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2 challenge for open Cranberry supervisor seat

| Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Republican candidate for Cranberry supervisor said he'll step down as the president of the township's volunteer fire department if he wins the Nov. 5 general election.

“I never wanted to be in a position where I reported to myself,” Bruce Hezlep said.

He said the fire department this summer approved a resolution that said a township supervisor can't serve on the fire department's board of directors or be chief or assistant chief.

Hezlep, 46, and Democrat Michael Warrington, 45, are vying for the seat held by Democrat Dave Root, who is not seeking re-election.

Warrington declined comment, saying in an e-mail that “things have changed for me on the personal front, and I have not been able to commit any time to the campaign.” He did not provide details.

Hezlep said that he's worked well with supervisors over the years, including issuing annual reports on how the fire department has used the tax revenue it receives from the township. For 2013, the township is budgeted to dedicate 2.12 mills of real estate tax revenue to the fire department, or about $900,000.

Hezlep said he wants to continue implementing the township's development plans, but traffic flow remains a concern.

“It's grown, but it's been well-managed growth,” Hezlep said.

In a news release he sent out in March announcing his candidacy, Warrington, a manager at the Cranberry Eat'n Park restaurant, said he was running because he “wants to get involved in how Cranberry is run.”

He said his focus would be on expansion of main roads in the township, including routes 228 and 19, and Rochester and Freedom roads.

“These roads are nearing maximum capacity, and action should begin soon,” Warrington said. “I feel in a short period of time, traffic will exceed capacity and will impact the businesses and home purchases. I just don't think we get our fair share of infrastructure investments coming out of Harrisburg or Washington. Cranberry deserves a better road system.”

Warrington added that he's concerned about “quality of life issues,” and supports the funding of the library and volunteer fire company.

“I want to assure that our taxes are spent efficiently and want to make a strong effort to benchmark Cranberry's expenditures compared to other local communities and of communities of similar size in the state,” Warrington said.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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