Spotlight Feature Series: Meet Bob Lessler, Candidate for Board of Selectmen in Easton, CT

What’s something that others may not know about you?

Growing up in Fairfield, my dad always had a boat. My summer Sundays were spent on the Pe-Ter-Rob and later on the Pe-Ter-Rob II, the boats my dad owned and named after his three children, Peter Terri, and me, Robert. I learned to water ski and fish and enjoy the water on those boats as a kid.

Later, my wife and two daughters spent time on the Pe-Ter-Rob II, always with my dad at the helm. Indeed, my wife and I spent our second date on the boat. She was a bit mortified because she ended up meeting most of my family that day while in her bikini on my dad’s boat. But that’s another story.

I never owned a boat myself. While my family continued to enjoy boating and the water on the Pe-Ter-Rob II, we just felt we didn’t have the time or inclination to take on boat ownership and the financial and time commitment it requires.

My wife and I did, however, enjoy kayaking as a substitute. Over the years, we had many opportunities to go kayaking on various vacations. Later, it became a bit of a family joke that I was going to buy a kayak one day. I didn’t do it, though, because I didn’t want the commitment and I didn’t think I would get enough use out of one. More recently, the idea of a roof rack and lifting, maintaining and off-season storing an 8, 10, 12 or more foot kayak seemed like too much of a hassle.

As we were planning our summer vacation in 2017, however, my wife stumbled upon the concept of a modular kayak. These are kayaks that are essentially cut in two or three sections and telescope inside each other during transport and for storage. They are clipped together with watertight gaskets when in use. This seemed to be the answer to my dream! After doing some due diligence, I discovered that while modular kayaks weren’t actually on the market yet, inflatable kayaks were. We bought a tandem inflatable kayak for our trip to Acadia National Park in Maine in August 2017. And a hobbyist was born! We are strictly recreational kayakers and our boat is not a performance vehicle. Nevertheless, now my wife and I love to take our kayak everywhere. It folds into a carrying case about the size of a large suitcase. We throw it in the back of the SUV and off we go. In less than 15 minutes at the put in sight, we are paddling away – Acadia, Essex, Milford, Westport, Fairfield – wherever we can. It usually generates some great conversation by the water as inflatable kayaks are not common. When we finish, we just deflate it and throw it in the back of the car and head home – or maybe for ice cream first.

Bob pictured with his grand-dog, Quinn, paddling on the Saugatuck River in Westport.

Can you share more about your experience since you are up for re-election in Nov?

I’ve been an Easton Selectmen for ten terms and member of the Board of Finance for four years, so I have a great deal of institutional memory to offer. I’ve been a strong supporter of our public schools, open space preservation and acquisition, as well as senior tax relief.

I am committed to maintaining and enhancing our public school system and protecting our unique rural character. I want to find a revenue-positive use for the South Park Avenue property. I will encourage community-building activities and recreational opportunities consistent with our new plan of conservation and development too.

I’m proud to live here and to have raised my family here. I want others to be able to grow and benefit from all that Easton offers as well. It’s truly a special place and a gem of Fairfield County! David and I look forward to serving you, and if you’d like to learn more you can visit us online.

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