Position sought: Cranberry Township supervisor
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 4 Pinebrook Drive, Cranberry Township, PA 16066
Family: Wife, Conni; two children, Allyson, 25, and Ashley, 23
Education: Bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh
Occupation: Retired for 11 years after holding positions of president and general manager for local and international companies
What is the primary reason you are running for this office? I truly enjoy helping our community to be the best that it can.
Cranberry operates as a business and in any business, success is dependent on good leadership and skilled staff. Cranberry is fortunate to have both, and I want to continue to help lead this community to offer a better quality of life and improve property values while keeping taxes low. Because of these reasons, Cranberry is recognized as one of the premier communities to live and work in Western Pennsylvania.
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected? To help manage healthy growth. This includes a focus on traffic issues.
Roads like Route 19, Route 228, Freedom, Rochester, Franklin and Rowan roads are state roads. They are owned by the state and they’re PennDOT’s responsibility. Even so, Cranberry has made most of the improvements these roads have seen over the last two decades.
Cranberry was an innovator in implementing traffic impact fees on developers in 1989. The reason behind these fees made sense: why should taxpayers be burdened by extra traffic and road expansions resulting from a developer’s new projects? Those impact fees have now leveraged more than $20 million in road improvements. The expansion of Route 228 to four lanes back in 2001 was a perfect example; great private-public partnerships yield great results, and no local taxpayers' money was used.
Almost none of the improvements to these roads would have happened without Cranberry Township’s planning and support. Even so, we continue to lobby Harrisburg to take better care of the state roads in Cranberry. And today, Cranberry is one of only a handful of communities that continues to build new roads and invest in upgrading existing ones to help ease traffic problems.
What sets you apart from the other candidates? I had profit/loss responsibilities with companies with revenues of the size of Cranberry Township. While my degree is in engineering, I have a strong financial background and keep a close eye to our budget, not just in the current year but future years.
I am committed to planning, and I am proud to have been on the steering committee of the Cranberry Plan, our 25-year comprehensive plan. Only a handful of communities have anything like our comprehensive plan and we are recognized as a leader in how to do it right.
I am involved with our community. I am a founding member of the Community Chest. I am the chairman of the CTCC Community Days and one of the people responsible for expanding it to three days. I am a founding member of the Cranberry Alliance. I am one of the people who started the Cranberry Legacy Endowment, our community foundation, and I am on the board of trustees for Butler County Community College. I was also a CTAA coach, Boy Scouts Explorer leader and on the Cranberry Library and Butler County Federated Library System boards.
What's your favorite thing about the community? Quality of life and sense of community. I think Cranberry is really developing into a “hometown” feel rather than just a suburb. I love that the top 15 companies in Cranberry represent more than 10,000 jobs and that we have more than 700 businesses that call Cranberry home. These are huge numbers!
Many communities can offer their children a safe and healthy place to grow up, but few can also offer them jobs right in their hometown when they grow up. Cranberry definitely can do this. Cranberry has turned into an important economic hub of Western Pennsylvania and will continue to grow in the future with the right leadership and planning.
What is the biggest problem facing the community? The state financial crisis and lack of leadership [among legislators] in Harrisburg is our community's biggest problem for three reasons.
First, in order to solve their budget crisis, they are shifting their responsibilities off to the local level. We see this in many ways, and it is just passing the buck down for local government to solve and for our local taxpayers to pick up the bill.
Second is unfunded mandates that add unnecessary costs like the requirement to hire union workers to pave roads. This adds more than 30 percent to the cost of paving, and there are many more of these mandates that take away local control and cost us money.
Third is the lack of funding for state road improvement and expansions in Cranberry. Cranberry sends a lot of taxes to Harrisburg, and I feel state roads in Cranberry deserved to be expanded to meet our growth, but considering that there are more than 6,000 deficient state bridges and 7,000 miles of deficient state roads, unfortunately I do not see that happening for a long time.