Super Senior: Bob Vasseur - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Bob Vasseur

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Fayston is a hillside community on the western side of the Mad River Valley with a population of just over 1,300. Except for Mad River Glen and Sugarbush North ski areas, there is little commercial business. There's no village; it's mostly made of homes scattered around the landscape.

"Things have changed; you have to adapt," Bob Vasseur said.

Bob has seen the town change in his 81 years. He was born in a farmhouse just down the road from where he lives now.

"Yeah, we have a view here," he said.

When Bob was a kid there were no ski areas, no paved roads or million dollar homes. Mostly everyone farmed or logged.

"We always like to be sugaring!" he said.

The former dairy farmer and his brother sold much of the 350 acres in the late 1980s, but Bob and his family still tap hundreds of maples on the existing property.

"Spend a lot of days in the sugarhouse," he said.

Bob loves sugaring on his hillside property, but he does have a second home; it's the town office in Fayston. You see, Bob has been a selectman coming up on 55 years. He was just 26 when he started on the board. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president at the time; the year was 1959.

The Vermont League of Cities and Towns doesn't know of anyone who has served on a town board longer than Bob. On the agenda today-- town donations to charities for the coming year.

"I try to keep the budget as low as possible, but I'm not going to say you can't do this," Bob said.

You might call him a frugal yankee with a small Y. The ardent Red Sox fan can pepper you with baseball statistics from years gone by; he also has a good memory of how much the budget was in his early years.

"Well, when I first started we were not spending the money we spend," Bob said. "The budget was less than $25,000."

Now they raise more than $6 million.

"A lot of money, a lot more than they used to," he said.

But Bob is a pragmatist. He understands that there are more requirements from the state and people demand more from the town. In the early days there was no town office, they used to meet in Select Board members' homes. Now they meet every two weeks.

"He's our dedicated, local, public servant and it's in his blood," said Jared Cadwell, the Select Board chair.

"He doesn't want any fanfare. He doesn't want; he gets embarrassed that we get a meager stipend every year. To him this is an ingrained way that everyone should participate in their town," said Ed Read, a selectman.

A modest man who doesn't boast.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Is this hard to talk about yourself?

Bob Vasseur: Yeah, it is.

But his actions speak volumes. A true public servant.

Bob married Gelia when he was 43. They have three children.

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