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Gloucester County NJ

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Washington Township is a township in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States. In the 2010 United States Census, the township’s population was 48,559, reflecting an increase of 1,445 (+3.1%) from the 47,114 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,154 (+12.3%) from the 41,960 counted in the 1990 Census.

Washington Township was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 17, 1836, from portions of Deptford Township. The township officially moved to the newly created Camden County on March 13, 1844. Monroe Township was created on March 3, 1859, from part of the township. Most of Washington Township, along with all of Monroe Township, was moved back into Gloucester County on February 28, 1871, with the remaining portions of Washington Township that were still in Camden County being transferred to Gloucester Township. Additional transfers to Gloucester Township were made in 1926 and 1931. The township was named for George Washington, one of more than ten communities statewide named for the first president. It is one of five municipalities in the state of New Jersey with the name “Washington Township”. Another municipality, Washington Borough, is completely surrounded by Washington Township, Warren County.

In 2008, CNN/Money and Money Magazine ranked Washington Township 58th on its list of the 100 Best Cities to Live in the United States.

The oldest community in Washington Township, Grenloch Terrace, was a thriving Lenape Native American village called Tetamekon. Some of the early settlers to the area were the Collins family of Chestnut Ridge Farm, for whom Chestnut Ridge Middle School is named; the Turner family, for whom Turnersville was named; the Hurff family, for whom Hurffville and Hurffville Elementary School are named; the Heritage family, whose family began the Heritage’s Dairy Farm Stores, and for whom the community Heritage Valley is named; the Morgan family, who were the first residents of the Olde Stone House, a landmark for residents of the township; and the Bell Family, who arrived in 1899 and for whom Bells Lake Park and Bells Elementary School are named. Sewell is named after General William Joyce Sewell, who was elected to the United States Senate in 1881 and 1895, and served as president of the New Jersey Senate in 1876, 1879 and 1880.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 21.600 square miles (55.944 km2), including 21.382 square miles (55.379 km2) of land and 0.218 square miles (0.565 km2) of water (1.01%).

Turnersville (with a 2010 Census population of 3,742) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Washington Township.

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Bells Lake, Cressville, Dilkesboro, Fairview, Green Tree, Grenloch Terrace, Hurffville, Mount Pleasant and Prossers Mill.

Washington Township is governed under the Faulkner Act (formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law) by the Mayor-Council system of New Jersey municipal government (Plan 2), implemented based on direct petition as of January 1, 1985. The township is governed by a mayor and a five-member municipal council. The mayor is elected by township voters and is the chief executive in charge of the administrative functions of the town. Members of the township council are elected on an at-large basis in partisan elections held as part of the November general election. All elected officials serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with the mayor and two council seats up for election in leap years and the other three council seats up for vote two years later.

As of 2019, the mayor of Washington Township is Democrat Joann Gattinelli, whose term of office ends December 31, 2020. Members of the township council are Council President Joseph Perry (R, 2020), Council Vice-President Sean Longfellow (D, 2022), Andrea Dougherty (D, 2022), Dana Pasqualone (R, 2020) and Andra Williams (D, 2022).

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