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First Selectman Messages

Town of Canton >> Boards and Commissions >> Board of Selectmen >> First Selectman >> First Selectman Messages

1/19/2023 - 01/19/2023
Dear Residents,

Camaraderie, Equity & Excellence
Over the last two weeks, I had the honor of attending the Governor’s “State of the State” address plus two legislative breakfast events where municipal leaders met with legislative leaders to discuss issues impacting us all. 

Everyone was hopeful that our work together will lead to solutions to affordability, housing, transportation, education funding, aggressive driving, EMT pay issues and more. 

Yes, it’s early in the session. Yes, we haven’t come face-to-face with fiscal reality. Yes, everyone’s high hopes will come back to earth by session’s end. But there was hope.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents stood in the same room and focused on the same issues. Certainly, we pushed different approaches and highlighted the flaws in someone else’s idea. But at the end of the day, everyone declared their understanding that the issues are best solved by everyone together. 

That’s equity. Respect. Willingness to listen. Finding ways to compromise for the common good. It’s more than refreshing. It’s the way to excellence. Because if we shut out the people and experiences that don’t match our own, we shut out the potential for unlikely and sometimes highly successful ways forward. 

In a word, excellence. 

Get a Grant!
Is your non-profit looking for money? The Canton Greater Together Community Fund is  offering grants from $500 to $10,000 for Canton-based nonprofit groups or individuals working under the umbrella of an existing nonprofit as their fiscal agent.  Organizations and individuals from the Canton community are encouraged to apply. 

Last year, the fund awarded a total of $25,500 in grants to the Collinsville Historical Society, Canton Main Street, the Cherry Brook Garden Club, Canton Land Conservation Trust, Canton Youth Soccer Association, Friends of Canton Public Libraries and SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center of Canton.

This year, the Canton Community Fund plans to award approximately $30,000. The application period opens February 1. Deadline to apply is March 15 at 5 p.m. Awards will be announced in early June.

Fillable applications are available at  Electronic applications may be emailed to Typed applications may be dropped off at the Canton Library’s collection box.

Questions? Representatives of the Canton Community Fund Advisory Committee are offering an in-person information session on Wednesday, February  9 at 7 p.m. at the Canton Community Center, Room C. Pre-register (at and you’ll get a cupcake from the Cake Gypsy! 

Annual Meeting
You are cordially invited to the Canton Annual Town Meeting on Wednesday, January 25 at 7 p.m. at the Canton Community Center, Room F. We have three timely topics on the agenda: 
Dedication of this year’s annual report to David K. Leff;
Assessment of Canton’s public health by Jennifer Kertanis, Director of the Farmington Valley Health District; and,
A report from Police Chief Christopher Arciero on Canton’s efforts to curtail speeding and aggressive driving. 

I hope to see you there! 
Bob Bessel




Kevin Witkos
First Selectman
Phone: (860) 693-7847

Office Hours:
 click here to make an appointment

Canton Town Hall
P.O. Box 168
4 Market Street
Collinsville, CT 06022