Special Report

America’s Nine Newest Cities

5. Summit, WI
> Date of incorporation: 7/29/10
> Population: 4,674

According to the Village of Summit’s official press release, the Wisconsin Secretary of State certified that the Town of Summit incorporated as the Village of Summit on July 29, 2010. “A short ceremony at the State Capitol office of the Secretary completed a 15-year odyssey for the community of 5,000 people.” As a town, the community was “subject to land annexations for several years from neighboring cities of Oconomowoc and Dousman,” an article in Wisconsin’s Daily Reporter notes. As an incorporated village, Summit could also receive more revenue from the state.

6. Mastic Beach, NY
> Date of incorporation: 8/31/10
> Population: 12,930

Mastic Beach, on the southern shore of Long Island, New York, is the state’s newest village. Formerly a ward of Brookhaven, it incorporated after residents sought to break from the much larger neighboring town. According to Newsday, incorporation was spearheaded by Mayor Paul Breschard, who suggested the new government would “crack down on absentee landlords and quality-of-life problems, and that incorporation would not result in a tax increase.” The president of the local property owners association claims property code enforcement has not improved, a complaint the village counters by pointing to new hires and tickets issued. Meanwhile, residents remain concerned that local taxes will increase.

7. Eastvale, CA
> Date of incorporation: 10/1/10
> Population: 53,668

Eastvale was originally a rural community, but as a result of its proximity to Orange County and Los Angeles County it became more suburban. According to Michele Nissen, public information officer for Eastvale, “The number one reason that residents sought to incorporate was to have more local control over services and land use issues.” Incorporation has brought the city increased law enforcement presence and greater resident involvement in planning issues through the City Planning Department and Planning Commission. It also gave the city greater ability to enforce its own laws. According to the facebook page of the Law Enforcement and Fire Fighter’s Association of the City of Eastvale, “ELEAFF is the FIRST resident POLICE & FIRE Association ever established in the Nation.”

8. Semmes, AL
> Date of incorporation: 5/2/11
> Population: 2,897

The incorporation of Semmes was spurred by a desire among residents to avoid annexation by neighboring Mobile, AL, according to Alabama Live. This would have subjected Semmes residents to a 2.5-cent sales tax increase, as well as oversight by Mobile’s Planning Commission. The city has about 2,800 people and covers just over 2,100 acres.

9. Jurupa Valley, CA
> Date of incorporation: 7/1/11
> Population: 94,235

The City of Jurupa Valley was incorporated in July, combining 10 separate neighborhoods located in the northeastern part of Riverside County. Organizers of the measure cited the importance of local control over such issues as the regional substation, garbage collection, and development of the downtown area. The pro-incorporation organization website states: “Instead of building up our retail on the road to bring customers and sales tax revenue into our area to support our community the county has built County Service Offices doing nothing to grow our area.”

Charles B. Stockdale