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Guttenberg () is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 11,176. Only four blocks wide, Guttenberg is the ninth-smallest municipality in the state and the most densely populated incorporated municipality in the United States, as well as one of the most densely populated municipalities worldwide, with 57,116 people per square mile (22,052/km²) of land area.
The population increased by 369 (+3.4%) from the 10,807 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,539 (+30.7%) from the 8,268 counted in the 1990 Census. As of the 2010 Census, about one-fifth of the town's population resides in the Galaxy Towers, a trio of residential skyscrapers overlooking the Hudson River.
The current population growth and density in Guttenberg represents a significant change since 1983, when it was described by The New York Times, as "an old community of two-story row houses, small stores and light industry,"
Guttenberg was formerly a farm owned by William Cooper, sold in 1853 to a group of New Yorkers, who had formed the Weehawken Land and Ferry Association. Like nearby Union Hill, it was subdivided and lots were sold mostly to Germans. The company ran two ferries, the Hultz and the Flora, which crossed the Hudson from the landings at the foot of Bulls Ferry Road, Pleasant Valley, Fort Lee, and Spring Street in Manhattan.
Guttenberg was formed as a town on March 9, 1859, from portions of North Bergen Township, but remained as a part of the township that was not fully independent. Guttenberg became part of Union Township when it was formed on February 28, 1861, and became fully independent as of April 1, 1878. The city takes its name from Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, though other sources indicate that the name derives from "good village" in German.
Galaxy Towers, developed by Prudential Insurance Company, were built in the late 1970s on Boulevard East. The three octagonal skyscrapers rise 415 feet (126 m) and contain 1,075 apartments.
Guttenberg is located atop the Hudson Palisades, south of Woodcliff and the Racetrack Section in North Bergen and north of West New York. Its western border is Kennedy Boulevard. Bergenline Avenue, the commercial corridor of North Hudson, runs north and south through the town, and is the heart of "Havana on the Hudson". Its eastern border is the Hudson River, opposite Manhattan's Upper West Side.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 0.243 square miles (0.628 km2), including 0.196 square miles (0.507 km2) of land and 0.047 square miles (0.121 km2) of water (19.24%).
The town is ten blocks long and four blocks wide. It takes less than a minute to drive through.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,176 people, 4,473 households, and 2,684 families residing in the town. The population density was 57,116.0 per square mile (22,052.6/km2). There were 4,839 housing units at an average density of 24,730.2 per square mile (9,548.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 67.44% (7,537) White, 4.80% (537) Black or African American, 0.91% (102) Native American, 7.32% (818) Asian, 0.04% (4) Pacific Islander, 14.25% (1,593) from other races, and 5.23% (585) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 64.83% (7,245) of the population.
There were 4,473 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the town, the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.4 years. For every 100 females there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 93.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $49,981 (with a margin of error of +/− $8,219) and the median family income was $53,945 (+/− $9,457). Males had a median income of $50,227 (+/− $8,459) versus $32,089 (+/− $6,483) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $33,239 (+/− $8,416). About 14.8% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.7% of those under age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 10,807 people, 4,493 households, and 2,619 families residing in the town. The population density was 56,012.0 inhabitants per square mile (21,961.1/km2), making it the most densely populated municipality in The United States, with over twice the density of New York City. There were 4,650 housing units at an average density of 24,100.7 per square mile (9,449.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 64.98% White, 3.81% African American, 0.38% Native American, 7.30% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 16.42% from other races, and 7.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.33% of the population.
There were 4,493 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.7% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the town, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 36.9% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $44,515, and the median income for a family was $47,440. Males had a median income of $38,628 versus $33,154 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,931. About 11.1% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.
The town is a bedroom community with about 36% of its employed residents working in New York City, including 1,648 of the 4,993 Guttenberg residents in the workforce who commute to employment in Manhattan as of the 2000 Census.
Portions of Guttenberg are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone, one of 27 zones in the state. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (versus the 6.625% rate charged statewide, effective January 1, 2018) at eligible merchants. Established in 1996, the town's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in August 2027. The Guttenberg Urban Enterprise Zone covers business in the following areas:
Guttenberg operates under the Town form of New Jersey municipal government, and is governed by a mayor and a five-member council. Town council members are elected at-large to four-year terms on a staggered basis in partisan elections, with two seats up for election in one year, three seats together with the mayoral seat up for election in the following year, followed by two years with no elections.
As of 2018, the Mayor of Guttenberg is Democrat Wayne D. Zitt Jr., whose term of office ends December 31, 2021. Members of the Guttenberg Town Council are Alfonso "Al" Caso (D, 2018), Richard Delafuente (D, 2021), Nick Florio (D, 2018), Monica Fundora (D, 2021) and John D. Habermann (D, 2021).
In December 2015, Wayne Zitt was selected from three candidates nominated by the Democratic municipal committee to fill the vacant seat expiring in December 2017 of Efrain Velez, who resigned earlier that month.
Recent scandals include the convictions of the mayor, David Delle Donna, and his wife, a member of the town planning board, on federal extortion and mail fraud charges, for which they were each sentenced to serve four years in federal prison; a former mayor, Peter LaVilla, who pleaded guilty in 2003 to misappropriating campaign funds and using the money for a private brokerage account; a councilman who resigned after being accused of receiving illegal advances on his salary; and a chief financial officer, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to misappropriation of funds.
Guttenberg is served by North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, a regional fire department established in 1999 serving communities in northern Hudson County, that also serves North Bergen, Union City, Weehawken and West New York, replacing the five independent departments that had served each of the communities.
Guttenberg is located in the 8th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 32nd state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Guttenberg had been in the 33rd Legislative District. Prior to the 2010 Census, Guttenberg had been part of the 13th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 32nd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Nicholas Sacco (D, North Bergen) and in the General Assembly by Angelica M. Jimenez (D, West New York) and the other seat is vacant. Vincent Prieto (D, Secaucus) resigned from office in March 2018 to head the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Hudson County is governed by a directly elected County Executive and by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, which serves as the county's legislative body. As of 2017, Hudson County's County Executive is Democrat Thomas A. DeGise, whose term of office expires December 31, 2019. Hudson County's Freeholders (all serving concurrent terms that end on December 31, 2018) are District 1: Kenneth Kopacz (Bayonne and parts of Jersey City), District 2: William O'Dea, Vice Chairperson (western parts of Jersey City), District 3: Gerard M. Balmir Jr. (southeastern parts of Jersey City), District 4: E. Junior Maldonado (northern parts of Jersey City), District 5: Anthony L. Romano Jr. (Hoboken and adjoining parts of Jersey City), District 6: Tilo Rivas (Union City), District 7: Caridad Rodriguez, Chairperson Pro-Tempore (West New York, Weehawken, Guttenberg), District 8: Anthony P. Vainieri Jr., Chairperson (North Bergen and northern parts of Secaucus) and District 9: Albert Cifelli (East Newark, Harrison, Kearny and southern parts of Secaucus) Hudson County's constitutional officers are County Clerk Barbara A. Netchert (2017), Sheriff Frank Schillari and Surrogate Joseph J. Ryglicki.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 4,991 registered voters in Guttenberg, of which 2,997 (60.0%) were registered as Democrats, 376 (7.5%) were registered as Republicans and 1,614 (32.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 4 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 77.4% of the vote (2,507 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 21.4% (692 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (41 votes), among the 3,266 ballots cast by the town's 5,488 registered voters (26 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 59.5%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 71.6% of the vote (2,524 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 26.3% (928 votes) and other candidates with 1.3% (45 votes), among the 3,526 ballots cast by the town's 5,878 registered voters, for a turnout of 60.0%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 67.0% of the vote (2,172 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 31.9% (1,035 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (19 votes), among the 3,241 ballots cast by the town's 5,122 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 63.3.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 52.5% of the vote (740 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 45.7% (645 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (25 votes), among the 1,478 ballots cast by the town's 5,545 registered voters (68 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 26.7%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 70.9% of the vote (1,341 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 23.6% (447 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 2.4% (46 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (12 votes), among the 1,892 ballots cast by the town's 4,983 registered voters, yielding a 38.0% turnout.
For pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, public school students from Guttenberg attend the Anna L. Klein School as part of the Guttenberg Public School District. The principal of Anna L. Klein School is Keith Petry. As of the 2014–15 school year, the district and its one school had an enrollment of 1,357 students and 79.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 17.2:1.
For ninth through twelfth grades, public school students attend North Bergen High School in North Bergen, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the North Bergen School District. As of the 2014–15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 2,587 students and 158.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 16.3:1.
As of May 2010, the town had a total of 4.39 miles (7.07 km) of roadways, of which 3.95 miles (6.36 km) were maintained by the municipality and 0.44 miles (0.71 km) by Hudson County.
CR 505 runs through the southeastern edge of town.
NJ Transit (NJT) bus service is available to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan and Bergen County destinations on the 128, 154, 156, 158, 159, 165, 166, 168 routes. Service north to Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal is available the 181 and 188 routes. Hudson County local service is provided on the 22, 23, 84/86, 88 and 89 routes. NJT bus lines are augmented by privately run jitney service.
The nearest ferry to Manhattan is at Edgewater with service to Midtown 39th Street Ferry Terminal via NY Waterway. Edgewater Ferry Landing is located on River Road where it intersects with Route 5 approximately 1.5 miles south of the George Washington Bridge.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Guttenberg include:
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