||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
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