Canton’s Mayor Will Not Seek Re-Election


From Canton Mayor Tom Bernabei:


I am today announcing that I will not seek re-election as Canton’s Mayor for a third term.
It has been my great honor to serve as Canton’s Mayor.
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.
Running city government is a big business (2022 budget, $350 million) which requires full time commitment, work ethic and devotion to the job. 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. 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.
We have provided incentives for new housing starts, cleaned up neighborhoods through the demolition of 650 blighted houses and commercial buildings, enhanced Building Code and Zoning enforcement and services, reconstructed Thurman Munson Stadium and fields, and funded recreation facilities improvements
in all quadrants.
We have changed the face of Downtown: 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.
We have attracted and built Amazon (the jobs will come;) assisted construction of the Timken Family Aultman Cancer Center; provided land for a new Akron Children’s Hospital Behavioral Health facility; and welcomed the Cleveland Clinic Hospital to Canton. We have multiple development projects in planning
and discussion, to include city wide expansion of a fiber network, a second downtown hotel, redevelopment of the Nationwide Building and others. We have assisted in a myriad of ways, financial and otherwise, to the growth and realization of Hall of Fame Village and continued support to the Professional Football Hall
of Fame.

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. 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.
Good government does not happen without cooperation and help from our other governmental partners and without bi-partisan partnerships. I thank our local, state and federal elected officials who have helped Canton over the past 7 years.
There is still much to do. I will complete my current term as Mayor that ends December 31, 2023 with the same work ethic and enthusiasm that I started with 7 years ago. I believe that we have built a foundation on which future leadership may rely on and grow. I am hopeful that Canton will continue to move forward and prosper.