Eastonite of the Week: Andy Kachele

Third generation Eastonite talks about the town he loves.

Name: Andy Kachele

Occupation: Retired Vice President at Unimin Corporation, a privately held international mining company

Family: Wife Karen, two sons, Rick and Clayton

How long have you lived in Easton?

I grew up on a dairy farm in Easton. My father and grandfather were born here. After I graduated from Yale, Karen and I lived in Trumbull until we saved enough to build our house in Easton. We joke about any problems with the house. I blame the contractor (Karen) and she blames the carpenter (me). We moved in in 1979.

What did enjoy about your work, Board of Finance and Unimin?

I always enjoyed the challenge of facing a different problem every day. Some people thrive on routine — I don't.

What are the duties of the Board of Finance?

We have overall responsibility for establishing a budget for the town, setting the tax rate, and setting policy for the financial management of the town.

What are some of the challenges?

The demand for services is essentially unlimited while the willingness and ability to pay taxes is limited. As a result, people feel it's our fault that taxes are too high but also that services are limited. We're caught in the middle.

How did you get started in politics?

I got interested in government when I was a student at Barlow. I was first elected to the Board of Finance in Trumbull when I was 24 years old.

Did you ever have plans to obtain or run for office at other levels?(state or federal)?

When I was 28, I was talked into accepting the nomination for First Selectman in Trumbull. I lost that election. Since then I have refused all opportunities to run for anything but local, unpaid positions and will not change that decision.

The most rewarding thing about being involved in town government?

Being able to feel that I am making a contribution to keeping Easton the wonderful town I grew up in and working with many people, of many different political persuasions, who are trying to achieve the same goal makes it all worthwhile.

The most rewarding thing you worked on for Easton?

I can't pick one thing. Right now, in addition to the Board of Finance, I am on the 9/11 Memorial Building Committee that is entering the home stretch, but is that more rewarding than serving on the Library/Town Hall Building Committee or coaching a variety of youth sports over the years or helping out at the ? They have all been great.

What are you looking forward to most as a retiree?

Anything but watching daytime TV! Seriously, though, I like being able to do more to help Karen with her quarter acre garden. We're spoiled by having all the fresh vegetables we want and get the added psychic benefit of being able to share our surplus (typically about 1,000 pounds per year) with the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

What Community groups do you belong to and what positions do you hold?

We belong to the , Friends of the Library, Farm Bureau and Citizens for Easton but I don't hold office in any of them. I'm also on the Board of Trustees of the Staples Free School Fund, a scholarship fung for Easton students.

Your favorite thing about Easton?

Two things — the rural beauty and the people who are so committed to making this a great place to live.

Your favorite spot in Easton?

That's easy. We have a gazebo in the backyard that looks over the Easton Reservoir.


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