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Carlstadt was originally formed as a village by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 12, 1860, within Lodi Township. Most sources indicate that the community was named for Dr. Carl Klein, the leader of a group of early German settlers who led the project to establish the community though Henry Gannett stated that the name derived from the city of Karlovac in Croatia, which was known as "Carlstadt" in German. The Borough of Carlstadt was incorporated on June 27, 1894, formally set off from Bergen Township. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 4.243 square miles (10.989 km2), including 3.999 square miles (10.358 km2) of land and 0.244 square miles (0.632 km2) of water (5.75%).
There were 2,378 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.5 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 92.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $62,255 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,455) and the median family income was $71,506 (+/- $5,117). Males had a median income of $50,994 (+/- $7,494) versus $41,333 (+/- $6,468) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,403 (+/- $3,646). About 7.2% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
There were 2,393 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the borough the age distribution of the population shows 19.0% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $55,058, and the median income for a family was $62,040. Males had a median income of $46,540 versus $36,804 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,713. About 3.1% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.
Carlstadt is governed under the borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists 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 consists 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, the most common system used in the state, 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 2017[update], the mayor of Carlstadt is Republican Craig J. Lahullier, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. Members of the Borough Council are Council President David Stoltz (R, 2019), Richard E. Bartlett (R, 2019), Joe Emerson (R, 2017), James Lenoy (R, 2017), William D. "Bill" Shockley (R, 2018) and Robert J. "Bob" Zimmermann (R, 2018).
In January 2014, Joseph Emerson was appointed from among three nominees offered to fill the vacant seat of Dennis Ritchie that was scheduled to expire in December 2014.
Federal, state and county representation
Carlstadt is located in the 9th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 36th 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 3,420 registered voters in Carlstadt, of which 897 (26.2% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 734 (21.5% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 1,788 (52.3% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 55.8% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 70.0% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 1,462 votes (50.9% vs. 41.1% countywide), ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton with 1,289 votes (44.8% vs. 54.2% countywide) and other candidates with 124 votes (4.3% vs. 4.6% countywide), among the 2,924 votes cast by the borough's 3,860 registered voters for a turnout of 75.7% (vs. 72.5% in Bergen County). In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 1,416 votes (53.5% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 1,165 votes (44.0% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 34 votes (1.3% vs. 0.9%), among the 2,646 ballots cast by the borough's 3,663 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.2% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 1,481 votes (51.9% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,316 votes (46.1% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 34 votes (1.2% vs. 0.8%), among the 2,854 ballots cast by the borough's 3,707 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.0% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 1,414 votes (49.7% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 1,377 votes (48.4% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 33 votes (1.2% vs. 0.7%), among the 2,845 ballots cast by the borough's 3,696 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.0% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 60.5% of the vote (997 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 38.1% (628 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (23 votes), among the 1,694 ballots cast by the borough's 3,520 registered voters (46 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 48.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 942 votes (50.2% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 773 votes (41.2% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 115 votes (6.1% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 15 votes (0.8% vs. 0.5%), among the 1,878 ballots cast by the borough's 3,551 registered voters, yielding a 52.9% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
Public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade are served by the Carlstadt Public Schools. As of the 2015-16 school year, the district and its one school had an enrollment of 575 students and 42.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 13.7:1. With the opening of the Carlstadt Public School in 2007, which now serves all of Carlstadt's K-8 students, the Lincoln and Washington school sites have been turned over to the borough and plans have been developed to convert the sites to senior housing.
The Carlstadt Police Department is headed by Police Chief Thomas Nielsen. The department's first chief, Charles Schmidt, was appointed in 1907.
The Carlstadt Fire Department (CFD) is an all-volunteer fire department. The CFD was organized in March 1872 and consists of one Chief, one assistant chief, one deputy chief and one battalion chief. The department is staffed by 80 fully trained firefighters. The CFD utilizes three engines, a ladder truck, a heavy rescue vehicle and a boat. The Chief of the Department for 2019 is Henry J. Riveros, Assistant Chief is Tony D'Amico, Deputy Chief is Dennis "Bo" Kronyak Jr., and Battalion Chief is Matt Moran.
Emergency medical services are provided in the borough by the Carlstadt Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CVAC), established on January 1, 1974. The charitable organization has roughly 25 volunteer members on the roster (Emergency Medical Technicians and First Aiders). CVAC is led by a corps voted Captain and Lieutenant, and are managed by a Board of Officers composed solely of corps members. CVAC is part of NJ's First Aid Council, District 24. CVAC is based out of a borough-owned building at 424 Hackensack Street. They currently operate two Ford ambulances and a 2000 Ford Expedition utility vehicle, also owned by the Borough. CVAC responds to approximately 1500 emergency calls per year.
Roads and highways
The entrance to the Meadowlands Sports Complex along the southbound New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) in Carlstadt
^Nicholaides, Kelly. "Former Bergen County DPW director appointed to two, part-time roles in Carlstadt", South Bergenite, January 8, 2015, backed up by the Internet Archive as of April 26, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2017. "The former Bergen County Public Works director Joe Crifasi, who left his DPW position with the borough in 2011 when he was hired by then County Executive Kathleen Donovan, has been hired by Carlstadt for two part-time positions.... As of the beginning of the year, Crifasi earns $75,000 as borough operations manager and $46,000 as director of public works operations for maintenance and equipment.... In addition to his DPW leadership duties, it is possible that Crifasi, in this new manager position, will serve as a replacement to the borough administrator role, which has been vacant for more than two years."
^Van Valen, James M. History of Bergen County, New Jersey, p. 363, New Jersey Publishing and Engraving Co., 1900. Accessed July 5, 2011. "Papers of incorporation were executed February 24, 1854. The projector of the village was Dr. Carl Klein, and in honor of him the village was named Carlstadt."
^Harvey, Cornelius Burnham. Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, p. 11, New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900. Accessed September 1, 2013. "For a period of sixteen years following the passage of this act few boroughs were organized in the State, only three of them being in Bergen County.... As it was twenty-six boroughs were in the county from January 23, 1894, to December 18, of the same year."
^Horyn, Cathy. "Pantone's Color of the Year Is...", The New York Times, December 20, 2007. Accessed September 8, 2008. "Nonetheless, Pantone's choice of blue iris, or No. 18-3943, got some news media attention last week, which seemed to be partly the objective of the company, which is based in Carlstadt, N.J."
^"People/Business; Yoo-Hoo: A Carlstadt Success Story", The New York Times, March 2, 1975. Accessed September 8, 2017. "According to Dr. Max A. Geller, he became involved in the soft -drink industry 'largely by accident.' It happened in 1960, when he acquired control of the thenfledgling Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Beverage Corporation. Today, the Carlstadt-headquartered concern, whose principal product is a milkbased, noncarbonated chocolate drink, operates internationally."
^Staff. "Joseph Emerson sworn in to Carlstadt Council", South Bergenite, January 29, 2014, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 5, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2017. "Surrounding by his family, Joseph T. Emerson was sworn in as Carlstadt Councilman by Mayor Will Roseman on Jan. 28. Emerson was one of three candidates considered.... Emerson fills former Councilman Dennis Ritchie's unexpired term that ends on Dec. 31, 2014."
^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."
^Wildstein, David (January 24, 2018). "Calabrese unopposed for Caride seat". Politics DW. Retrieved 2018. Caride resigned last week, following Gov. Phil Murphy's inauguration. She is currently the Acting Commissioner of Banking and Insurance as she awaits State Senate confirmation.
^Staff. "Carlstadt could start senior housing complex by September", South Bergenite, May 26, 2011, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 7, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2017. "With the two borough senior groups giving the thumbs up to a long-awaited concept, borough officials will soon commence a project to build an affordable senior housing complex for Carlstadt residents only, not at the previously targeted Washington School site, but at Lincoln School on Sixth Street. The former school will be refurbished and converted to apartments. The plan is to refurbish Lincoln School on Sixth Street to its historical circa 1909 state and convert the inside of the building to 20 apartments while keeping offices and the gymnasium for senior activity rooms."
^Staff. "Winchell's Big Brain", Baltimore Afro-American, March 15, 1952. Accessed February 10, 2011. "Cueno was born in Carlstadt, New Jersey, on May 27, 1905. He attended East Rutherford High School where he edited the school newspaper."
^Caldera, Pete. "DeRosa re-invents himself with Rangers", The Record (Bergen County), July 26, 2006. "'They gave me a chance to play again, and it's been a nice situation. It's been fun,' said DeRosa, a 1993 Bergen Catholic graduate from Carlstadt who has become an important fixture in Showalter's everyday lineup."