Office of the County Manager

Edward Oatman, County Manager
Phone: 908-527-4200 Fax: 908-289-0180

Amy Wagner, Deputy County Manager
Phone: 908-527-4200 Fax: 908-289-0180

Portrait of County Manager Edward Oatman

Edward T. Oatman, 46, has more than 20 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 policies of the Board of County Commissioners.

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, and two years for Assemblyman Jim Kennedy. Oatman was the Union County Campaign Coordinator for Governor Phil Murphy and in 2019 was appointed by the Governor to the Police and Fire Retirement System Board of Trustees.

Appointed Union County Manager in 2018, Oatman has effectively implemented the Board’s vision in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, holding the line on County finances, and continuing the trend of delivering solid services that touch all residents and working families at every stage in life.

Oatman’s administrative accomplishments include the creation of the COVID-19 testing center and mobile unit—the state’s first County-run operation, and County vaccination sites in Union and Plainfield. Since the onset of the pandemic, the County has provided more than 172,000 tests and over 122,000  vaccinations.  Oatman has also personally led the County’s food distribution efforts during the past year, which have provided more than 10 million meals to County residents in need. In November of 2021 Oatman received the Community Service Award from the Elizabeth Chapter of the NAACP for his work during the pandemic.

Oatman also oversaw the distribution of millions of dollars in Federal CARES Act COVID relief funds to our municipalities, restaurant owners, non-profits, small businesses, schools, libraries, tenants, and families in need of respite services and child care.

In addition, Oatman has implemented budgetary reforms including the closure of the County’s former Juvenile Detention Center, which has saved the County millions, and its subsequent repurposing into a Fire/EMS training academy. In 2021, Oatman was instrumental in signing a protocol with Essex County to house remaining inmates of the Union County Jail when the facility closed. The closing of the facility is projected to save Union County $20 million per year.  He has overseen various improvements and additions to County’s park properties, including Warinanco Park, the Watchung Reservation, Oak Ridge Park, and Ashbrook Golf Course.

Oatman also emphasized the importance of continuing to jumpstart economic development as the County’s Improvement Authority has begun work on a new County Administration complex, and infrastructure improvements including roadway projects, providing new job opportunities.

Oatman has a Bachelor’s in Political Science 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 Woodbridge Middle School & Woodbridge High School PTO. Oatman was the Parent Representative in 2020 for the Woodbridge Return to school committee, focusing on how to safely return to school in September after the initial COVID-19 shutdown.

Oatman has three children, and lives in Woodbridge with the family dogs, Buddy the Beagle and Briscoe.