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About Cranford NJ

Cranford is a township in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township’s population was 22,625, reflecting an increase of 47 (+0.2%) from the 22,578 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 55 (-0.2%) from the 22,633 counted in the 1990 Census.

Cranford was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 14, 1871, from portions of the Townships of Clark, Linden, Springfield, Union and Westfield. Portions of the township were taken to form Garwood (March 19, 1903) and Kenilworth(March 13, 1907).

New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Cranford as its 34th best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the “Best Places To Live”.


Cranford is located at 40°39′23″N 74°18′17″W (40.656391,-74.30483). According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 4.869 square miles (12.609 km2), of which, 4.830 square miles (12.509 km2) of it is land and 0.039 square miles (0.100 km2) of it (0.80%) is water.

There are nine municipalities bordering the township: Garwood and Westfield to the west, Springfield Township to the north, Kenilworth to the northeast, Roselle and Roselle Park to the east, Linden to the southeast, Clark and Winfield to the south.

Local Government

Cranford is governed under the Township form of government with a five-member Township Committee. The Township Committee is elected directly by the voters in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year.

The Committee members elect a chairman of the committee who assumes the title of Mayor. Similarly, a Deputy Mayor is elected. Both positions carry one-year terms. Four of the commissioners take on departmental oversight assignments as Commissioner of Finance, Commissioner of Public Safety, Commissioner of Public Works and Engineering, and Commissioner of Public Affairs. The Mayor of Cranford does not take on a departmental assignment. The commissioners are part-time officials and the township government is run day to day by the Township Administrator and various department heads. The Chief of Police is Eric Mason.

As of 2012, members of the Cranford Township Committee are Mayor Thomas Hannen, Deputy Mayor Edward O’Malley (Commissioner of Public Works and Engineering), Lisa Adubato (Commissioner of Public Affairs), Kevin Campbell (Commissioner of Public Safety) and Andis Kalnins (Commissioner of Finance).

Women Elected in Office

As of 2012, eight women have been elected to the Cranford Township Committee and three women have served as Mayor of Cranford. Barbara Brande was the first woman elected to the Township Committee and the first woman mayor of the township. Mayor Brande was elected to the Township Committee in 1974 and reelected in 1977, serving a total of six years. She was Mayor of Cranford in 1977. Carolyn Vollero, who served the longest length of time for a woman on the Township Committee – nine years – was Cranford’s second female Mayor in 1994. Barbara Bilger, the township’s third female mayor in 2002 and 2004, was also the first woman to serve two terms as the township’s mayor. Mayor Bilger is the first Republican woman to serve as a Township Commissioner and as mayor.

Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski is a Cranford resident and the first woman from Cranford to be elected to the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Freeholder Kowalski was an unsuccessful candidate for Cranford Township Committee in 1999 and served as Union County Freeholder Chairwoman in 2007.


The Cranford Township Public Schools are a comprehensive and successful public school system, which is governed by a nine-person elected Board of Education. The system’s high school, Cranford High School was ranked as one of the top 15 high schools in New Jersey in 2010 and has won a series of national and statewide awards for its innovative curriculum. Cranford High School has a curriculum which has a strong push for technology in the schools, along with stressing service learning. The high school is recognized for its work in service learning and for being a national school of character. Cranford High School students are regularly admitted to some of the nation’s top private and public universities, with over 90% of each graduating class going onto college.

Schools in the district (with 2009-10 from the National Center for Education Statistics.) are Bloomingdale Avenue School (237 students in grades K-2), Brookside Place School (402; K-5), Hillside Avenue School (724; K-8), Walnut Avenue School (307; PreK-2), Livingston Avenue School(244; 3-5), Orange Avenue School (782; 3-8) and Cranford High School (1,165; 9-12).

Lincoln School, which is the home of the district’s administrative offices, also houses the districts two alternative education programs, CAP and CAMP.

In addition to the public education system, Cranford houses several religious and private schools. Saint Michael’s School, located in downtown Cranford, is a major Roman Catholic parochial school which offers Nursery through Grade 8 and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools, operating under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

The main campus of Union County College, New Jersey’s oldest community college dating back to 1933, is located in Cranford.  The Cranford campus, one of four county locations, was established in 1956.

All information about Mount Prospect courtesy Wikipedia.

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