based in Bridgewater Township, and the The Star Ledger based in Newark. Westfield Patch is an online newsource dedicated strictly to local Westfield news that is updated around the clock by a small staff of paid editors and volunteer contributors. The Alternative Press of Westfield is a locally owned and operated all-online, objective, newspaper serving the residents, organizations, and business owners of Westfield.

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.[107]

Notable people[edit]

Current and former notable residents of Westfield include: