About the County Manager
Edward T. Oatman, 44, has more than 17 years of governmental experience. He is the 12th top executive under the County Manager form of government. Oatman has responsibility for the day-to-day operations and budget of a 21-municipality government with approximately 2,800 full-time employees. He is also responsible for the implementation of the policy of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Over the years, Oatman has worked to assist NJ State Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D-22) and former NJ Assemblywoman Linda Stender in developing landmark environmental, public safety, health and infrastructure legislation. He served as Chief of Staff for Senator Scutari for six years, as well as Assemblyman Jim Kennedy for two years. Oatman also served as the Union County Campaign Coordinator for Governor Phil Murphy. Oatman previously served as Chief of Staff for former Assemblywoman Stender from 2002-16.
Oatman has worked on bills that would prohibit individuals on the terror watch list from being able to purchase a gun in New Jersey; the Global Warming Response Act signed by former Governor Jon Corzine; a measure reducing the use of pesticides in schools; the Pedestrian safety legislation which provides pedestrians with a clear right to safely navigate New Jersey’s roadways; and a bill that consolidated the NJ Turnpike and the Parkway, resulting in millions in savings to taxpayers.
Oatman also worked with various levels of government in efforts that resulted in funding for the Tremley Point Connector road in Linden, a long-sought infrastructure project that is vital to improving roadway safety and fueling economic development in the region.
On behalf of Stender and Scutari, Oatman worked to aid a local Scotch Plains family as Scutari amended a law to change the form of Marijuana that could be distributed for medicinal purposes. Christie ultimately vetoed the measure and the case made national news as it involved a two-year-old Scotch Plains resident who suffered from a catastrophic, drug-resistant form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.
As County Manager, Oatman has continued to follow the Board’s vision of realizing economic efficiencies, delivering stable budgets, maintaining the County’s high bond rating, and continuing the trend of delivering solid services that touch all residents and working families at every stage in life. This past year, Oatman led an effort that will save taxpayers more than $24 million over the next three years through the closure of its Juvenile Detention Center in Linden, while ensuring the continued care of its youth offenders.
Oatman also continues to emphasize the importance of continuing to jumpstart economic development, especially infrastructure improvements including roadway projects, while providing new job opportunities to residents.
Oatman has a Bachelor’s of Science in Political from Kean University. Oatman currently serves on the Kean University Board of Trustees; and has been active in his hometown of Woodbridge, having served on the Boards of the Woodbridge Little League; and the Woodbridge Township Youth Soccer Association. He is a member of the Mawbey Street School & Woodbridge Middle School PTO.
Oatman is married and has three children, and lives in Woodbridge with the family dog, Buddy the Beagle.