Richard Hadley, the guiding force behind Cranberry Township’s success over the last three decades, passed away Tuesday, August 23.
He was 71.
A Township resident for more than 40 years, his 30 years of service included 27 on the Board of Supervisors, which he served as Chairman of at the time of his passing.
A fierce advocate for the Cranberry community, Hadley was instrumental in introducing initiatives and legislation that allowed the Township to grow as a well-planned community. His goal as a Supervisor was to make Cranberry a world-class community and ensure the future of the Township was both healthy and sustainable.
“We are what we are today because of what Dick did,” said Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Mike Manipole. “He provided stability and leadership while making the tough decisions that have made Cranberry the incredible place it has become.”
Hadley’s impact will be ever-present, as his fingerprints are on every aspect of the Township. He led the charge to create The Cranberry Plan, the Township’s road map for success. That plan has been used to set the vision and direction for the Township and navigate any challenges that may have occurred.
Under his guidance as a Supervisor, the Township oversaw expansion of the Route 228 corridor, including the completion of the long-sought MSA Thruway. The Freedom Road and Rochester Road corridors also saw expansion and ongoing improvement through his advocacy and work with County, State, and Federal entities and representatives.
The Township’s public services and infrastructure improved during Hadley’s tenure, most recently highlighted by the multi-million-dollar expansion of the Brush Creek Treatment Plant. Police, fire, and emergency services expanded in both manpower and in world-class facilities.
Hadley was passionate about the Township’s parks, serving as Chair of the Township Parks and Recreation Board and volunteering as a coach and officer of the Cranberry Township Athletic Association. He helped expand offerings in Community Park, build a Waterpark in North Boundary Park, and build Graham Park from the ground up.
An avid golfer, It was Hadley’s vision that was instrumental in creating Cranberry Highlands Golf Course, which has become a regional destination known for its high caliber and challenging course. Hadley once said his favorite part of the Township was the Number 3 tee box at the course.
He helped accomplish these goals while remaining ever committed to prudent and careful spending. The Township’s pristine bond rating was a point of pride.
“Dick was always cognizant of the taxpayer and always made sure that any decision made financial sense,” said Township Manager Dan Santoro. “Every decision was given the upmost care and consideration with our community’s wellbeing as the main priority.”
Hadley possessed a B.S. Degree in Business Management from the University of Dayton which set the stage for his lifetime of service. He served as the Executive Director of the Allegheny League of Municipalities before retiring in 2016, and previously was the Municipal Manager of Reserve Township. Over the course of his professional career, he also was a small business owner and sales and marketing professional, as well as consultant to municipalities specializing in transition services and organization structure.
Hadley also served on boards and committees too numerous to list, but each affirming his commitment to community service.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dick’s his family, who are and will always be a part of our Township family,” Santoro said.
A moment of silence is planned prior to the Thursday, August 25 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Visitation is planned from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, August 28 at Boylan-Glenn-Kildoo Funeral Home, 130 Wisconsin Avenue, Cranberry. Funeral proceedings are set for 10 a.m. Monday, August 29 at Divine Grace Parish at St. Ferdinand Church, 2535 Rochester Road, Cranberry.