Picture of Gary E. Petersen

Vice Mayor Gary E. Petersen


(530) 265-2496


Gary Petersen’s previous work as a “hotshot” wildland firefighter, tank truck operator and helicopter attack squad leader in eight states led him to eventually becoming the Nevada County Airport manager. While in that position, Petersen worked on the county’s reorganization plan. Petersen took a similar position in Salinas in 2005, eventually becoming the city’s public works director. While part of Salinas’ city government, Petersen chaired the Governing for Racial Equity Program and worked with programs for neighborhood viability, homelessness, and community relations. Combined with his Nevada County duties, Petersen has 40 years of experience in local government. He has owned a Nevada City Victorian home since 2000.

First elected: Nov 3, 2020

Day job: Retired Salinas public works director

Notable quote: “My focus in office will be: ensuring Nevada City’s financial health in difficult times; calling for a safe uninterrupted supply of water and power; reinforcing fire safety; protecting Nevada City’s historic identity and quality of life; and providing quality city services responsive to the needs of the entire community.” (Source: The Union)

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