Throughout the nearly 20 years I’ve been here – and probably before that too – Cranberry Township’s government has operated by a simple principle: Do the Right Thing. Specifically, that meant making decisions based on what’s fair to the people involved, on what could stand up under public scrutiny, and on what made the most efficient use of public resources. It also meant resisting decision-making based on favoritism, officials’ self-interest, or political dogma.
So, for example, we started requiring builders to dedicate permanent green and open space in our booming development years before it became trendy; we did it because our residents told us they wanted to retain as much of the Township’s rural character as possible. We turned off lights that weren’t needed long before energy saving became chic; we did it to save money. We irrigated our golf course with recycled wastewater because it cost less and protected our ground water – not because it was fashionable. They were all just the right things to do.
Over time, however, many of those same practices, which had long since become part of our standard operating procedures, started taking on the tone of a more lofty ideology. Sustainability, a philosophy which encompassed much of what we were doing, and then some, seemed to be a good fit. So we began characterizing our practices as part of a ‘sustainable’ approach to management. And they are.
But the heart of those sustainable practices remains the same straightforward principle which has guided us all along: Do the Right Thing. We have not become captive of any movement’s global manifesto. Instead, sustainability is our way of saying that we care about our taxpayers, our ratepayers, our community, and our future. And we want to do right by them.