County Supervisor Susan Peters Announces Upcoming Retirement

Carmichael, CA (MPG)  |  Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner
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Susan Peters last week announced her final term as County Supervisor at the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Chamber President Jim Alves was among well-wishers.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - County Supervisor Susan Peters last week told the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce she will not seek re-election next year. After 16 years of service to Sacramento County’s District 3, months of rumors preceded her announcement. At least six hopefuls have thrown hats in the ring for her seat.

Peters has more than 14 months yet to serve. She’ll sit long hours on the Board; attend town halls; give speeches and cut her quota of ribbons. Future ground-breakings include the beginning of Phase 3 of Fair Oaks corridor improvements in Carmichael this fall.

Bowing away was carefully considered. “Sixteen years is enough for anyone,” she considers. “In this job, you should exit on a high note to avoid burning out – so residents still get the attention they deserve. I also want to leave District 3 in good hands. I brought several people onto commissions and watched to see who seemed capable and interested in doing the job.” Former CHP officer Rich Desmond emerged as her pick. “When I first met Rich 18 months ago,” says Peters, “I thought he might be the guy. He’s proven it through his work on the Carmichael Community Planning Advisory Council. His background in law enforcement also is a plus. Public safety is a priority for residents.”

Achievements will shine among her retiring memories. “We’ve built four new parks for Carmichael,” she considers. “A foundation’s been formed to raise money for district parks. Effie Yeaw Nature Center has developed into a public/private partnership that’s brought many enhancements. We’ve instituted quarterly town halls to help residents learn about issues that affect them. Fair Oaks Boulevard is looking beautiful. The new Carmichael Property and Business Improvement District (PBID) will improve the business area. When I first came into office, Carmichael people said: bring us more restaurants. Well, the Milagro Centre has answered that.”

Glittering memories will include igniting Christmas tree lights – with a loyal succession of schnauzer dogs as company for the 20-year widow. Peters opened the Swanston Community Center; she saw the stunning transformation of McClellan Air Force Base and the opening of Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal B. To the relief of countless motorists, Hazel Avenue (Fair Oaks) improvements were completed.

The Supervisor spoke at a glorious homecoming for Carmichael heroes who saved a French train from terrorism. She broke ground for trails and buildings and learned to graciously decline ceremonial tools as gifts (“You end up with a garage full of shovels, otherwise,”). On a never-to-be-repeated impulse, she volunteered for a police canine demonstration. Despite protective padding, the attack numbed her arm for days. Fair Oaks Cemetery and Patriots Park ceremonies for those who died in service touched her heart. “When a parent cries on your shoulder for a lost son or daughter, you never forget it,” she says.

For every problem tackled, plenty more will challenge her remaining term. “I’ll continue to work on measures to address homelessness,” she promises. It’s a problem all over California... a never-ending challenge that the next Supervisor will also have to wrestle with. The interesting thing about being a Supervisor is that something different comes up every day.

“You can’t fix every problem. But you do your best.”

Supervisor Peters will hold public meetings at Mission Oaks Community Center on October 10 and at Swanston Community Center on October 17. Both presentations will start at 6 pm and offer roadwork updates.