Canton Mayor Bernabei will not seek re-election

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Canton Mayor Thomas M. Bernabei announced Wednesday morning that he will not seek a third term.

“I am very thankful for all of the extra special people who have supported me in my seven years as Mayor and in my many years of public service: first and foremost, Bebe, my wife and best friend, who the community has come to know and love; my family; my Cabinet, department heads and employees of the City of Canton; the consistent support from City Council and its leadership; and the citizens of Canton and our surrounding communities who have consistently supported me,” Mayor Bernabei said.

He added that running city government is like running a big business and requires full-time commitment, work ethic and devotion to the job at hand.

“I have done my best to provide that. I am proud of the organization which we have created. We have overcome financial hardship through disciplined financial budgeting; we have made public safety our priority through staffing, funding, training and technology; we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize equipment and operations and in multiple public infrastructure projects in roads, water and sewer,” Bernabei said. “City government has operated without service interruptions through financial hardship, the COVID pandemic and national social strife, with employees AT WORK and ON THE JOB. Our Parks passed a levy with 76% voter approval.”

Bernabei is proud of the change his administration assisted with in downtown Canton.

“Completed streetscapes, restored building facades, assisted construction of a new Hilton Double Tree hotel, built a city central park in Centennial Plaza, and brought programming and events to Downtown, he said.

Other accomplishments during his tenure include: attracting Amazon, assisting with the construction of the Timken Family Aultman Cancer Center and more.

“We have funded tens of millions of dollars to the poor and less advantaged for housing, workforce development, after school programs and multiple social service programs,” Mayor Bernabei added. “I thank our incredible network of agencies and volunteers, our foundations and our supporting non-profit community in assisting government in serving the many needs of our poorer or distressed citizens. They are a testament to what we can accomplish when an entire community comes together.”

Bernabei’s term ends December 31, 2023.