Vermont Rural Water is governed by a five-person board of directors composed of representatives from member systems. Four directors are elected by the membership for three-year terms. The fifth director is appointed by the other directors to serve as the representative to the National Rural Water Association.

This year, two seats are up for election. A brief description of candidates is provided below. You are welcome to write in another candidate so long as they represent a member system.

Votes must be received by April 15, 2020.


John Lazelle

System/Affiliation: Town of Wilmington
VRWA Board Member May 2019 – Present
Grade 5DM Wastewater Chief Operator Wilmington 1987-Present
Class 3 Water Operator July 2011 – Present
2017 Alfred E. Peloquin Award 2000 EPA O&M Award
I am currently the Chief Operator of the Wilmington, VT Wastewater Treatment Plant and Water Operator for the Twin Valley Elementary School. I am a Vermont Grade 5 Wastewater Operator and a Class 3 Water Operator. I began my career in September of 1987 as a senior in High School working part time at the Wilmington WWTP and then after graduation I became employed full time. I was promoted to Chief Operator in 2003 upon the retirement of my Dad who was the Chief Operator. I am very active in all aspects of the job from collection system maintenance to budget preparation, from allocation allotment to connection permits, sampling and testing to writing plans and policies. I’m at a point in my career where I would like to do my part in shaping the future of the field and providing some “Southern Vermont” representation to the board. I was appointed to the VRWA Board in May of 2019 and have enjoyed very much working with this great association which is filled from top to bottom with very talented, skilled and dedicated employees and board members. I was one of the board members representing VRWA at the National Rural Water Association DC Rally in February. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board of Directors for VRWA.

Richard L. Desautels

System/Affiliation: Colchester Fire District No. 2
I have been an operator for over 20 years and have been associated with VT Rural Water for the last several years.
It has been a honor and privilege to serve on the board. The staff provides such a great service to water and wastewater systems. I am seeking re-election because the work that Rural Water does in the state for small systems cannot be replaced. My experience from being a board member over the last several terms makes it easier to accomplish these goals to assure the funding it made available.