Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency names new executive director

Tashilee Vazquez brings extensive experience as public servant

The Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency selected Tashilee Vazquez as its new executive director.

A third-generation resident of Perth Amboy, Vazquez has a vast knowledge of the city and a deep passion for maximizing the city’s potential.

Vazquez will lead a comprehensive effort to address blighted properties around the city.

“Expect some busy months and years ahead,” Vazquez said, noting that PARA is poised to announce a stream of redevelopment initiatives that have been steadily in the works. “Perth Amboy is squarely focused on redevelopment; it is a very exciting time to be in the city.”

As PARA’s executive director, Vazquez will be splitting her time between the new position and her current leadership job in city hall. She is the director of the Perth Amboy Office of Economic and Community Development.

At PARA, Vazquez is the liaison between real estate developers, the agency’s commissioners and city administrators to ensure seamless redevelopment, from initial discussions about a parcel to a ribbon-cutting celebrating the opening of a new project.

“Tashilee is the ideal choice to serve as our executive director,” PARA Board Chair Joel Rosa said. “She has a wealth of knowledge about the city, a tremendous work ethic and is passionate about moving Perth Amboy forward. Because of her work in the community and economic development, she will centralize the city’s efforts, creating a one-stop point for developers eager to invest in Perth Amboy.”

Some front-burner projects include creating a new master plan; Perth Amboy has not undergone the comprehensive, community-driven process since 2003. PARA will be providing input to the planning board to ensure redevelopment initiatives align with the greater long-term goals of the city. There is also a concerted push to create a transit village downtown.

“We are not interested in speaking with developers who simply want to build as much as possible without incorporating the needs and desires of residents,” Vazquez said. “PARA encourages development that builds community, creating new and vibrant places for people to live, work and recreate.”

Vazquez, who completed her second term on the Perth Amboy school board in December, has served in the city’s economic and community development office since 2019. She is also a commissioner with the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, which consistently provides funding for redevelopment initiatives in Perth Amboy.

She first went to work for city hall in 2017, serving in the office of housing and social services, before moving into her current office in 2019.