ELIZABETH, NJ—The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders appointed Alfred Faella to be the new County Manager effective August 1st, Freeholder Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon announced.
Faella will succeed George Devanney, who announced his retirement effective August 1st after more than nine years as County Manager. He will earn $155,000 as County Manager.
Faella, 56, a native of Elizabeth and resident of Mountainside, has more than 18 years of governmental leadership experience. He is the 11th top executive under the County Manager form of government. Faella assumes responsibility for the day-to-day operations and budget of a 21-municipality government with approximately 2,800 full-time employees. He will be responsible for the implementation of the policy of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
“I am honored and would like to thank the Board of Chosen Freeholders for this opportunity,” Faella said. “I look forward to ensuring that Union County continues to deliver outstanding and innovative governmental services to our residents. I also remain committed to continuing the vision and goals set forth by the Freeholder Board and former County Manager Devanney.”
As his goals, Faella said he would continue to stress ways of finding efficiencies in government, while emphasizing economic development and sharing services. He added that one of his immediate priorities would be the creation of a governmental efficiency taskforce, which would work to streamline and consolidate certain functions.
“Job creation is among our residents’ highest concerns,” Faella said. “We will continue to develop important public-private projects and foster a business-friendly climate.”
As Director of Parks and Community Renewal, Faella recently worked through the Freeholder Board to retain and assist Wakefern, one of County’s largest employers, to expand operations and create hundreds of new jobs through $44 million in Federal stimulus financing.
Faella also oversaw distribution and management of more than $28 million over five years of Federal Community Development Block grant and Federal stimulus funds that have been used for a variety of purposes, including: improvements for senior and daycare centers, affordable housing, recreational centers, field and park improvements, street and infrastructure improvements, business district renovations, services and home repairs for the disabled, emergency shelters and the homeless, nutritional programs, home repair programs for seniors and income eligible families.
During his time as Director of Neighborhood Services for the City of Elizabeth in the ‘90s, Faella assisted in planning that led to the creation of the Jersey Gardens Mall, the state’s largest outlet mall, creating thousands of new jobs.
Faella also assisted in the planning and development of the HOPE 6 Project which leveraged over $130 million in public and private funds that transformed Elizabethport by transitioning residents from public housing to home ownership with their involvement in the planning process.
Freeholder Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon noted that the Board has great confidence in Faella’s abilities, having worked productively with him over the years.
Faella has also served the County previously as its Economic Development Director, Information Technologies Director and also as Community Development Director.
“Al has developed a reputation as someone who is a problem solver and gets the job done,” Scanlon said. “He is also uniquely qualified having served in County, State and Municipal government at different levels. He understands public policy and we are looking forward to working with him.”
Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella added that Faella, a lifelong resident of Union County, also understands the needs of residents.
“Al is also a great listener and has spent time at the grass roots level with constituents,” Mirabella said. “He is someone who is responsive and sensitive to the needs of our residents.”
As a former Community Development Director for the City of Elizabeth, Faella worked to create Neighborhood Councils, which afforded citizens the opportunity to meet on a monthly basis with citizen representatives to address concerns and resolve issues. He also chaired the City’s innovative Community Policing program, which helped to reduce crime in the City.
As a County Director, Faella has remained involved at the community level. During the startup of the County’s Foreclosure Taskforce effort that he co-chairs, Faella himself went door-to-door in an effort to identify and assist troubled homeowners. He is also a regular at many County public events after work and on the weekends.
Faella has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Kean University, where he also received his undergraduate degree.
Faella currently serves as the secretary Treasurer for the National Community Development Association. His efforts earned the City of Elizabeth three consecutive “Best Practices” awards from the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 – 1999, and the John A. Sasso Community Development Award, National Community Development Association, 1998 National award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in Community Development throughout the United States.
Faella is a former All-County baseball player from St. Mary’s High School in Elizabeth, who has also been active in youth leagues in Elizabeth and Mountainside in the past.
Faella and his wife, Mary, live in Mountainside. They have two sons, Jude, and Sean.