Saddle River was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 22, 1894, from portions of Orvil Township, based on the results of a referendum held three days earlier. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. Saddle River's referendum passed on November 19, one day before the referendum passed for the formation of the neighboring borough of Upper Saddle River.
Despite being fairly close to Manhattan, a bucolic atmosphere pervades in town, due in part to a minimum zoning requirement of 2 acres (0.0081 km2) for homes. The borough contains both newer mansions and stately older homes on vast tracts of land, many of the properties contain horses. It is a dry town, where alcohol cannot be sold.
There were 1,216 households, of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the borough, 21.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 14.1% from 25 to 44, 35.0% from 45 to 64, and 24.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50.5 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $97,197 (with a margin of error of +/- $48,774) and the median family income was $162,500 (+/- $61,174). Males had a median income of $162,740 (+/- $30,154) versus $56,339 (+/- $25,675) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $86,812 (+/- $16,562). About 0.9% of families and 1.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 0.0% of those age 65 or over.
There were 1,118 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.6% were married couples living together, 3.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.1% were non-families. 14.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 19.5% from 25 to 44, 32.9% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $134,289, and the median income for a family was $152,169. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $61,458 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $85,934. About 2.8% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
Saddle River 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 Saddle River, 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. The Mayor serves as Chief Executive Officer, and is an ex-officio member of all Municipal Committees and is the approving authority in the Borough of Saddle River. Mayoral appointments to the various boards and committees in the Borough are subject to confirmation by the Borough Council. Borough Council members serve on various operating committees and function in a liaison capacity to provide information and direction to the entire governing body.
As of 2015[update], the Mayor of Saddle River is RepublicanSamuel S. Raia, whose term of office ends December 31, 2015. Members of the Saddle River Borough Council are Ronald Gray (R, 2016), Eric C. Jensen (R, 2017), Corinne M. Kerner (R, 2016), Albert J. "Al" Kurpis (R, 2015), Paul Schulstad (R, 2017) and Bruce E. Walenczyk (R, 2015).
Jerry DeCrosta was appointed in October 2013 to fill the vacant seat expiring 2014 of Michael Mutter, who had resigned the previous month.
Federal, state and county representation
Saddle River is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 39th state legislative district.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 2,387 registered voters in Saddle River, of which 286 (12.0% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,211 (50.7% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 889 (37.2% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 75.7% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 96.0% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 1,268 votes (72.9% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 448 votes (25.7% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 15 votes (0.9% vs. 0.9%), among the 1,740 ballots cast by the borough's 2,519 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.1% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 1,253 votes (66.6% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 598 votes (31.8% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 18 votes (1.0% vs. 0.8%), among the 1,880 ballots cast by the borough's 2,481 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.8% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 1,279 votes (68.6% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 566 votes (30.3% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 11 votes (0.6% vs. 0.7%), among the 1,865 ballots cast by the borough's 2,377 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.5% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 84.7% of the vote (845 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 14.3% (143 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (10 votes), among the 1,032 ballots cast by the borough's 2,475 registered voters (34 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 41.7%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 968 votes here (74.4% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 283 votes (21.8% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 39 votes (3.0% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with one vote (0.1% vs. 0.5%), among the 1,301 ballots cast by the borough's 2,436 registered voters, yielding a 53.4% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The Saddle River School District, serves students in pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade at Wandell School. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 228 students and 23.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.54:1.
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 39.23 miles (63.13 km) of roadways, of which 26.40 miles (42.49 km) were maintained by the municipality, 10.88 miles (17.51 km) by Bergen County and 1.95 miles (3.14 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Saddle River is served mainly by Route 17, which runs directly through the borough, but certain portions are served by locations in Ho-Ho-Kus, Waldwick, Upper Saddle River, and Allendale. The Garden State Parkway is within a short distance of the borough at exit 171 in Woodcliff Lake.
^Harvey, Cornelius Burnham. Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, p. 11, New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900. Accessed September 15, 2013. "For a period of sixteen years following the passage of this act few boroughs were organized in the State, only three of them being in Bergen County.... As it was twenty-six boroughs were in the county from January 23, 1894, to December 18, of the same year."
^Staff. "Open Space question rejected in Upper Saddle River", Town Journal, November 7, 2012. Accessed August 29, 2013. "Saddle River - Incumbent Republican Councilman Bruce E. Walenczyk ran unopposed for a new term and received 1,091 votes. Republican Albert J. Kurpis will join him after running opposed and receiving 1,053 votes."
^Nolan, Sarah. "Mutter resigns from Saddle River council", Town Journal, October 31, 2013. Accessed July 28, 2014. "Officials announced at the Oct. 21 Saddle River Mayor and Council meeting that Michael Mutter resigned from the Council after six years of service via a resignation letter sent to the governing body on Sept. 23, citing 'personal reasons.' Jerry DeCrosta was appointed to fill the unexpired term, which runs until December 2014."
^Staff. "Tuition to rise $219 under new contract", Town Journal, November 19, 2009. Accessed September 10, 2014. "With no high school in the borough, Saddle River students have the option of enrolling in either Ramsey High School or Northern Highlands. The new deal replaces the previous agreement that covered 1998 to 2008."
^Ramsey Schools Overview, Saddle River School District, May 28, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014. "Following graduation from Fifth grade, students enter Eric Smith Middle School in Ramsey, New Jersey. Upon graduation from Eighth grade students may attend Ramsey High School."
^Northern Highlands High School Overview, Saddle River School District, May 28, 2014. Accessed September 28, 2014. "Northern Highlands High School is located in Allendale New Jersey and is one of the two high schools Saddle River students may elect to attend."
^Nash, Margo. "JERSEY FOOTLIGHTS", The New York Times, September 5, 2004. Accessed September 20, 2011. "Mr. Aiello's singing has the bounce of his idols Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra and Louis Prima, and the throaty lyricism of another idol, Tony Bennett. But on the phone from his home in Saddle River, Mr. Aiello spoke in a soft voice about his new career."
^ abcdFisher, Janon. "Bergen County House on Historic Register Is Fire Victim", The New York Times, March 20, 2004. Accessed February 4, 2012. "In the 1960's, the private house, known as the Achenbach House, was the home of the actor and producer Larry Blyden and his wife, the actress and dancer Carol Haney, who believed the house was haunted. Later it was owned by Mario Perillo of Perillo Tours, well known for his television commercials selling package tours to Italy; after his death, the house passed to Mr. Perillo's son Stephen, the current owner."
^Popper, Steve. "Burt Jr. Tackles First Base in Class A", copy of article from The New York Times, July 5, 2004. Accessed May 13, 2007. "Burt Jr. has time. While driving from his parents' home in Saddle River, N.J., to Brooklyn on Thursday for his second game with the Cyclones, he listened to the broadcast of the Mets' game and heard the description of Valent bobbling a ground ball and making an errant throw to Al Leiter covering first."
^Youngmisuk, Ohm. "A Lot Of Stars, But Not Much Power", Daily News (New York), November 1, 2005. Accessed September 20, 2011. "Is there a better backcourt in the league than the one that resides on the same street in Saddle River, N.J.? The two neighbors bowl and play Ping-Pong together when they aren't connecting on alley-oops."
^Sacks, Jason. "The Thin Black Line: Perspectives on Vince Colletta, Comics' Most Controversial Inker", Comics Bulletin. Accessed October 11, 2012. "One key fact that Bryant discusses is Colletta's palatial house in upscale Saddle River, New Jersey. Colletta loved the house, which he bought in 1962 and which today is worth about 3.6 million dollars. Even 50 years ago, the house was terribly expensive to buy and maintain, which meant that Vince needed to work very hard in order to pay his mortgage."
^Zwain, Heather. "Free Spirit: The Flair of Saddle River's Joumana Kidd", (201) magazine, November 1, 2010. Accessed December 17, 2013. "Joumana Kidd may spend her days with her team of stylists, perfecting her flawless appearance for her next big hosting gig, but the truth is, this vibrant beauty prefers lounging in sweatpants, hair in a messy bun, at home with Trey, 12, and 9-year-old twins Miah and Jazelle. Kidd's Saddle River home is 100-percent kid proof."
^Hsu, Eric and Kim, Yung. "Family mourns real estate broker fatally stabbed in Conn.", The Record (Bergen County), April 8, 2006. Accessed August 29, 2013. "William Kissel, a chemist, was a manager for Sun Chemical Corp., before starting his own copier toner company in 1972. He moved the family to a small house in Woodcliff Lake from Manhattan before settling in Saddle River. Robert Kissel grew up to become a wealthy investment banker at Merrill Lynch and was sent to Hong Kong with his wife and three children."
^Miller, Jonathan. "He Fought the Law. They Both Won.", The New York Times, January 22, 2006. Accessed December 17, 2013. "The child of Filipino doctors, Mr. Lat grew up in blue-collar Bergenfield and well-to-do Saddle River, where his neighbors included former President Richard M. Nixon. When he was young, he would go to the Nixon house to get candy, a Halloween card and a handshake from the former president."
^The Dark Comedian, Time (magazine) by Roger Rosenblatt, April 25, 1988. "About to publish his sixth book in ten years, 1999: Victory Without War, he has made Saddle River a Delphi for the nation's politicians."
^Geannette, Gloria. "G-Man: For actor Jeffrey Nordling, it's all in a day's work", Bergen,com, April 1, 2009. Accessed September 7, 2012. "Jeffrey Nordling plays straight-laced FBI agent Larry Moss on the current season of the Fox hit series 24. The actor, who was raised in Washington Township and Saddle River, has been working nonstop since 1985 when he finished the master's program in theater at Southern Methodist University in Dallas."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Bergen County native’s ‘Dirt’ character reaps what he sows", The Record (Bergen County), January 1, 2007. Accessed August 29, 2013. "Nordling was born 3,000 miles from the craziness, at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, and grew up mostly in Washington Township (in the only house on the town's Times Square). When he was 15, the family moved to Saddle River, and Nordling transferred to Ramsey High School, where he became a soccer star."
^Saitz, Greg S. "Former exec at Knight Capital Group cleared of fraud charges", The Star-Ledger, June 12, 2008. Accessed September 20, 2011. "The Securities and Exchange Commission had sued Kenneth Pasternak, a Saddle River resident who now runs a hedge fund, and another former Knight executive in 2005, accusing Pasternak of allowing improper trading at the Jersey City firm during the tech boom in 1999 and 2000."