Hired as interim Bucksport town manager in August 2015, Susan Lessard was encouraged by town councilors to apply for the advertised full-time manager’s position the next March. “Based on the community I found here and the wonderful people,” she applied, and councilors soon hired her.
“I was born and raised in Belfast, Maine, and lived there until moving to Bucksport in late 2018,” said Lessard. She graduated from Belfast Area High School, studied architectural engineering at Vermont Technical College, and attended online classes in the University Studies program at the University of Maine.
Hired as the Searsport town clerk in 1981, she left there when hired as the Livermore Falls town manager in 1986. Her tenure there coincided with the fractious International Paper Company strike in Jay. Employed with the Hallowell-based Maine Tomorrow for a few years, Lessard later worked as town manager in Fayette and Vinalhaven, which provided her with housing in the lighthouse keeper’s cottage at Browns Head Lighthouse. Lessard was the Hampden town manager for 15 years before coming to Bucksport.
During the summer, Lessard and her husband, Dan Bartlett, and their West Highland terrier, Jack Frost, spend several nights a week aboard their boat Jack’s Place at the Bucksport marina, and Lessard walks to work at the town office. Secretary for the Grand Lodge of Maine, Dan works at that organization’s headquarters in Holden. He served 22 years in the Coast Guard.
“I like to read, I like to garden,” Lessard said. “I spend as much time as possible with my grandchildren” and visiting with her elderly mother, who lives in Belfast.
Environmental issues are important to Lessard. A member of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, Lessard serves on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee. She is the only public member sitting on the Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers.