Ed Peterson, who held public office for 27 years representing northeast Johnson County, will be honored Saturday morning by the League of Women Voters at its annual Making Democracy Work breakfast and annual meeting.
Peterson began his time in elected office on the Fairway City Council. After serving for five years on the council, he became mayor of Fairway in 1993. Peterson was Fairway’s mayor until 2002 when he was elected to the Johnson County Commission representing the first district. He held that position until the end of 2014 after an unsuccessful bid for county chair.
During his time in elected office, Peterson also was a board member at the Mid-America Regional Council for 10 years, serving on the Executive Committee and co-chairing the Air Quality Forum.
The League’s description of the Making Democracy Work award says :”The League celebrates leaders who have envisioned a way to improve our community and who have mobilized others to work collaboratively to affect positive change. The “Making Democracy Work” Award will honor one such individual who has, in the League tradition, helped make our local governments strong, vibrant, fair and responsive to the needs of all members of our community.”
In its summary of Peterson’s accomplishments, the League statement reads, in part, “As mayor, he revitalized Fairway from an aging city on the brink of blight to a community that attracted young, upwardly mobile families; tripling property values, while reducing taxes. As a commissioner, Ed shepherded early county efforts to develop sustainability practices, resulting in green buildings, low-emission vehicles, and better waste management. As an attorney and family man, Ed has served the Shawnee Mission School District Committee for Excellence, Scouts, and his church.”
Previous award winners include Brian Newby, John Vratil, Dr. Dolores Furtado, Annabeth Surbaugh, Dennis Moore, Ruth Hopkins and Carol Sader.