Debbie Peterson: What happened to government by the people?
Our next guest is Debbie Peterson. Debbie was the mayor of her city for two years after serving for four years as a city councilmember and four years before that as a planning commissioner and commission chair. The two things her town needed most were more income and a better image. She had built a successful manufacturing business with about the same number of employees and income as the city, and she has a degree in public relations, so she felt she could make a difference in her city’s well-being. Little did she know how much my understanding of boards, balance sheets, budgets, cash flow, company culture, communication, and redevelopment would matter. It was when she became the mayor that she began to be able to connect the dots between poorly run agencies, obscure and confusing government practices, dysfunctional boards, and missing money. That was also when she was able to make some changes. She did not do it alone. It was an effort by hundreds of widely diverse citizens who saw problems and stepped up to say something.
In episode 263 of the Fraternity Foodie Podcast, we find out why she chose the University of Idaho for her undergraduate experience, her advice to college students who are terrified about the thought of growing up and having a career, what drew her to public service, advice if our listeners see some local government corruption in their town, how cannabis corrupted some of the local politicians, the one American value that unites us all, what happened to government by the people, and more on women’s often overlooked role in politics. Enjoy!