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.

Jan 08

[ARCHIVED] Planning for dissent

The original item was published from January 8, 2021 9:26 AM to January 8, 2021 9:28 AM

Abraham Lincoln was right when he said you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Take The Cranberry Plan, Cranberry Township’s visionary roadmap for the next 25 years. It was a remarkable accomplishment for a number of reasons – its long horizon, its technical sophistication, and its principled commitment to sustainability. However its most significant achievement may be that it was built on a strong and broad foundation of public support. Even so, that support wasn’t unanimous, as a recent unsigned letter to the Cranberry Eagle makes clear. But in a real democracy, dissent is not only inevitable, it is desirable and it leads to better results.

Our entire planning process was transparent, widely publicized, and open to residents of every point of view. Thousands of residents participated in surveys, attended open houses, and testified at hearings which were conducted as part of the planning effort. We were particularly gratified by the 70-plus residents who volunteered as members of a Citizens Advisory Panel which met monthly throughout the plan’s most critical stages. And their views on important issues were far from uniform.

They poured over thousands of pages of analysis, survey results, studies and recommendations. Their feedback led to detailed exchanges with Township staff members and to vigorous, passionate debates with one another. It was one of the most intensive public planning processes ever conducted by any community anywhere. And it led to a plan which was recently honored by the state’s top award from the American Planning Association.

I am proud of the outcome of our planning process and flattered to work for such a great community, including those who hold a different point of view. Thank you.