Republican Brian First is running for re-election to the Canton Board of Finance.
Miami University, Oxford, OH – BA in Economics
President and Chief Operating Officer of national insurance company based in Hartford. Responsible for top and bottom line results on over $350 million in annual revenues. 23 years overall experience in commercial insurance.
are you seeking office?
I am seeking re-election to the Board of Finance because I strongly believe in citizen involvement to preserve and promote the great quality of life and unique character of Canton. As a leading voice on the Board of Finance, I am able to make my contribution by combining my professional skills and personal commitment to improving our community. Being re-elected would allow me to continue to be a balanced voice for our overall community with a goal of delivering maximum value to Canton’s taxpayers and all of our residents.
experience do you bring to the table?
My professional experience in leading complex financial institutions as President and COO of a 50-state, national insurance company translates well into being an effective member of the Board of Finance. This requires financial, operations, negotiating, and people management skills, fine attention to details, a bias for action, and the important ability to ask the tough questions and hold people accountable. As Vice Chair of the current Board of Finance, I have drawn on all of these skills multiple times to advance the best interests of our community. With nearly 6 years of service on the Board of Finance, I have successfully worked to diligently review, trim and pass multiple budgets and faced the tough decisions of controlling spending in order to keep taxes low during the recent economic crisis we all experienced. Keeping the perspective that it’s not just about the dollars, I balance this with my personal and community experience raising 4 daughters with my wife in our wonderful town, and as a volunteer for nearly 10 years on the board of Canton Youth Basketball, various school events, the Canton Republican Town Committee, and as a member of St. Patrick’s Parish.
do you feel is the town's most pressing issue?
The most pressing issue is to clearly identify, analyze, publicly debate and then prioritize Canton’s needs vs. wants. This is done through the voice of our residents providing feedback to our elected officials on our Boards of Education, Selectmen, and Finance. While appealing, it is not realistic or economically sustainable to procure the wish-list items of every interest group and somehow keep tax burdens within reach for our seniors or those on fixed incomes. Personally, I view our areas of greatest interest as enhancement of commercial tax base, maintaining high quality schools at favorable costs per pupil, and continued investment in infrastructure.
do you love most about town?
Canton has been our home for over 13 years and my family and I love the genuine warmth of our neighbors, the natural beauty that surrounds us, and the depth of our community’s character that we have experienced this entire time. My proudest moment seeing all of these great qualities in action was during the ice storm when everyone pitched in to help neighbors and community members in need and recover from the damage caused.
do you like to do for fun?
I love coaching kids basketball of all ages and attending my daughters’ various events year-round. Fishing, hiking, and just about any outdoor activity are also things we enjoy.
can residents keep up with you?
I prefer to have personal interaction in a town our size, so I make my email address and phone number available with the hope residents will contact me. I am always happy to arrange a time to meet in person for a more in-depth discussion on any issue.
Phone: (860) 693-8188