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Petersen brings home-building experience to River Heights planning board

February 19th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Tyson Thorpe

RIVER HEIGHTS–Danny Petersen attended his second meeting as the newest member of the Planning Commission Tuesday night. Petersen was selected by Mayor Bill Baker and approved by the City Council to join the planning commission. He attended his first commission meeting two weeks ago.

Baker said Petersen was selected due to his experience as a general contractor and as a part of the community. He was also selected because of his reputation.

“He’s a straight guy and a well respected contractor,” Baker said in a phone interview.

“He seems to be concerned with preserving the great character of River Heights,” Councilman Blake Wright wrote in an e-mail.

Petersen said he was born in Logan while his parents lived in River Heights. With a few years away from the city, he has lived a total of 52 years in River Heights. As a general contractor, Petersen said he has worked all over the valley, mostly building homes. It has given him experience that the mayor and city council thought would be useful for the planning commission.

The process of selecting a new planning commission member involves the planning commission, the city council and the mayor. Wright, the councilman over planning and zoning, wrote that he asks the planning commission members for names of individuals in the community who they feel would serve well on the commission. Wright wrote that he often asks for suggestions from the city council and then he discusses the candidates with the mayor.

“We try to get diverse opinions,” Baker said.

“We usually narrow the list down to two or three candidates,” Wright wrote. The mayor then presents the names to the city council. After some discussion a consent is reached on at least one name and the mayor asks the candidate to serve, Wright wrote.

Baker said the process can be a bit hard sometimes. “It’s tough to convince people to take on a thankless job,” he said.

Wright wrote that “over the years [Petersen] has taken an interest in what the city was doing.” Petersen also seems to be concerned with the future of River Heights, he wrote.

In searching for new members for the planning commission, city officials look for candidates with experience, a forward-looking attitude, and strong opinions.

Petersen’s belief for his appointment to the planning commission: “I’ve got an opinion on most things.”


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