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Selectman's Message

Kevin Witkos

First Selectman’s Corner

Last evening I was sworn in as your new First Selectman.  I want to thank all of you who supported me in the November election. Those of you who did not support me, I will be working extremely hard to earn your trust over these next four years. Now that the election is behind us, it’s time to govern as one body, to put forth our best effort in keeping Canton the unique small town that it is. I promise to govern with the three mantles that I embraced during the campaign, Transparency, Accountability and Affordability.  

I’d also like to publicly thank my predecessor, Bob Bessel for his time in service (and he’s not done yet, because he was just appointed to the Economic Development Agency last night). Bob and I shared very meaningful conversations during the transition period and because of that, we as a town will move seamlessly into a new administration.

Once I figure out a schedule to provide you with set office hours, I will make sure to post them on the usual locations. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to stop me if you see me about town to ask a question or share a comment.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and I hope to see many of you at the Champagne walk December 1st.

With Sincerity,



Thank You

Over the past four years, I’ve been told that First Selectman is a thankless job. When I announced my retirement, it was assumed that I would count the days until my name was no longer on the door in Town Hall.  

A little of that is true, but very, very little. I’ve actually found the job of First Selectman rewarding and our townspeople extraordinarily kind and inventive. This made the job a near constant stream of opportunities to improve our town. Not just in physical improvements like sidewalks on Dowd Avenue or Streetscape improvements in Collinsville, but in the ways we communicate with each other.

This column, our town website, public participation at meetings, phone calls and  emails - all of these communications preceded the improvements we see around town. Put another way - citizen suggestions have been the source of every Canton success. I am confident that they will continue to be.

So let me leave this office with a couple of thoughts:
Thank you for speaking up. Your input draws our attention to important issues and ideas we might be missing.  
There’s often more to the story. I’ve seen many issues resolved by existing regulations and procedures. It helps to learn how we have solved similar issues and how these solutions apply to the issue at hand.
We will not always agree and we will make mistakes. Let’s commit to admitting errors and fixing them. It’s the best we can do as humans and citizens of Canton. 
I have learned a lot in these four years. I appreciated all of your comments and ideas. Please keep up the communication with Kevin Witkos and the new Boards of Education, Finance and Selectmen. And consider how you might serve Canton. 

This town is the sum of our efforts - both past and present. I invite you to be part of it. Make no mistake: you are needed.

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