Elections

Five Questions With... Freeholder Candidate Bruce Bergen

ea127093b4632e436534_6edebe9b640f344feceb_brucebergen.jpg
Bruce Bergen, current Vice Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Credits: Jim Lowney/County of Union
ea127093b4632e436534_6edebe9b640f344feceb_brucebergen.jpg

UNION COUNTY, NJ - TAPinto has contacted the candidates for Union County Freeholder and offered the opportunity to be profiled in advance of Election Day. Our "Five Questions with..." series is a platform for candidates of both parties to express their views. 

"Five Questions With..."

Name: Bruce H. Bergen
Current Occupation: Attorney in private practice as a partner in Krevsky, Silber & Bergen, in Cranford.
Education: Cranford High School; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Ohio, B.A.; Seton Hall School of Law, J.D.
Years Lived in Union County: My entire life (60 years).

Sign Up for E-News

1. Why are you running for Union County Freeholder?
I have spent my entire life in Union County, and I love my community and the quality of life we all enjoy. We need to continue to head in a positive direction and, now--more than ever, follow a plan that the Democratic Freeholder Board on Column B has put in place.

I plan on continuing to follow a path that has led to:

  • Improved educational opportunities for our residents at our award-winning County College and Vocational Technical Schools;
  • Keeping Union County safe by fully funding our Prosecutor’s, Sheriff’s and Public Safety offices—crime has continued to decrease overall in Union County;
  • Shared services – Over many years, the county has made more than 150 shared services available to municipalities, saving them well in excess of several million dollars.  There are continuing efforts by Union County to identify and make available additional shared service opportunities.
  • Keeping Union County’s economy moving forward: For the second year in a row, Union County experienced one of the highest wage increases of any large County in America, ranking within the top 20 nationally, and second highest in the state of New Jersey. Our schools rank highly, and so does our quality of life.

The Democratic Freeholder team on Column B has a cohesive plan that leaves no one behind and we are working hard to implement it.  I am running so I can continue to better Union County as a place to live, work and enjoy life, for all of our citizens.

2. What are your thoughts on rush hour NJT "one-seat" trains? How likely is it that we'll ever see it?

In my time on the Freeholder Board, I have joined in this very important effort to help secure a full one-seat ride schedule for our residents who use the Raritan Valley line of the NJ Transit to access New York City.  Through the efforts of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, the various mayors along the line, and the several counties served, we have been able to begin the process.  I fully intend to continue to work cooperatively with all levels of government to make this goal a reality.  Unfortunately, the cancellation of the Hudson Rail tunnel project by Governor Christy has made this goal harder to reach.   But, the recent support from various parties, including Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Robert Menendez, have helped move along what is now called the Gateway Regional Project, to add two additional rail tunnels under the Hudson River—a critically important step in not only ensuring the long-term viability of one-seat ride for the Raritan Valley line, but to prevent a broader, more extensive economic disaster for Union County, and all of North Jersey, should one of the existing tunnels, now about 100 years old, become unusable.  For anyone seeking more information on this important issue, please see the following video.

3. What's your position on the proposed sports stadium for Rahway River Park? What do you think of the supporters of the opposing view?

Since this issue was raised some months ago, I have examined the project and the concerns expressed in a detailed and conscientious manner.I took part in a visit to the site, along with other Freeholders and many of our professional staff, to “see for myself.”I attended the first of the two public information sessions held by the County, so I could hear the concerns first hand.Though I understand the residents’ concerns, I am convinced that the plan to refurbish the existing field, with the surface changed to turf from dirt, as well as the track, is a good one.This project is one of a series that, over the course of a number of years, is renovating many of our fields already existing in the Union County Park system.I believe that once completed, this project will allow us to continue to provide badly needed active recreation space, while having minimal if any impact upon the vast open spaces of the Park or their uses as a passive park by others.

4. Tell us about your non-government career.
I have been a practicing attorney in Union County since 1980, most of that time in private practice either on my own or as a member of a number of small firms.  I have been a partner in the firm of Krevsky, Silber and Bergen for more than 20 years.  As such, I am aware of the challenges of owning your own small business and the need for the county to continue to assist in Union County’s ongoing economic recovery.  My legal experience includes 17 years as the municipal attorney for the Township of Springfield, giving me vital experience in the trials and tribulations of municipal government, and helping to provide me with the experience to understand the importance of the county offering shared services to the local municipalities, to help them continue to provide vital services to their residents, at a reasonable cost.

5. What should people know about you that they might not know already?
Even before holding elected office, I involved myself over the years in a number of activities to try and give back to my community.  I have been a member of the Cranford Rotary Club since 1982, twice serving as President and being named a Paul Harris Fellow by my club in 1993.  In 2013, I completed a 5 year term as president of Central Jersey Legal Services, where I have been a Board member for many years, and continue to do so, helping to provide free civil legal services to eligible residents of Union, Middlesex and Mercer counties.

I have been appointed twice by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a member of the District XII (Union County) Attorney Ethics Committee, and served as chairman in 2009-2010.  I was picked by the Springfield Area B’nai B’rith to receive their 2012 International Citizenship and Civic Award. 

I also continue to serve as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, the state-wide organization of municipal attorneys, affiliated with the New Jersey League of Municipalities, where I am also an Associate Editor of the Local Government Law Review.  I was designated a Diplomate in Local Government Law after having fulfilled the educational requirements.

I have found it rewarding to be able to serve my community both as an elected official, and as a volunteer in the worthy organizations.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mountainside

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_847ee9151bdce789833a_y

Sat, April 21, 9:30 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Camp Open House

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_11433c9e92ddbc063eae_103a27776b9f3cdaaab1_img_2579

Sat, April 21, 11:00 AM

Our Lady of Peace , New Providence

Our Lady of the Peace Church Holds Healing & ...

Carousel_image_28ada9d80beb9d6466b0_picture2_simpler

Sat, April 21, 1:30 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Aquatics Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness Sports

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Sheep to Shawl Festival

Education Other

Carousel_image_ce82ab1b85dfc5de34a1_wipa_logo

Sun, April 22, 3:00 PM

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, Berkeley Heights

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts ...

Arts & Entertainment

Video: ‘Sandwichfest’ in Westfield this Weekend Will Benefit Local Charities

April 20, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — This Sunday, from noon until 4 p.m., head to The James Ward Mansion in Downtown Westfield to taste sandwiches from some of the area’s best-loved restaurants and vote for your favorites.

Proceeds from the event will go to Greta’s Run (benefiting people with special needs) and A Birthday Wish (benefiting children in foster care).

Participating restaurants ...

Free Public Panel Will Explore Sexual Assault and Consent

April 20, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites members of the public to attend a panel discussion on sexual assault and consent on Wednesday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. in Room N-4 at Union County College, 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford. The panel will feature a question and answer session.

The panel discussion is intended to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent in ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...