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Pleasantville is a city in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 20,249, reflecting an increase of 1,237 (+6.5%) from the 19,012 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,985 (+18.6%) from the 16,027 counted in the 1990 Census.
Pleasantville was originally incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 10, 1889, from portions of Egg Harbor Township, based on the results of a referendum held on December 15, 1888. Pleasantville was incorporated as a city on April 14, 1914, replacing Pleasantville borough, based on the results of a referendum held that same day. the city was named by Dr. David Ingersoll for its surroundings.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 7.298 square miles (18.901 km2), including 5.694 square miles (14.746 km2) of land and 1.604 square miles (4.154 km2) of water (21.98%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Mount Pleasant, Risleyville and Smiths Landing.
The city borders Absecon, Atlantic City, Northfield and Ventnor City.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,249 people, 6,661 households, and 4,569 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,556.5 per square mile (1,373.2/km2). There were 7,219 housing units at an average density of 1,267.9 per square mile (489.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 24.33% (4,926) White, 45.94% (9,303) Black or African American, 0.83% (168) Native American, 2.42% (490) Asian, 0.03% (6) Pacific Islander, 22.00% (4,454) from other races, and 4.45% (902) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 41.06% (8,314) of the population.
There were 6,661 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.3% were married couples living together, 26.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.53.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.0 years. For every 100 females there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 87.2 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $39,560 (with a margin of error of +/- $4,092) and the median family income was $48,873 (+/- $5,405). Males had a median income of $32,494 (+/- $4,209) versus $29,961 (+/- $2,187) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,527 (+/- $1,356). About 12.2% of families and 18.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.7% of those under age 18 and 32.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 19,012 people, 6,402 households, and 4,366 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,291.3 people per square mile (1,270.0/km2). There were 7,042 housing units at an average density of 1,219.1 per square mile (470.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 25.01% White, 57.70% African American, 0.28% Native American, 1.95% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 10.96% from other races, and 4.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.87% of the population.
There were 6,402 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 24.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.44.
In the city the age distribution of the population shows 30.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,913, and the median income for a family was $40,016. Males had a median income of $26,909 versus $25,886 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,668. About 12.2% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.2% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.
Portions of Pleasantville are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers at eligible merchants can take advantage of a reduced 3.4375% sales tax rate, half of the 6.875% rate charged statewide.
In 1945, the Boston Red Sox held their spring training in Pleasantville.
Byrd's Gym operated from the mid-1940s to 1960s. This gym, which was located on West Wright Street, became a tourist resort after it was turned into a boxing gym for amateurs and pro fighters. Many famous boxers have trained there to include Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott, Sonny Liston, Johnny Bratton, Johnny Saxton, Sandy Sadler, Ike Williams, and Ernie Terrell and a host of other professional fighters from the local area.
Pleasantville operates under the City form of New Jersey municipal government, led by a Mayor and a seven-member City Council, all of whom are elected in partisan elections as part of the November general election. The Mayor is elected to a four-year term of office. The City Council consists of one member elected at-large and six members elected from each of two wards to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election.
As of 2017, the Mayor of the City of Pleasantville is Democrat Jesse L. Tweedle Sr., whose term of office ends December 31, 2020. Members of the City Council are Council President William Christmas (D, 2019; At Large), Nolan Q. Allen (D, 2018; Ward 1 - elected to serve an unexpired term of office), Ricky Cistrunk (D, 2017; Ward 1), Augustus C. Harmon (D, 2017; Ward 2), Lockland V. Scott (D, 2018; Ward 2), Stanley C. Swan Jr. (D, 2019; Ward 1) and Judy M. Ward (D, 2016; Ward 2).
In September 2016, the City Council appointed Nolan Q. Allen to fill the Ward 1 seat expiring in December 2017 that had been held by Lincoln Green Sr. until his death the previous month. Nolan served on an interim basis until the November 2016 general election, when he was chosen to serve the balance of the term.
Augustus Harmon was appointed in November 2011 to fill the seat of his brother, Johnson Harmon, who died before the election in which he had won a fifth term of office.
Pleasantville is located in the 2nd Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 2nd state legislative district.
New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City). 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 2nd Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Chris A. Brown (R, Ventnor City) and in the General Assembly by Vince Mazzeo (D, Northfield) and John Armato (D, Buena Vista Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Atlantic County is governed by a directly elected county executive and a nine-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, responsible for legislation. The executive serves a four-year term and the freeholders are elected to staggered three-year terms, of which four are elected from the county on an at-large basis and five of the freeholders represent equally populated districts. As of 2017, Atlantic County's Executive is Republican Dennis Levinson, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019. Members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders are Chairman Frank D. Formica, Freeholder At-Large (R, 2018, Margate), Vice Chairman John W. Risley, Freeholder At-Large (R, 2017, Egg Harbor Township), James A. Bertino, Freeholder District 5, including Buena Borough, Buena Vista Township, Corbin City, Egg Harbor City, Estell Manor, Folsom, Hamilton Township (part), Hammonton, Mullica Township and Weymouth Township (R, 2018, Hammonton), John L. Carman, Freeholder District 3, including Egg Harbor Township (part) and Hamilton Township (part) (R, 2017, Egg Harbor Township), Ernest D. Coursey, Freeholder District 1, including Atlantic City (part), Egg Harbor Township (part) and Pleasantville (D, 2019, Atlantic City), Richard Dase, Freeholder District 4, including Absecon, Brigantine, Galloway Township and Port Republic (R, 2019, Galloway Township), Amy Gatto, Freeholder At-Large (R, 2019, Mays Landing in Hamilton Township), Maureen Kern, Freeholder District 2, including Atlantic City (part), Egg Harbor Township (part), Linwood, Longport, Margate, Northfield, Somers Point and Ventnor (R, 2018, Somers Point) and Alexander C. Marino, Freeholder At-Large (R, 2017, Linwood). Atlantic County's constitutional officers are County Clerk Edward P. McGettigan (D, 2021; Linwood), Sheriff Michael Petuskey, Acting Sheriff (2017) and Surrogate James Curcio (D, 2020, Hammonton).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 9,193 registered voters in Pleasantville City, of which 4,693 (51.0% vs. 30.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 534 (5.8% vs. 25.2%) were registered as Republicans and 3,965 (43.1% vs. 44.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 45.4% (vs. 58.8% in Atlantic County) were registered to vote, including 62.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 76.6% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 5,675 votes (92.4% vs. 57.9% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 450 votes (7.3% vs. 41.1%) and other candidates with 23 votes (0.4% vs. 0.9%), among the 6,139 ballots cast by the city's 10,019 registered voters, for a turnout of 61.3% (vs. 65.8% in Atlantic County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 5,945 votes (89.7% vs. 56.5% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 597 votes (9.0% vs. 41.6%) and other candidates with 22 votes (0.3% vs. 1.1%), among the 6,628 ballots cast by the city's 10,572 registered voters, for a turnout of 62.7% (vs. 68.1% in Atlantic County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 4,301 votes (80.9% vs. 52.0% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 900 votes (16.9% vs. 46.2%) and other candidates with 31 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 5,316 ballots cast by the city's 8,942 registered voters, for a turnout of 59.4% (vs. 69.8% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 1,951 ballots cast (69.1% vs. 34.9% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 675 votes (23.9% vs. 60.0%) and other candidates with 32 votes (1.1% vs. 1.3%), among the 2,824 ballots cast by the city's 10,324 registered voters, yielding a 27.4% turnout (vs. 41.5% in the county). In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 2,146 ballots cast (82.0% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 370 votes (14.1% vs. 47.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 45 votes (1.7% vs. 4.8%) and other candidates with 19 votes (0.7% vs. 1.2%), among the 2,617 ballots cast by the city's 9,844 registered voters, yielding a 26.6% turnout (vs. 44.9% in the county).
Students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade are educated by the Pleasantville Public Schools. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement that the state cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.
As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its seven schools had an enrollment of 4,161 students and 357.3 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.6:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Decatur Avenue Early Childhood Center (408 students in PreK), Leeds Avenue School (657; PreK-5), North Main Street School (384; PreK-5), South Main Street School (533; K-5), Washington Avenue School (392; K-5), Pleasantville Middle School with 746 students in grades 6 - 8 and Pleasantville High School with 746 students in grades 9 through 12. Students from Absecon attend the district's high school for ninth through twelfth grades as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Absecon Public School District.
On September 6, 2007, The FBI arrested five members of the Pleasantville school board as part of a federal corruption case that included several state lawmakers and other public officials. Included in the sweep were the arrests of Assemblymen Mims Hackett and Alfred E. Steele, and Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera. Indictments were filed against four sitting members of the Board of Education charging that they had accepted bribes to steer insurance or roofing business from the district. Charged were Jayson Adams (accused of accepting $15,000 in bribes), James McCormick ($3,500), James Pressley ($32,200) and Rafael Velez ($4,000). Former board member Maurice 'Pete' Callaway, a member of the Pleasantville City Council, was accused of accepting $13,000 in bribes as part of the scheme.
City public school students are also eligible to attend the Atlantic County Institute of Technology in the Mays Landing section of Hamilton Township or the Charter-Tech High School for the Performing Arts, located in Somers Point.
As of May 2010, the city had a total of 68.28 miles (109.89 km) of roadways, of which 53.12 miles (85.49 km) were maintained by the municipality, 7.70 miles (12.39 km) by Atlantic County and 4.26 miles (6.86 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 3.20 miles (5.15 km) by the South Jersey Transportation Authority.
U.S. Route 9, U.S. Route 40, U.S. Route 322 and the Atlantic City Expressway pass through Pleasantville.
NJ Transit offers bus service to Atlantic City, New Jersey and other intermediate stations on routes 502 (from Atlantic Cape Community College), 507 (from Ocean City), 508 (from Hamilton Mall), 509 (from Ocean City), 553 (limited; from Upper Deerfield Township), 554 (from Lindenwold station) and 559 (from Lakewood Township).
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Pleasantville include:
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