Jerry Andree, Township Manager

Jerry Andree, Township Manager

No level of government has more impact on daily life than local government. That’s why my colleagues and I at Cranberry Township are passionate about pushing the limits of excellence to provide the best possible services to our residents and customers. However, being well-served is not a passive achievement; it is a collective undertaking. Through this blog, we offer our personal reflections on that assignment. And we hope it will help engage you in joining us on that same collaborative mission.

Jul 08

Breaking News

Posted on July 8, 2019 at 10:08 AM by Jerry Andree

After almost 30 years as a Cranberry resident, I’m more excited than ever to be part of this amazing community.  And I recently put my finger on why that is, although no one would ever find out just by watching TV.

If a visitor from some far-away land were to watch the morning news here, they would be horrified.  The shootings, the crashes, the fires and assorted mayhem that fill the news leave viewers with an image of Western Pennsylvania as a scene of terrible events – one that would prompt any sane visitor to leave at once and stay away. 

Problem is, that’s not an accurate picture, nor is it the way most of us see ourselves or our community.  Instead, it presents a seriously unbalanced view of life in the region, especially here in Cranberry Township.  That disconnect was driven home to me Big Time on a recent weekend. 

Saturday morning, for example, I attended the official opening of our new Disc Golf Course and Nature Trail in North Boundary Park.  It was a great event.  In addition to inaugurating a tournament-level facility that will be free for everyone to use, we were able to celebrate the fruit of a communitywide effort, led by CTCC, that was built on contributions from hundreds of residents and local businesses. 

Saturday afternoon was another celebration, but not quite as joyous.  Instead, it memorialized the life of a longtime Cranberry resident who had been instrumental in forming the Cranberry Area Diversity Network.  The turnout was huge – a tribute to the work that Gary Winterhalter and co-founder Charles Hawkins had brought to our community.  As Hawkins put it in his eulogy, “this is a celebration of the amazing work that Gary did to ensure that Cranberry continues to be an accepting and inclusive community.” 

Later that same afternoon, my wife and I attended the high school graduation for Jacob, a remarkable young man from Seneca Valley who we have known for a long time.  The class celebration was held in Community Park and it was filled with people talking, playing, and singing along with their classmates.  But that wasn’t the only celebration going on in the park; as I looked around, people everywhere there were also gathering, talking, playing and having a good time. 

The next morning, despite the rain, I took a bike ride through Graham Park.  There, too, I came across dozens of people who were walking, running and biking through the park’s beautiful wetlands, enjoying its creekside, its gardens and woodlands. 

Sadly, there were no TV crews on hand to document the energy, the joy and the community spirit I kept encountering throughout the weekend.  If they had, perhaps our visitor from a distant land might have decided to stay around for a while.

It would be great to hear from you! If you have any feedback, please feel free to contact me at 
mailto:jerry.andree@cranberrytownhip.org

May 06

Is anybody listening?

Posted on May 6, 2019 at 2:21 PM by Jerry Andree

Is anybody listening??? We communicate, but folks have to be listening. Find out more in Manager's Blog. 

Continue Reading...

Apr 03

Mickey and me

Posted on April 3, 2019 at 3:48 PM by Jerry Andree

What is the most frequent question that residents ask us?  
Give up?  It’s this: Why doesn’t Cranberry bring in a Taco Bell?  Almost as frequent are questions to the effect of why does the Township bring in so many banks, or hotels, or drug stores?  After all, who needs them?  Good questions.

Years ago, when the Township developed its planning vision for the Rt. 228 Corridor, some folks disparaged our plan as the “Disney Plan,” probably because it was so other-worldly, at least in their eyes.  Of course, I can understand the confusion between Cranberry Township and Disney World.  After all, we are each magic kingdoms in our own ways.

In our case, however, that vision called for retail, residential, mixed-use and office space.  That vision was translated into zoning regulations designed to conduct business in an appealing environment, and it was brought to realization by individual business and property owners.  The Township can’t say no to another bank just because we don’t think we need one.  That’s up to the market to decide.  And besides, the property is privately owned.  The owners have the constitutional right to develop that property within reasonable regulations adopted by the Township, consistent with state and federal law.  If the business succeeds, great.  If it fails, too bad.  In either case, the role of local government is limited to making sure its ordinances and building regulations have been followed.

Townships in Pennsylvania are permitted by state law to enact zoning regulations.  If they do, they must provide for every use, even if it’s one that may not be well accepted by the public, such as sexually oriented businesses.  

If Cranberry Township owned all the property within its jurisdiction, we could invite or exclude whoever we pleased, at least within limits.  But the Township doesn’t own the land.  So unlike Disney World and their company-owned community, Celebration, Florida – an arrangement by which the company can develop it pretty much as it pleases – Cranberry is obliged to follow the laws of Pennsylvania.  And Mickey is welcome to join us.

I’d welcome your thoughts about how we zone for business.  You can reach me at jerry.andree@cranberrytownship.org