Election Day is right around the corner. Four years ago, the people elected me as Canton town supervisor. I implemented a 10-point Focused on the People framework listing what would be accomplished. Overall, I did what I said I would do.

For what is supposed to be a part-time job, the amount of responsibility and day-to-day work of the town supervisor is full time. I have given my all in making systemic change in the people’s office of town supervisor. Enacting a shared decision-making governance model that is data driven and fiscally responsible put the town of Canton on a sustainable financial path and enhanced town departments.

Starting in January 2017, I walked into a system that needed transformation. We were under a critical state comptroller’s audit and immediately set up internal audit control systems and executed several plans.

As chief financial officer and chief executive officer and an equal voting member of the Town Council, I have done the job of directly overseeing and managing millions of taxpayer’s dollars through three balanced budgets that were under the tax cap. I have also financially co-managed several grants.

Providing day-to-day supervision, human resources and safety compliance training is also part of the job.

As we all know, no one person does it alone.

Together, the Town Council and front line essential staff, including the villages of Canton and Rensselear Falls, made the town of Canton better.

Due diligence occurred and tough decisions had to be made in the best interests of the town as a whole.

We have seven departments with 26 combined part and full-time employees who have worked hard and truly gone above and beyond throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic.

We have navigated the storm together without laying anyone off or losing jobs, benefits or services.

I am forever grateful to Deputy Supervisor Bob Washo as well as Town Council members (past and current) Jim Smith, Phil LaMarche, Tim Danehy, Karin Blackburn, Martha Foley Smith and Dave Nelson.

Appreciation is extended to past and current staff, Gray & Gray CPA, Town Attorney Eric Gustafson, labor attorney Jim Roemer, the state comptroller’s office, county/state/federal departments, County Supervisor’s Association, the villages of Canton and Rensselaer Falls, shared service partners, fire departments, colleges, economic development consortium members, independent contractors, volunteer committee members and the Canton Democratic Committee.

My vision is to continue to stay the course, work hard, be fiscally responsible and, as always, serve with integrity.

A list of town progress and reforms can be found on www.votecanton.org.

I humbly ask voters to support my re-election on Nov. 2.

Mary Ann Ashley


The writer is Canton town supervisor.

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