Known for a questioning mind and an ability to get things done, William O’Dea was elected County Commissioner by one vote in a hotly contested election amongst county committee people to fill the unexpired term of County Commissioner Henry “Hank” Gallo, who died unexpectedly in September 1997. In November 1998, County Commissioner O’Dea roundly defended his seat, obtaining the electorate’s full support, for the remaining one year of the term.
Now serving his eighth full term, County Commissioner O’Dea is the Chairperson of the Public Resources Committee; a member of the following committees: Taskforce on the Homeless; and Liaison to the Workforce Investment Board.
This native of Jersey City has previous experience as an elected official, having served two consecutive terms, elected 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.
County Commissioner 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. He is also the author of the novel, “The Legacy of Haguesville.” County Commissioner O’Dea, however, takes his politics very seriously, and served as Executive Director of the Jersey City Democratic Party.
He was named to “Who’s Who in International Business” in 2005 and to “Who’s Who in America” in 2006.