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New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Clark as its 33rd best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey. In 2013, New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Clark as 174th in its rankings of "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 4.494 square miles (11.640 km2), including 4.301 square miles (11.141 km2) of land and 0.193 square miles (0.499 km2) of water (4.29%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Ashbrook, Florence Mills, Lenox, Madison Hill and Picton.
There were 5,562 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the township, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.8 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.8 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $80,959 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,674) and the median family income was $99,839 (+/- $7,789). Males had a median income of $65,399 (+/- $3,444) versus $49,649 (+/- $3,780) for females. The per capita income for the township was $37,288 (+/- $2,811). About 2.3% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.3% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.
According to the 2009-2013 American Community Survey, the largest ancestry groups were:
There were 5,637 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the township the population was spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 21.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $65,019, and the median income for a family was $77,291. Males had a median income of $54,543 versus $36,361 for females. The per capita income for the township was $29,883. About 1.0% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.
Clark Township is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government. The Clark Township Committee consists of seven members, with three elected at-large from the township as a whole and four elected from wards. Four seats come up for election every two years on an alternating basis, with the three Council-at-large seats and Mayor coming up to vote, and then the four ward seats, all elected to four-year terms of office.
As of 2016[update], the Mayor of Clark is Republican Salvatore F. "Sal" Bonaccorso, whose term of office ends December 31, 2020. Members of the Township Council are Council President Steven M. Hund (Third Ward; R, 2018), Council Vice President Angel Albanese (at-large; R, 2020), Alvin Barr (at-large; R, 2020), Frank G. Mazzarella (First Ward; R, 2018), Patrick O'Connor (Second Ward; R, 2018), Bill Smith (at-large; R, 2020) and Brian P. Toal (Fourth Ward; R, 2018).
Federal, state and county representation
Clark is located in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District, and is part of New Jersey's 22nd state legislative district.
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 Chair and Vice Chair from among its members. As of 2019[update], Union County's Freeholders are Chair Bette Jane Kowalski (D, Cranford, term ends December 31, 2019), Vice Chair Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, 2021)
Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth, 2020),
Angela R. Garretson (D, Hillside Township, 2020),
Sergio Granados (D, Elizabeth, 2019),
Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, term ends December 31, 2020),
Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded (D, Westfield, 2021),
Andrea Staten (D, Roselle, 2021),
Rebecca Williams (D, Plainfield, 2019). Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are
County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union, 2020),
Sheriff Peter Corvelli (D, Kenilworth, 2020) and
Surrogate James S. LaCorte (D, Springfield Township, 2019). The County Manager is Edward Oatman.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 10,190 registered voters in Clark Township, of which 2,841 (27.9% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,311 (22.7% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 5,036 (49.4% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 2 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 69.1% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 87.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 4,538 votes (58.6% vs. 32.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 3,041 votes (39.3% vs. 66.0%) and other candidates with 97 votes (1.3% vs. 0.8%), among the 7,741 ballots cast by the township's 10,614 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.9% (vs. 68.8% in Union County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 5,093 votes (61.5% vs. 35.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 3,038 votes (36.7% vs. 63.1%) and other candidates with 85 votes (1.0% vs. 0.9%), among the 8,276 ballots cast by the township's 10,550 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.4% (vs. 74.7% in Union County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 4,819 votes (58.7% vs. 40.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 3,237 votes (39.4% vs. 58.3%) and other candidates with 80 votes (1.0% vs. 0.7%), among the 8,209 ballots cast by the township's 10,493 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.2% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 67.4% of the vote (3,016 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 31.3% (1,402 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (60 votes), among the 4,549 ballots cast by the township's 10,438 registered voters (71 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 43.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 3,375 votes (63.4% vs. 41.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 1,500 votes (28.2% vs. 50.6%), Independent Chris Daggett with 365 votes (6.9% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 40 votes (0.8% vs. 0.8%), among the 5,327 ballots cast by the township's 10,302 registered voters, yielding a 51.7% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).
The Clark Scholarship Fund is a not-for-profit organization that has provided need-based scholarships to college-bound Clark residents since 1955, funded entirely by contributions from individuals and businesses.
The Garden State Parkway southbound in Clark
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 58.95 miles (94.87 km) of roadways, of which 48.34 miles (77.80 km) were maintained by the municipality, 8.03 miles (12.92 km) by Union County, and 2.58 miles (4.15 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The Clark Circle connects Central Avenue, Brant Avenue, Valley Road, and the Garden State Parkway via Exit 135. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority redesigned the circle as part of a project that ran from 2007 to 2009 under which the movements at the circle are now controlled by traffic lights. Interchange 135 on the Parkway is signed for Clark / Westfield.
^Russell, Suzanne. "Linda Carter sworn into General Assembly, replacing Jerry Green", Courier News, May 24, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2018. "Former Union County Freeholder Linda Carter was sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly on Thursday, representing the 22nd Legislative District communities in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties.... Carter replaces Assemblyman Jerry Green, 79, of Plainfield, who died April 18. Green served 26 years in the assembly."
^AboutArchived 2011-08-13 at the Wayback Machine, Clark Scholarship Fund. Accessed July 11, 2011. "Since 1955, the Clark Scholarship Fund has honored outstanding Clark, NJ students. The Fund is supported entirely by contributions from businesses and individual citizens in the community. It has no endowment and does not receive support from government or foundation sources."
^Finn, Robin. "For a Lawyer Who's Angry, a Gotti Is Therapy", The New York Times, September 30, 2005. Accessed April 14, 2008. "Mr. Lichtman, unsurprisingly, was no fan of the mob turncoats the prosecution engaged as witnesses: "Arrogant." They reminded him, he says, of the bullies he grew up with in Clark, N.J., where his father was a meatpacker and fistfights trumped schoolyard conversations."
^Caroom, Eliot. "Clark native set to lead one of last NASA shuttle missions", The Star-Ledger, May 2, 2010. Accessed September 18, 2011. "A love of flight and a helpful guidance counselor led Kenneth Ham from his high school in Clark to a trip to the International Space Station next week. Ham is one of several Garden State natives who will be among the last astronauts on a space shuttle as NASA winds down the long-running program this year. For Ham, his path to the stars began in the early 1980s at Arthur L. Johnson High School."
^"Favorite Son: Kurt Sutter grew up dreaming beyond Jersey", Inside Jersey, February 3, 2011. Accessed February 4, 2015. "Nothing on Kurt Sutter's résumé can be considered family-friendly. Since 2002, the Clark native has written for, executive produced, directed and co-starred in two of the FX cable network's most beloved and most violent adult dramas -- The Shield, a Golden Globe-winning series that followed a group of corrupt Los Angeles cops for seven seasons, and current hit Sons of Anarchy, which he created, about an outlaw motorcycle gang in the fictitious Charming, Calif."
^Fremon, Suzanne S. "State Has 13 on Olympic Team", The New York Times, August 13, 1972. Accessed November 22, 2017. "Other New Jerseyans on the various Olympic teams are Phillip Grippaldo of Belleville and Frank Capsouras of River Edge, weight lifters; Robert Sparks of Clark and Thomas Hardiman of Trenton, team-handball players, and Reginald Jones of Newark a light-middleweight boxer."
^Caruba, Alan. "Toma is Returning", The New York Times, June 12, 1977. Accessed January 20, 2020. "Clark is not far from where Mr. Toma was born and reared in the Central Ward of Newark, the youngest of 12 brothers and sisters. However, distance can be measured in many ways, and the Dave Toma of today lives in an entirely different world than the one in which he graduated from West Side High School in Newark, played a little professional baseball and then spent three years in the United States Marines as a drill instructor."