After serving on the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District board of directors for over 30 years and on the Metropolitan Water District more than 25, Glen Peterson announced he will retire at the end of the year.
The 68-year-old Peterson became a leading expert on water issues in his three decades with water district.
“Glen came to the LVMWD board to serve his community, but that service turned into something that became much larger and more significant than the daily operations of a local water agency,” said Dave Pedersen, the Las Virgenes general manager.
A real estate agent earlier in his career, Peterson became a board member with the Agoura Las Virgenes Chamber of Commerce and a chief petitioner for the Agoura Hills cityhood initiative. He helped gather enough signatures to put the initiative on the ballot, which resulted in the city’s 1982 incorporation.
Peterson moved on from the chamber board and became president of Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation. He also managed the Peter Strauss Ranch for five years, which later became the Mountains Conservancy Foundation.
He was instrumental in the development of the Santa Monica National Recreation Area by lobbying for, and obtaining, funding for the area.
Former water board director Hal Helsley encouraged Peterson to run for a position on the Las Virgenes panel in 1987.
In 1993, Peterson was chosen to be the local representative on the Metropolitan board.
One of his first initiatives as a Met member was the introduction of fluoride into the Southern California water supply. He began by talking with the California State Department of Health and the Los Angeles Department of Health, where he was able to create a coalition with the Centers for Disease Control. Met, which provides drinking water to Las Virgenes, added the cavityfighting agent to its supplies in 2003.
Peterson was also instrumental in the building of Diamond Valley Lake, a major reservoir for Southern California, and he served on a group that helped determine allocation amounts of Colorado River water to adjacent states and other water agencies.
He calls his recent Met boardmember vote to fund the Bay Delta twin tunnels water distribution system was one of the toughest decisions in his career.
“My bet is that he will continue to be active in the water industry moving forward while he embarks on his next adventure in life,” Las Virgenes vice president Charlie Caspary said. “We all are eternally grateful for his guidance and leadership, and wish him the best for years to come.”
—Acorn staff report