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Council candidate profile: Steve Peterson

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Steve Peterson spent most of his career working for the government on the state and federal levels. He believes the timing is right for his involvement on the local level.

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Peterson, a military veteran who served active duty during the Vietnam War and in the Air National Guard during the Persian Gulf War, most recently was grant administrator for the juvenile justice program in the state Department of Commerce.

Peterson, 62, is now retired, but wants to get involved with the city, which he believes is in need of a changing of the guard when it comes to elected leadership.

After attending many of the City Council meetings over the last few months, Peterson said he wants to break up what he calls a "clique" in the council chambers.

"I guess I'd like to get in there and try to break up that club, because I don't think there is anything getting done," Peterson said.

"People have come up there with proposals and issues and (the council) listens, but then nothing gets done."

Peterson believes his experience working in several state government positions over the last two decades has helped him gain perspective on budgets and spending that will be beneficial to the city of Woodbury. Any future increase in spending needs to be scrutinized he said as businesses and homeowners are the ones who will feel the squeeze when it comes to paying for such spending via property taxes.

"I'd start questioning things more than I think they have been done in the past," Peterson said. "Where is the fat and where is the lean? Where can we cut, if necessary?"

One area Peterson said he wants to look at personnel for the Public Safety Department. He pointed to the recent addition of two police officers to a department that already has more than 60 officers on its payroll.

"Do we need that many police officers?" Peterson asked. "I don't believe there is that much crime for us to need that many. Those are the things I want to look at."

Steve Peterson

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired; military veteran, former state agency employee

Family: Married, two grown children; one grandchild (and one on the way)

Woodbury resident: Five years

Civic involvement: None

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