Evan Lerner


BRIDGEWATER, NJ - He gets personal satisfaction from helping others, and has already served 10 years on the board of education – now former board member Evan Lerner is throwing his hat in the ring once again.

Lerner is running for one of two open spots on the board of education representing Bridgewater.

“I’m a big believer in community,” he said. “Bridgewater served as a safe haven for my family post 9/11 when we didn’t have a place to live, and I quickly was happy to call it home. When the opportunity to combine my affection for my new home, my sense of community and doing service as a member of the BOE came in 2005, I jumped on it.”

Sign Up for E-News

Lerner and his family moved to Bridgewater from lower Manhattan on Dec. 1, 2001.

“We like many thing about Bridgewater,” he said, “the fresh air, parks, recreation and shopping. And, of course, the great public schools.”

Lerner attended college at the University of Florida, and law school at American University. Following law school, he practiced corporate law at major New York City law firms, and later as general counsel to Nathan’s Famous and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

After the sale of the UFC, Lerner said, he transitioned to recruiting.

“I co-founded Lerner, Cumbo & Associates, a diversified staffing firm, in 2002, and continue to serve as its managing director,” he said.

Lerner said his first service role was as a participant in a three-day 260-mile Boston to New York City bicycle ride for AIDS charities in 1997.

“I learned immediately that I get great personal satisfaction from helping others,” he said. “I rode in another AIDS ride in 1999, and still do long distance charity bike rides.”

Recently, he said, he did a more than 200-mile ride for the Young Survival Coalition, a charity dedicated to helping young women with breast cancer, his 13th year riding in it.

Lerner then served for 10 years on the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional Board of Education, from 2005 to 2015, before losing re-election in 2015. After that, he served as a member of the Bridgewater Township Planning Board.

There are several issues, Lerner said, that he sees currently with the district. First, he said, is the issue of maintaining the quality of education without breaking the bank.

“When I was on the board, the district’s ranking improved steadily,” he said. “At the same time, we literally halved the tax levy increase. In three years since I left, this board increased the tax levy increase almost 100 percent.”

“That’s not sustainable,” he added.

Lerner said he is also concerned with maintaining and updating facilities, while continuing to understand that the district must live within its means.

Finally, Lerner said, one of the biggest issues is providing the best education to all students.

“Bridgewater-Raritan is a very diverse population, and, as a result, we have students with vastly different needs,” he said. “Not all groups are represented on the board of education, but the board of education needs to make sure its product serves the needs of everyone. That isn’t always the case.”

If he is re-elected to the board, Lerner said, he hopes to work toward keeping facilities in good repair and modern, while also focusing on achievement levels among students.

“Achievement levels, while excellent, are inconsistent,” he said. “B-R needs to constantly pay attention to groups that may be performing below their potential. I think improvements for these groups is very possible.”

Lerner said he would also like to see more financial responsibility in the district.

“The current board not only set a budget with a 3 percent tax levy increase, it did so without seeking approval from voters,” he said. “Any time a district seeks that kind of increase, it should, in my view, get voter approval. My position is consistent with the law in this area.”

Lerner said he is also concerned about recent reports of high numbers of drug and alcohol incidents in the district, and he is hoping to work on fixing that.

Finally, Lerner said, he would like to see more of a connection between the community and the district.

“This includes all stakeholders,” he said. “We have a lot of resources in town that could be utilized to benefit our students, but are not.”

Lerner said he does believe that, administratively, the district is in great shape.

“A board of education member’s primary job is hiring the right leadership, setting goals and holding leadership accountable for working toward district goals,” he said. “B-R is fortunate to have an outstanding superintendent, so I do not have visions of promoting major educational changes.”

Lerner said he is proud of the work he has done before on the board of education, and hopes to accomplish even more.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments of the district from my time on the board, and have no doubt that my contributions as a board member were meaningful,” he said. “I’d love the opportunity to again utilize my professional, business and life experiences to better the district.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Les Photos de Bernie at the Wayrick ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, April 21, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Nature-Infused Yoga Winter/Spring ...

Green Health & Wellness

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Somerset County 4-H, Bridgewater

4-H Spring Carnvail

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

New Jersey Association of School Librarians Urges BRRSD to Keep All Librarians

April 18, 2018

To the Editor:

The following letter was sent to the Bridgewater-Raritan school superintendent as well as members of the school board from the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL).  

As the statewide organization for school library media specialists, the organization advocates for strong school library programs for all students.  NJASL is disheartened to learn that a ...

Car Fire in Wendy's Parking Lot Deemed Not Suspicious, Bridgewater Police Say

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township Police responded to a car fire in the parking lot of Wendy's, on Route 22 East April 9, but the fire was not deemed suspicious, according to a report.

According to the report, an unoccupied 2003 Infinity G35 caught fire. A 2010 Honda CRV, which was parked next to it, was also damaged in the fire.

North Branch and Green Knoll fire both ...

Hidden in Plain Sight Program to Provide Tips on Recognizing Drug Use in Teens

April 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater-Raritan High School, on Garretson Road, will be hosting "Hidden in Plain Sight," a program to help parents recognize the signs a child might be using drugs or alcohol.

The program will be held April 24 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. There will be a light dinner at 6:30 p.m.

DEA Agent Tim McMahon will speak to parents and students about the signs to look ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

April 20, 2018

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Bateman Bill to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

April 15, 2018

TRENTON, NJ - Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons.

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said Bateman.