Natasha Pettitt said no, but she would be a mayor in Peel

Natasha Pettitt said no, but she would be a mayor in Peel

Natasha Petit She will remember Monday, December 5, 2022 for a long time. In the morning, the municipal finance officer, Silvia Steidl, called her to tell her that she had called the press to announce her resignation. She criticizes her colleagues in the Peel government for no longer ruling. An amazing turn of events. The Radical was in the executive branch for thirteen years and made a name for itself across the country by being one of the only elected Whigs to oppose corporate tax reform (RFFA). Before her retirement, she also chaired the Conference of Swiss Cities Financial Directors.

That afternoon, at the Radicals Crisis Session, Natasha Pettitte is questioned: is she a candidate to succeed Sylvia Steidl? Legitimate question, you finished second on the Radical Liberal list in the 2020 municipal elections.

Go ahead, Cinder.

His first answer is no. “It was because of my job. I am a partner in a translation agency and it was planned that I would eventually manage it on my own. That day the co-director was absent and when she came back in two days, she said to him: ‘Go ahead, we will succeed.’ Encouragement not surprising, comes from the ex-boss for Biel PDC.

Read also: In Peel, Sylvia Steidl left ‘a government that no longer rules’

Next step, call it his drill. Just a formality. Then we get into one of Biel’s idiosyncrasies. Since the elections for the executive branch are proportional, it was Silvia Steidl’s party, the Romanian Radical Party (PRR), that would have put forward its candidacy. Had 3,000 citizens contested choosing Natasha Pettitt, the ballot paper would have been open to all. But no one objected to this classification. The original Foodoise will thus take over on April 1st. In a game of musical chairs, you will head the Department of Social Work and Security, succeeding UDC Furer wonwho becomes the new treasurer of the city.

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How did she live the resignation of Silvia Steidl? “It is very special to join an executive in such circumstances, without warning and when the next election takes place in eighteen months already.” She didn’t expect it, but she doesn’t blame her predecessor for all of it: “It’s a strength, not a weakness, to leave like this, you have to have the courage to say: I quit.” With a confident smile, she said that after the resignation of New Zealand’s prime minister, she wrote to Sylvia Steidl: “You are not the only one making these kinds of decisions.” The former CFO has yet to say her last word on politics. She will run for a seat in the National Assembly this fall.

Sitting in the bright office of her small translation company, Natasha Petty expresses herself candidly. His feelings are mixed: joy, but also fear. “I respect this job, and I know it’s not going to be easy. I’ve never really managed people. It’s a nice challenge, unless you’re crazy,” she laughs. Today she is a translator, she is a jurist and even a doctor of law. At the University of Lausanne, she was Assistant Professor of Civil Procedure Jean-François Baudret.

Also read: In Peel, residents are largely against tax increases

His interest in politics is not new. When still living in the canton of Vaud, she had joined the Liberal Party but, for want of time, had never sought an electoral mandate. “I am always more liberal than radical. I agree with Claude Roy, who has always insisted on the importance of taking care of people who need it most, such as children or the elderly. For me, individual responsibility is more important than state responsibility.

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At the family table, she and her father talked above all about international politics. “It’s exciting, but it has little effect.” So she chooses local politics, which she sees as the search for consensus, the desire to change people’s lives and, more broadly, to improve the city.

“Read while you walk”

Bienne, settled there with her family in 1995. For ten months, she never left: “Here people say hello to each other, it’s friendly.” It was incorporated, and then appointed, first to a school board, and then to a city council in 2012. Professionally, this English-French bilingual set out to translate legal texts, but not only. “I also translate letters from private individuals, such as those sent by a gentleman who wanted to correspond with his cousin in Australia.”

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A mother of four grown children, is she afraid her life will change to become a full-time politician? No great fear, but hope for making time for his great passion: reading. “If I didn’t have enough, I would, as when I was young and lived in Lausanne, I would read while walking,” she laughs. Jovial, makes no secret of her impatience to join in with her new colleagues, including Green’s Lena Frank and another romantic from Bell’s executive, socialist Glenda Gonzalez Passey. “Bell is proud to have a female-majority municipality.” She looks into the distance: “I look forward to discovering new territories and new people. If we’re not curious, where are we going?”

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Finally read: Duel of the Cities: Bill and Bern, two twins who ignore each other


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1968 Born in Chesières (VD).

1989 Bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Lausanne.

1995 Go to Bill.

1995 Alexandre is born, then Philip in 1997, in 2000 to Benjamin and in 2003 to Claire.

2012 Peel City Council election.


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