Shari Cantor, Mayor.
Mayor Cantor has been in public service since 2004 when she first joined the Town Council. A native of West Hartford, Shari Cantor has been Deputy Mayor since 2012 and Mayor since May 2016.
“It’s an honor to serve as mayor to a community as diverse, vibrant, and caring as West Hartford,” said Cantor. “I am committed to balancing our priorities and making strategic decisions in challenging times so that West Hartford remains a great place to live, raise a family, work or start a business, and retire.”
Cantor’s priorities include prudently analyzing complex budget issues that include significant state challenges and their impact on education, public safety, services, and affordability issues; strategic development and growth; and continuing to provide the highest quality public education to a diverse school community – efficiently and effectively. In an already busy year (and a historically challenging budget environment), Cantor has demonstrated her commitment to hearing from all constituents by creating office hours and holding them in a variety of locations throughout the town to truly reach out to and hear from all voices. Cantor led the search for a new town manager that concluded successfully with the hiring of Matthew Hart, ensuring continuity in services. She is actively involved in planning for West Hartford’s future development and success.
As mayor of West Hartford with a workforce of more than 1,300 employees and a budget of $285 million, Cantor works extensively and tirelessly to serve the needs of a diverse community of almost 65,000 people. West Hartford is an AAA-bond rated community, with millions of dollars in current development in residential, commercial, and retail space. Money magazine recently ranked West Hartford no.15 for Best Places to Live in the United States.
In her personal life, Cantor has been a volunteer leader with the American Heart Association of Northeastern Connecticut, the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, West Hartford Rotary, Foodshare, the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the West Hartford Art League, and the American School for the Deaf. She has received several honors for her leadership, including being named a Malta Wonder Woman in 2016, a Hartford Magazine Best Community Leader in 2012, and West Hartford Rotarian of the Year for 2011-2012. She has been very active with her alma mater, UConn, and became a Trustee in 2014. She was inducted into the UConn Business Hall of Fame in March 2017.
Cantor is a graduate of Hall High School and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in accounting from UConn. After earning her CPA designation, she worked at Coopers & Lybrand (now Pricewaterhouse Coopers) and Cigna. Shari and Michael Cantor have been married for 32 years and have four sons (who all attended to West Hartford public schools) and a new daughter-in-law.
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A note from Mayor Cantor regarding her 2019 campaign:
It’s campaign season once again, and I’m reaching out to you today with a simple message: thank you.
Thank you for your past support. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving as Mayor of West Hartford, my hometown and the place where Michael and I chose to raise our four sons. And thank you for being a partner in the nationally-recognized progress our community has made, as West Hartford has been ranked among the “Top 50 Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine and the “Best Cities in the Nation for the Next Decade” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Working together we have:
- Kept local home prices among the strongest in our state (Hartford Courant, 2018).
- Maintained our town’s AAA Bond Rating, resulting in savings in bond refinancing (We-Ha.com, 2019).
- Protected our schools by fighting to preserve crucial education funding, and by guaranteeing those dollars are used efficiently and effectively (We-Ha.com, 2017).
- Created a remarkably rich pipeline of new local development, including the town’s largest multi-family residential project at One Park Road (We-Ha.com, 2019).
- Fostered a business-friendly climate that has created jobs, added income to our town, and given more choice to residents (We-Ha.com, 2019).
- Managed a transparent and effective local government, one that has been nationally recognized for its excellent financial management and accuracy in financial reporting (West Hartford News, 2019).