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My fellow residents,
For nearly 12 years, you gave me the immense honor to serve as your mayor.
The first major decision I made as mayor was to appoint Shari Cantor to fill a vacancy on the Town Council. I did not know her prior to the interview process, but I was immediately impressed. She was a loving mother of four boys in the West Hartford schools, a respected financial professional and renowned for her charitable work. Most significantly, she was not a politician – in other words, someone with an invaluable perspective to bring to town service.
I had no idea how right I would be. Shari became my trusted right hand, on all things but particularly on budgetary matters. Ultimately, she was named deputy mayor and I could not have asked for a better partner and friend in governing.
Most people know Shari for her unbridled energy and as a consummate volunteer, a financial expert and an advocate for our senior citizens and students alike. While I share that viewpoint, I also had the privilege to see Shari’s intelligence, tenacity and compassion on display in many small meetings and negotiations where Town policy was made.
When I left office, I did so with the comfort that our excellent town administration and sound long-term policies were in place to keep the Town on solid footing. But most of all, I was comforted in knowing that Shari Cantor would step in to succeed me.
As mayor, she has shepherded the town through an extremely difficult time with class and poise. In a turbulent period, she has been resolute in protecting West Hartford’s interests at the capitol. But this has not distracted her from maintaining our top-notch schools and public safety while encouraging economic development that is the envy of the region.
I was part of many important decisions, but when I look back, I feel that my first decision was perhaps my best one. Shari Cantor has been an integral part of creating and sustaining the West Hartford of today. I strongly encourage you to continue her great work by re-electing her and the entire Democratic team on Nov. 7.
R. Scott Slifka
Former Mayor of West Hartford