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Karen Newpol named as new Cranberry supervisor

CRANBERRY — Longtime Cranberry Township resident and volunteer Karen Newpol unanimously was selected Thursday evening to fill the vacant seat on the township board of supervisors left open by the passing Richard “Dick” Hadley in August.

A graduate of the inaugural class of the Community Leadership Institute of Cranberry Township and a board member of the Cranberry Township Community Chest since 2011, Newpol has contributed time to Cranberry community organizations since 1997.

Newpol will be the first woman to serve on the board since the 1970s, township manager Dan Santoro said.

“There were so many applicants that would do a great job as a supervisor,” township supervisor Bruce Mazzoni said. “I think Karen had some great community leadership qualities that stood out above and beyond. I think her enthusiasm in the interview process was there, that I think we all recognized accordingly. I think she will be a nice asset to the board ourselves, giving us a different view and a different approach as we move forward.”

In a statement, Newpol said she was “humbled with the selection” and looks forward to working with staff and fellow supervisors.

“I am thrilled to be selected as a township supervisor, especially as I know there were many strong candidates also under consideration,” Newpol said. “I am saddened that it was done this way with the passing of Dick Hadley. I know it's impossible to accomplish everything that Supervisor Hadley has done for our community, but I promise I will work hard to help make Cranberry one of the best communities in our state.”

Newpol serves in a number of community leadership roles, including current president of Bellevue Park Homeowners Association. She has served as communications coordinator for Cranberry Township Community Chest's Community Days since 2007, and she is a past officer and current chaplain for Cranberry Elks, and is a member and past president of the Women's Business Network.

Newpol was the promotion coordinator for CTCC's project of the year, which raises funds to facilitate improvements across the township. She is current president of the Sunrise Rotary Club of Cranberry Township, as well as its past treasurer, and she earned the Rotarian of the Year award.

“Karen is a whirlwind of positive energy,” township vice chairman Mike Manipole said Thursday. “I think she will fit in to the board very nicely in that she is a worker — she will jump in and do whatever. When she sees a vision, she will always be willing to help and share her knowledge and expertise, but also share her input and insight, which I think is going to be really nice.”

Selection process

At the meeting Thursday night, the vacancy board, which consists of remaining supervisors Mike Manipole, Bruce Hezlep, Bruce Mazzoni and John Skorupan, as well as former township manager and vacancy board chairman Jerry Andre, approved Newpol to be sworn into office by District Judge Kevin Flaherty immediately before the board meeting on Oct. 6.

Newpol will remain in her position through Jan. 1, 2024. According to a statement from the township, Newpol plans to run in the 2023 municipal election to complete the remaining four years of the vacant term.

Interested applicants for the position were instructed to send a letter of interest, name, contact email and phone number to the township by Sept. 16. The township received 22 applications and interviewed 12 people.

Andree said the board spent at least 15 hours talking to interviewees and reading resumes.

“It is a tough decision,” Andree said. “We had a lot of discussion after each meeting, as well as after interviews last Sunday.”

“We were really blessed with some of the quality candidates that stepped up and offered to be a part of this,” Mazzoni said.

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