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First Selectman Messages

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

6/21/2019 - 06/21/2019


Dear Canton Residents,

The Board of Selectman is working to improve the services we provide to our seniors, youth and residents in need of assistance. This project has been underway for the past year since we formed the Senior Social Services Strategic Planning Committee and started collecting data on the needs of the town. A survey was sent out last year inviting input from the community and focus groups were conducted with the help of an outside consultant. We have often spoken of the senior center/social services population as one group however, our data shows that the overlap is very small; approximately 8% of members at the Senior Center are receiving support from social services. Our Youth Services have been completely served by volunteers and have had not had the professional support they need from the Town. These facts plus personnel changes resulting from the resignation of the previous Director of the department are creating an opportunity to start making changes now to move toward improvements in these areas. The Strategic Planning Committee will take another 12-18 months to complete a long term vision for the Town but we can take action now to start on a path that will better serve all three of these populations

The full proposal under consideration can be viewed at

In Summary:
1- Create separate departments for the Senior Center and Social Services each with their own dedicated staff rather than sharing staff as in the past which created conflicts for time and funding.

2- Provide additional staffing and dedicated space in the Community Center for a Senior Center where older adults can come together for programs that respond to their diverse interests and support their independence. This department would be placed under the umbrella of Parks and Recreation Department so they can utilize existing software for sign up of activities and accounting structures to allow fees paid by seniors for trips and activities to be used for future programs.

3- Provide dedicated space for Social Services in Town Hall to provide privacy for meeting with staff or social worker and a central location for program information for families, seniors, and youth. This provides space for confidential meetings and appropriate record keeping. It also provides for the dignity of residents seeking assistance so that they do not have to wait in line with other residents signing up for trips or activities.

While these changes do not accomplish everything the Community has asked for, it responds to many of the concerns while working within the current budget. It provides a structure that serves the entire Community and can respond as the Town grows and changes. I welcome your feedback and comments. Please email me at or come to the Board of Selectman meeting on Wednesday, June 26th.

Best Regards,
Beth Kandrysawtz
First Selectman




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