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  William O’Dea Known for a questioning mind and an ability to get things done, William O’Dea was elected freeholder by one vote in a hotly contested election amongst county committee people to fill the unexpired term of Freeholder Henry “Hank” Gallo, who died unexpectedly in September 1997. In November 1998, Freeholder O’Dea roundly defended his seat, obtaining the electorate’s full support, for the remaining one year of the term.

Now serving his second full term, Freeholder O’Dea is Chairman of the Public Resources Committee and Member on the following committees: Contract Review; Environment, Health and Human Services; Ethics; Public Safety and Department of Corrections; and Women and Minority Affairs.

On the 1999 Freeholder Board, Bill O’Dea was chairperson of the Economic Development Committee and the Y2K Task Force, and a member of four committees: Contract Review; Public Resources & Emergency Management; Tourism & Cultural Affairs; and Welfare, Welfare-to-Work. Freeholder O’Dea also served as liaison alternate to the Hudson County Improvement Authority and as alternate representative to the New Jersey Association of Counties.

This native of Jersey City has previous experience as an elected official, having served two consecutive terms, in 1985 and 1989, as a Jersey City Councilman. Currently, Bill O’Dea is Deputy Executive Director of the Elizabeth Development Company, considered the best- administered Enterprise Zone development company in the country.

Freeholder O’Dea is a graduate of St. Peter’s Preparatory in Jersey City, where he won the Silver Medal in Oratory Competition and the Silver Medal in Business Law. For his many academic successes, he was included in Who’s Who Among American High School Students. Bill graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors of Science degree from St. John’s University. He won Gold Key Awards as a top student in criminal justice and in political science.

Bill O’Dea knows that politics is, at times, theater. He has actually taken his talents in that direction, and is the author of two plays and six screenplays. Freeholder O’Dea, however, takes his politics very seriously, and served as Executive Director of the Jersey City Democratic Party and Hudson County.



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