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News: Cranberry Township Honored for Outstanding Citizen Communication

April 19, 2016

Ginni Linn
Executive Editor/Print Manager
Office: (717) 763-0930, ext. 127

Jerry Andree, Manager
Cranberry Township, Butler County
(724) 776-4806

Cranberry Township Honored for Outstanding Citizen Communication

Cranberry Township in Butler County received the 25th Annual Outstanding Citizen Communication Award today at the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors’ 94th Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in Hershey for its exceptional efforts to communicate with residents. The conference, which concludes Wednesday, has attracted attendees from every county in Pennsylvania except Philadelphia, which has no townships.

The Association presents the award each year as part of its Annual Township Citizen Communication Contest to recognize one township for its overall achievement and commitment to citizen communication.

Entries in the Citizen Communication Contest were judged on the usefulness of information presented and how well the information was communicated. Publications were also judged on their overall attractiveness and readability.

Cranberry Township won first place in the categories of Class 1 Newsletters (for townships with populations over 10,000) and Social Media and second place in the Other Publications category for its new-resident guide.

Township manager Jerry Andree says that communication with residents is a top priority for the township.

“Our board of supervisors feels that communication and transparency with residents is our primary responsibility,” he says. “The goal is to have no barriers between us and the residents.”

From a user-friendly website and blogs to newsletters, social media, and more, Cranberry Township has multiple modes of communicating with citizens. In fact, the municipality has so much going on that it recently hired a full-time manager of communications to oversee it all.

“The communications department is an internal resource for all of the other departments that are always looking for more ways to get information to residents,” Andree says.

The township will also be hiring a neighborhood engagement coordinator to go out into the community to help organize neighborhood events and take information, such as fire prevention tips, right to the people, he says.

“The day you lose contact with your residents is the day you are in real trouble,” Andree says.

Receiving the Outstanding Citizen Communication Award is a validation of what the township is doing, he says.

“It’s like getting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval,” Andree says. “It shows that we are meeting or exceeding our standards, and it motivates the staff. Everyone likes to be recognized.”

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The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors represents Pennsylvania’s 1,454 townships of the second class and is committed to preserving and strengthening township government and securing greater visibility and involvement for townships in the state and federal political arenas. Townships of the second class cover 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s land mass and represent more residents — 5.5 million — than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth.