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Meet the Candidate: Shari Cantor

A look at Shari Cantor, Democratic candidate for Town Council

West Hartford Patch is offering a new feature – "Meet the Candidate" – which is designed to help you get to know your local candidates before the Nov. 8 election. Each profile has been submitted directly by the candidate.

Take a moment to review each profile so you can be informed and prepared when you go to the polls on Nov. 8. Once they have been published, all profiles will be easily accessed through the "Elections 2011" tab at the top of the home page.

Name: Shari Cantor

Age: 51

Party, Position Seeking: Democrat for Town Council

Family information: I have been married to Michael Cantor, Intellectual Property Attorney at Cantor Colburn, for 26 years. We have four sons, all of whom attended West Hartford Public Schools.

Josh graduated in May from Clark University and is performing a year of service at City Year in Boston. Sam is a junior at Tufts University, Ben is a freshman at UConn, Storrs, and Jacob is a freshman at Hall High. My parents have lived in the house that I grew up in for 46 years.

Occupation:  I am currently an active volunteer. I previously worked as a CPA in public and private accounting.

Political Experience: I have been a Town Councilor since 2004. Chair of Finance and Budget Committee, Chair of Community Planning Committee, Liaison to Senior Citizen Advisory Commission and Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools.

Other Experience: President of the Board of the University of Connecticut Hillel, Board member of the North Central Connecticut Region of the American Heart Association, West Hartford Rotarian, volunteer Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Jewish Federation and other nonprofit organizations. Frequent participant in road races and bicycle rides for civic causes.

Why did you run for office? I was appointed to the Council in 2004. It has been an honor and privilege to serve my hometown community for seven years.  The cumulative results of thoughtful and responsible decisions have earned West Hartford national recognition for the high schools and the town in respected publications. As chair of the Finance and Budget Committee I am proud to preserve West Hartford’s AAA bond rating during extremely challenging financial times. I will work to build on West Hartford’s success and preserve our enviable quality of life.

If elected, what would be your primary areas of focus? My primary focus is to maintain fiscal responsibility coupled with commitment to education, safety, services and West Hartford’s unique quality of life.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today? The biggest issue facing West Hartford is the balance of preserving West Hartford quality of life with the economic pressures that face the town.

What skills do you have that you could bring to the community? I grew up here, my elderly parents still live in town, and I have raised four sons here. I work with senior citizens and students. I have been an involved member of the Community. These experiences have given me both balance and perspective. In addition, my financial background helps me deal with complex budget issues.

Anything else you would like to share? First and foremost, being on the Town Council is all about serving the community.

I care passionately about West Hartford. I have and will continue to do my best to serve this special town.

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