Chapel Hill News

Hillsborough manager makes top 100 influencer list

Town Manager Eric Peterson has been named a top 100 local government influencer by the national organization ELGL.

The organization for public service leaders ranked Peterson at No. 84 in The Chris Traeger List: Top 100 Local Government Influencers. The list is named for a town manager in the TV comedy series “Parks and Recreation.”

Selection for the top 100 list is based on the influence individuals have in and outside of their community through professional associations, publications and presentations. At the top of the list is Dallas, Texas Police Chief David Brown.

In its top 100 list, ELGL describes Peterson as a father, race car driver, town manager, and mentor. “Eric has influenced many local government professionals by showing that you can be successful at work and in your personal life,” the No. 84 entry reads.

It further recognizes his work since 2000 in leading Hillsborough’s Slower Is Faster police driver safety program. The program, which focuses on decision-making behind the wheel, was awarded the Destination Zero 2016 Officer Traffic Safety Award in May from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

“The Town of Hillsborough is immensely fortunate to have Eric Peterson at the helm,” Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said. “He’s received particular attention for his efforts in driver safety for law enforcement, but there are many, many ways that the town sets an example for effective local government — for example, multi-year financial planning, performance scorecards, infrastructure maintenance, outreach to citizens. These exist in large measure due to Eric’s leadership.”

Peterson has worked as manager for the Town of Hillsborough since 1997. He also has served as a management analyst for Kinston and a town manager for Tabor City and Topsail Beach. Since 1993, he has been a guest lecturer on budgeting at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Government. He also has had a number of articles published on budgeting, performance measurement, disaster management, and police driver training. Most recently, the publication Law Officer has featured a series of Peterson’s articles on budgeting and police driver safety.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master of public administration, Peterson has completed the UNC School of Government’s municipal administration course and Harvard’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Peterson also volunteers as a driving instructor and has 20 years of competitive motor sports experience, including two national championship wins. He is married with two daughters.

More informationELGL — which stood for Emerging Local Government Leaders when the organization started — works to connect, communicate and educate about local government topics.

To see the other top 100 influencers, view The Chris Traeger List on the ELGL website.