By ERIN HENDRY
Bill Cantin, the response coordinator for Columbia’s Office of Neighborhood Services, originally grew up in New Hampshire.
Cantin moved to Columbia in 1991 to study journalism at MU. It was here that Cantin met his wife, Angie, and settled down to raise their two children, Hannah and Billy.
Although Cantin is a resident of Bearfield Meadows, he works with many neighborhoods in Columbia as the response coordinator for Neighborhood Services.
“One of the big things that I do is coordinate the Neighborhood Association program,” Cantin said. “The city uses it as a communication tool with the public and is trying to get the neighborhoods recognized.”
Cantin explains that one of the office’s main interests is to recognize and reach out to the areas of Columbia that aren’t as developed.
“We are trying to improve our responsiveness to our citizens,” Cantin said. “If someone has an issue, whether our office deals with it directly or not, we want to be the ones to initiate the action and get the problems resolved.”
Leigh Britt, the manager of Neighborhood Services, has known Cantin since he began working for the city about nine years ago. Britt has come to know Cantin as an approachable and enthusiastic employee.
“He’s got a lot of enthusiasm and has a great attitude about his work,” Britt said.” He is somebody citizens find approachable and is somebody that they see can help them with issues.”
Cantin’s wife also described him as fun and easygoing.
“He has always made me laugh, and that is a big factor,” Angie said. “He’s a pretty laid-back, fun-loving kind of guy and is family-oriented.”
After being married for almost 14 years, Angie has become familiar with many of her husband’s interest and hobbies.
“He’s interested in Red Sox baseball more than anything,” Angie said.
She said she’s become a fan of the Boston team as well.
“After being so immersed in the Red Sox for so long, you can’t help but become a fan,” Angie said. “And when you have a 3-year-old who knows who ‘Big Papi’ is, it has kind of permeated our entire household.”
Bill has also had a passion for playing video games. Angie said he’s having fun teaching their children to play Wii. He enjoys playing games on his Xbox and sometimes plays online with family.
“My brother lives in Arnold,” Bill explained. “We get online, and he’ll be playing one game and I’ll be playing something else, and we just talk to each other on our headphones. The wives make fun of us, but it’s fun.”