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First Selectman Messages

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

3/26/2021 - 03/26/2021
Dear Residents,

Lessons from the Pandemic 

Is it possible that a little good came from the year of masks, social distancing and ZOOM? Without a doubt, we could write long lists of lessons we wished we hadn’t learned. But sticking with the positive, here are three good ones:
Mail-in service works. Dog licenses, transfer station stickers, fishing licenses, even land use applications can be mailed in. You save time; town staff serves the public more efficiently - usually in one day. Save yourself a trip to town hall - mail it in!
Remote meetings have helped increase public participation. Maybe it’s convenience - ZOOM enables us to attend meetings without leaving the house. Maybe it’s variety - a town meeting is different from work or school or baking bread. Somehow, remote access to meetings has found its place. 
In person is a richer experience than remote. Most of us thought we knew this before the pandemic; but we really know it now!
We absolutely look forward to seeing everyone in person again, to removing our masks, sharing hugs and watching UCONN play outstanding basketball live. But let’s remember that some good came out of all this – and that we have some new tools to use. 

Budget Process 2021

The Boards of Education (BOE), Finance (BOF) and Selectmen (BOS) are finalizing the Town’s proposed budget for 2021-2022. These proposals are the result of months of work – reviewing programs, staff, equipment and future needs. Now we turn to you.

Public participation is key to the success of any town budget - it’s really how a budget prepared by experts becomes a plan for our Town. Let me ask you to learn everything you can about the BOE and BOS budget proposals. How can you do this?

You can attend our budget meetings outlined below via ZOOM to hear the conversation. You can also engage with your elected boards by asking questions about the budget via this email address: All questions will automatically be shared with the BOF and become part of the public record. 

This is our timeline for the 2021-2022 Town budget:

March 29
BOF Budget Workshop - This where adjustments may be made to the BOE and BOS budgets.  

April 6 
The BOE responds to BOF budget adjustments and finalizes its portion of the budget for Town approval

April 14 
The BOS responds to BOF budget adjustments and finalizes its portion of the budget for Town approval.

April 19 
The BOF finalizes the Town budget proposal. 

April 26      LEGAL NOTICE
Town Budget Hearing - The three boards will present their portions of the budget and answer your questions submitted via email. Once the public hearing concludes, the BOF may make further adjustments to the budget. After the BOF finalizes the numbers for the Town budget referendum, town officials will prepare the annual budget flyer and send a printed copy to every Canton household.  

May 11 
Town Budget Referendum - In-person voting at the Canton Community Center at 40 Dyer Ave. 6 am – 8 pm. Absentee ballots will be available within four business days after the BOF finalizes the budget question. We expect to have that final budget question on Monday, April 26 and final ballots in the Town Clerk’s office on Friday, April 30. 

Absentee voters are encouraged to submit their ballots via the Absentee Ballot Drop Box in the Town Hall parking lot.  

On behalf of the three boards, I invite you to review the BOE Budget and the BOS Budget. Again, please use the email address to ask your budget questions. Your questions will be shared with the BOF and will become part of the public record.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Stay well,
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