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Keyport is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. At the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,240, following a decline of 328 (-4.3%) from the 7,568 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 18 (-0.2%) from the 7,586 counted in the 1990 Census. Keyport's nickname is the "Pearl of the Bayshore" or the "Gateway to the Bayshore".
Keyport was originally formed as a Town on March 17, 1870, from portions of Raritan Township (now Hazlet). On April 2, 1908, the Borough of Keyport was formed, replacing Keyport Town.
Keyport is part of the Bayshore Regional Strategic Plan, an effort by nine municipalities in northern Monmouth County to reinvigorate the area's economy by emphasizing the traditional downtowns, dense residential neighborhoods, maritime history, and the natural Raritan Bayshore coastline.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.469 square miles (3.807 km2), including 1.395 square miles (3.614 km2) of land and 0.074 square miles (0.193 km2) of water (5.06%).
The borough borders the boroughs of Keansburg (via a maritime boundary) and Union Beach, and the townships of Aberdeen and Hazlet to the northeast, southwest and southeast respectively.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,240 people, 3,067 households, and 1,693 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,188.4 per square mile (2,003.3/km2). There were 3,272 housing units at an average density of 2,344.8 per square mile (905.3/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 80.00% (5,792) White, 7.20% (521) Black or African American, 0.28% (20) Native American, 2.38% (172) Asian, 0.03% (2) Pacific Islander, 7.62% (552) from other races, and 2.50% (181) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.26% (1,322) of the population.
There were 3,067 households out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.7% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.8% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 27.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.5 years. For every 100 females there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 95.6 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $56,509 (with a margin of error of +/- $7,915) and the median family income was $82,714 (+/- $13,757). Males had a median income of $56,156 (+/- $6,693) versus $41,782 (+/- $4,326) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,545 (+/- $2,210). About 4.9% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.6% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those age 65 or over.
At the 2000 United States Census, there were 7,568 people, 3,264 households and 1,798 families residing in the borough. The population density was 5,358.4 per square mile (2,072.4/km²). There were 3,400 housing units at an average density of 2,407.3 per square mile (931.0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 85.2% White, 7.0% African American, 0.12% Native American, 2.22% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.96% from other races, and 2.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.09% of the population.
There were 3,264 households of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.9% were non-families. 38.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.11.
21.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.
The median household income was $43,869 and the median family income was $58,176. Males had a median income of $40,324 compared with $34,036 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,288. About 4.9% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.
Keyport is known for its oyster industry, which had been one of the world's largest suppliers until overfishing and pollution led to a collapse of the industry in the early to mid 20th century. In August 2010, NY/NJ Baykeeper suspended an effort to recreate the oyster reefs in Keyport's Raritan Bay after the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection cited concerns that the oysters could be harvested and sold to the public despite the persistent heavy pollution in the water after concerns had been raised by the United States Food and Drug Administration that patrols were insufficient to ensure that the oysters in the reef were not being harvested.
It was the home of the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company which operated from 1914 to 1930 and built seaplanes for the United States Navy during World War I. Its planes were mostly military seaplanes and flying boats, including aircraft that offered some of the first scheduled air service using seaplanes.
Keyport is credited as the birthplace of the "Lazy Susan", designed by William Bedle in 1845. It was the site of the professional dance debut of film star Fred Astaire in 1903 at age four, together with his sister Adele, as part of an act that earned a review that called the duo "the greatest child act in vaudeville.
Keyport is home to many diverse businesses, and has a bustling shopping district located on West Front Street, located one block in from the waterfront. The business district is now under control of the Keyport Bayfront Business Cooperative (which was established in 2011 to replace the now-defunct Keyport Business Alliance) which helps to organize events that benefit the businesses in Keyport as well as the city as a whole.
Keyport is home to Espresso Joe's, a coffee shop and venue for local musical and artistic acts.
Keyport 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 used by Keyport, 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, the Mayor of Keyport is Republican Harry M. Aumack II, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Borough Council members are Council President Matthew Goode (D, 2018), Isaiah G. Cooper (D, 2017), Collette J. Kennedy (D, 2019), Sophia Lamberson (D, 2018), Victoria Pacheco (D, 2019) and Joseph E. Sheridan (D, 2017).
In June 2015, the Borough Council selected Matthew Goode from a list of three candidates nominated by the Democratic municipal committee to fill the vacant seat expiring December 2015 of Kenneth McPeek, who resigned from office as he was no longer going to be a resident of Keyport. At the same meeting, Joseph Sheridan was selected to succeed McPeek as Council President.
In January 2014, the Borough council selected former councilmember Warren Chamberlain to fill the vacant seat of Clemente Toglia, who had been killed on December 31, 2013, in a car crash before being sworn into office for his second three-year term. Chamberlain served on an interim basis until the November 2014 general election, when he was elected to serve the remaining two years of Toglia's term of office.
Harry Aumack, II, was selected as mayor in April 2013 to fill the vacant seat of Robert McLeod, who had resigned in the previous month citing internal battles within the local Republican party, exemplified by the struggles to fill a council vacancy in late 2012. Ken Howe was named in January 2013 to fill the vacant seat that expires at the end of 2013 of Republican Evelyn Ambrose, who resigned in December 2012 as she was relocating to Puerto Rico.
On Election Day, November 7, 2007, Council President Robert Bergen was elected Mayor, taking the seat of two-term incumbent John J. Merla. Merla pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges on January 18, 2007, for accepting bribes to obtain municipal contracts. Bergen assumed the post of Mayor on January 1, 2007.
Keyport is located in the 6th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 13th state legislative district.
New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch). 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 13th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Declan O'Scanlon (R, Little Silver) and in the General Assembly by Amy Handlin (R, Middletown Township) and Serena DiMaso (R, Holmdel Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Monmouth County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders consisting of five members who are elected at-large to serve three year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Director and another as Deputy Director. As of 2018, Monmouth County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone (R, Neptune City, term as freeholder ends December 31, 2019; term as freeholder director ends 2018), Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry (R, Colts Neck Township, term as freeholder ends 2020; term as deputy director ends 2018), John P. Curley (R, Middletown Township, 2018), Patrick G. Impreveduto (R, Holmdel Township, 2020) and Dr. Gerry P. Scharfenberger (R, Middletown Township, 2019; appointed to serve an unexpired term) Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon (R, 2020; Ocean Township), Sheriff Shaun Golden (R, 2019; Howell Township) and Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters (R, 2021; Middletown Township).
On March 23, 2011, there were a total of 4,442 registered voters in Keyport, of which 1,251 (28.2%) were registered as Democrats, 950 (21.4%) were registered as Republicans and 2,240 (50.4%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 56.6% of the vote (1,664 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 42.0% (1,234 votes), and other candidates with 1.4% (42 votes), among the 2,970 ballots cast by the borough's 4,600 registered voters (30 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 64.6%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 52.1% of the vote (1,759 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 44.6% (1,506 votes) and other candidates with 1.7% (56 votes), among the 3,374 ballots cast by the borough's 4,704 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.7%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 50.0% of the vote (1,649 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 48.4% (1,596 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (35 votes), among the 3,297 ballots cast by the borough's 4,620 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 71.4.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 67.1% of the vote (1,316 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 30.6% (600 votes), and other candidates with 2.3% (45 votes), among the 2,005 ballots cast by the borough's 4,547 registered voters (44 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 44.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 55.2% of the vote (1,284 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 34.3% (796 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 8.0% (185 votes) and other candidates with 1.2% (29 votes), among the 2,324 ballots cast by the borough's 4,544 registered voters, yielding a 51.1% turnout.
The Keyport Public Schools serve students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its two schools had an enrollment of 964 students and 99.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.7:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Keyport Central School (grades PreK-8; 705 students) and Keyport High School (grades 9-12; 388).
Students in public school for ninth through twelfth grades from Union Beach attend the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Union Beach School System.
As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 25.51 miles (41.05 km) of roadways, of which 18.70 miles (30.09 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.96 miles (7.98 km) by Monmouth County and 1.85 miles (2.98 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Route 35 and Route 36 both pass through in the southern section. The Garden State Parkway is just outside in both neighboring Aberdeen and Hazlet Townships at Exit 117.
NJ Transit offers local bus service on the 817 route. NJ Transit train service is available nearby at the Hazlet and Aberdeen-Matawan stations on the North Jersey Coast Line.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Keyport include:
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