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Message from Mayor Armstead

Beware of Utility Scams!

Hi Fellow Linden Residents, 

As you may know, many business and residential utility customers are targeted daily by impersonation scams. Scammers impersonate the utility company through in-person, phone, and online tactics, claim the utility bill is past due, and threaten to disconnect services unless a payment is made immediately. Customers are pressured to make payments via prepaid debit cards (such as Green Dot, MoneyPak, or Vanilla), wire transfers, cash apps (such as Venmo or Zelle), gift cards, or cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin). Additionally, scammers may claim that the regular payment portal for the utility company is currently offline, but the target can submit payment through another portal via a link or QR code. This fraudulent payment portal creates a false sense of legitimacy by using spoofed domains, impersonation, and stolen branding. Phishing and smishing tactics attempt to convince the target to immediately take action, such as responding or calling a fraudulent phone number, disclosing sensitive information, or making payment. 

In Person

Scammers may visit the target’s home or place of business in person, claim to be a utility company collector, present fraudulent identification, and ask for personal information, including account number or Social Security number. However, legitimate employees wear a uniform, visibly display a company ID badge, drive a company car with the utility company’s logo, and visit during a pre-scheduled appointment with the customer. 


Additionally, if customers receive an urgent call from their utility company’s trusted customer service number claiming termination of services for non-payment and that someone will arrive in 15 minutes to disconnect service, slow down the conversation before making any quick decisions and verify the information through official sources, as the phone number may be spoofed (faked)!

Web Searches

Hackers are targeting customers who use search engines to contact their utility companies. The search engine results may contain fraudulent websites with fake phone numbers that, if called, will put unsuspecting customers at risk for threat actors to collect personal and financial information. Furthermore, service disconnections are not immediate; there is a multi-step process, including payment arrangement options and multiple notifications to the customer, typically by mail and noted on their regular monthly bill.

QR Codes

Traditional attack techniques of malicious links or attachments are often detected by email security, forcing threat actors to pivot to QR codes as the primary attack method in various schemes. QR codes, sent through unsolicited communications or posted in publicly accessible locations, may appear to be associated with a reputable brand or organization and could direct targets to phishing websites, fraudulent payment portals, and unsuspecting malware downloads. In one campaign, the threat actors persuade their victims to withdraw money from their financial accounts and transfer it to them using a QR code and cryptocurrency ATM to avoid service disconnection. Once the funds are deposited into the ATM to purchase cryptocurrency, the QR code with the embedded address is scanned, and the money is transferred to the scammers.

Please make sure to be vigilant of these and similar impersonation scams. Refrain from answering unsolicited or unexpected communications, especially those containing QR codes. Additionally, do not provide personal or financial information or transfer money, especially in cryptocurrency, to unverified entities. If you need help with this or another type of scam, please call my office at (908) 474 8493 so that I can help. 

Mayor Derek Armstead

New Jersey American Water Invests $700,000 in Linden Infrastructure

Linden, N.J. – AUG. 2, 2023 – New Jersey American Water will install approximately 700 feet of new water main in Linden starting this week. The company will install the new 8- and 24-inch ductile iron main along Stiles Street, from Lynn Court to West Linden Avenue, and West Linden Avenue, from Stiles Street to Coolidge Street. 

The project also includes installing one fire hydrant and 20 utility-owned service lines along the pipeline route. Additionally, New Jersey American Water will replace any customer-owned service line that has been identified as lead or galvanized. This $700,000 investment will continue to advance water service reliability and increase water flows for household consumption and fire protection in this community. “I am always grateful when utility companies see the tremendous evolution in Linden and recognize that certain infrastructure and support services need to be enhanced or increased” said Mayor Derek Armstead.

New Jersey American Water’s local, qualified contractor, Montana Construction, will begin work this week and expects to be completed within approximately three weeks, weather permitting. Work hours will be from 7 am until 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Some overnight work may be required to maintain project schedule. Final street restorations will be completed in spring 2024. 

Project timelines are subject to change due to a variety of factors including weather and availability of supplies. For the public’s and workers’ safety, traffic restrictions and/or alternating traffic patterns are likely to occur during work hours. All emergency vehicles and local traffic will be allowed access during construction. New Jersey American Water values the safety of its workers and advises drivers and pedestrians to take caution in the vicinity of work sites.

Mayor Derek Armstead Saves Linden from Massive Tax Hike


Linden, New Jersey, May 1, 2023 – Linden Mayor Derek Armstead successfully offset a $3.2 MM loss caused by Governor Philip Murphy’s costly statewide New Jersey Health Benefits Plan. In fact, instead of a drastic property tax increase, Mayor Armstead’s creative allocation of municipal resources and collaboration with the Linden Board of Education resulted in a tax cut for Linden homeowners.

Armstead’s leadership was crucial in identifying solutions to the significant financial setback. He brought the Linden Board of Education into the mix, enabling the school system to identify $2 MM in potential tax savings. The Mayor then leveraged these savings, combined with his own creative allocation of municipal resources to produce a tax cut for all Linden homeowners. The achievement generated widespread praise, with residents commending the Mayor’s ability to think outside the box and find innovative solutions to complex problems. 

“As a former Mayor, I know the issue of employee benefits is an annual struggle,” said former West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi, who commented on Armstead’s fiscal wizardry. “There’s a contractual financial responsibility as well as a moral obligation to take care of your municipal employees where the costs are undeniable, so what Mayor Armstead did to eliminate that deficit is creative good government, and it demonstrates what an effective leader he is.”

First elected Mayor of Linden in 2014, Armstead has made significant strides improving the City’s infrastructure and economy with interconnected yet autonomous government agencies. His focus on creating jobs, attracting new businesses, and improving Linden residents’ quality of life has built a great relationship among its diverse population. 

Armstead’s leadership during this recent financial challenge further demonstrated his ability to navigate complex issues and produce tangible results. With Linden now enjoying a tax cut thanks to his efforts, Armstead’s reputation as an effective leader has only increased.

Some political observers have speculated that Armstead’s success could make him an attractive candidate for Governor in 2025, as Armstead’s continued success in Linden may be attractive to voters looking for a leader who can get things done. For now, Linden residents are celebrating Mayor Armstead’s success, offsetting a significant financial loss while providing ongoing tax relief for Linden, New Jersey homeowners.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt 2023!

Mayor Derek Armstead, the City of Linden, and the Department of Parks and Recreation are pleased to present the 2023 Annual Easter Egg Hunt!

Due to the predicted inclement weather on Saturday, April 1, 2023, the Easter Egg Hunt at Wilson Park is cancelled. We look forward to having it on the scheduled rain date, Saturday, April 8, 2023.

  • Who: For children ages 12 and under.
  • When: Rain date: Saturday, April 8, from 12pm until 2pm.
  • Where: Wilson Park, which is located behind the High School Academy Building.
  • How: Please bring your own Easter basket, or a bag can be provided.
    With questions, call the John T. Gregorio Center at (908) 474-8600.
  • Click here to view and/or download the informational flyer for this event.

City of Linden Annual Dog License

The City of Linden requires all dogs six months and older to be licensed. To obtain a dog license, written proof of valid rabies vaccination is required. Dog licenses available April 1, 2023.

  • Dog License Fee:
    • $13 for non-spayed/non-neutered.
    • $10 spayed/neutered (proof required).
  • Click here to complete a dog license application online.
  • To obtain your dog license in person, visit the City Clerk-License Office (9am until 4:30pm) located at 301 North Wood Avenue.
  • To submit your application by mail, send to: City Clerk-License Office, 301 North Wood Avenue, Linden, NJ 07036.
  • Click here to view and/or download the Annual Dog License informational flyer.

Ariel Rivas Rosado Scholarship Fund

Linden Public Schools has created the Ariel Rivas Rosado Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will be awarded to a Linden High School graduate each year to honor Ariel’s memory.

Click here to view and/or download a flyer containing information for the first fundraiser. The School #4 PTO will be selling silicone wristbands bearing the inscription, “Dance Like No One is Watching.”

Mayor Armstead Appoints Youngest Member to Zoning Board in New Jersey History – Press Release

Linden, NJ. (Wednesday, February 22, 2023) – Mayor Derek Armstead appointed the youngest person ever in New Jersey’s history to its Zoning Board. In Linden, board appointments are made by the Mayor and approved by City Council. At last night’s City Council meeting, Linden’s City Council unanimously approved and welcomed Ms. Hagr Elweshahy to its ranks. 

Ms. Elweshahy’s appointment is Mayor Armstead’s latest example of empowering qualified youth to engage in important and critical leadership positions. “I take special note of exceptional people and will continue to do everything in my power to enable their inclusion in building Linden’s bright future” said Mayor Armstead

A lifelong Linden resident and current senior in Linden High School, Ms. Elweshahy is currently slated to graduate as the school’s 2023 valedictorian, and is the Commander of Linden’s ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps). She is also Linden High School’s Student Council President, former National Honor Society Officer and has developed and overseen a myriad of Linden High School programs, functions and fundraisers. “I am humbled and honored that Mayor Armstead recommended me for this appointment. I love my town, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to help Linden residents and businesses in this way. The Mayor has put a lot of faith in me, and I will not let him down.”

The Linden Zoning Board of Adjustment hears and decides on appeals regarding determinations made by the Zoning Official in the enforcement of the zoning code. “Of all boards and commissions, the Zoning Board is one of the most important ones as it pertains to the development of any municipality” said Mayor Armstead. When asked about appointing an eighteen-year old to the Zoning Board, the Mayor responded that “Ms. Elweshahy has proven herself time and time again, rising to any occasion and overcoming any challenge. I have no doubt that her contributions to the Zoning Board will be significant.”

Nieroda Family Assistance

On Sunday, February 19th, 2023, Justyna Nieroda and her two children, Sebastian 14 and Natalia 13 had their lives taken from us at the hands of Justyna’s husband, and the childrens’ father, Krzysztof. In tragedies of this magnitude, there are no words that can heal, nor explanations that can serve to make sense of them to the public. May this unfortunate time bring us together to help heal the family, friends and community. On behalf of the family we are asking for our community to donate any contribution they can towards the funeral and memorial expenses through GoFundMe. Please keep them in your prayers.