(Photo by Gabe Licht) [Order this photo]
"It sure took me by surprise," she said of her induction into the Iowa League of Cities Hall of Fame during the annual conference on Sept. 27 in Sioux City. "I've seen people receive this award before, but it never crossed my mind that I might be nominated for it."
Spencer Mayor Reynold Peterson, the League's new executive board president, was not surprised.
"Donna Fisher's award was very well deserved," Peterson said. "She had put in countless hours as a mentor on behalf of the League of Cities to help train and answer questions for various city clerks across the state."
Peterson said Fisher's achievement was unique because she did not serve on the executive board, as did past inductees.
"When they asked her to serve on the board, she felt it would be better off to have an elected official serve on the board," Peterson said.
But, Fisher served on several other committees and task forces, such as the education committee, the legislative committee, nominating committee and a task force that attempted to create a health insurance pool for cities.
"We worked on the governing toolbox, which is still going on, and the municipal leadership training program was started at that time," Fisher said of her time on the education committee. "Elected and appointed officials come together and get the nuts and bolts of city governance, finance, legislating and economic development. It's just trying to give them open meetings laws and a crash course when they're newly elected, or even if they've been elected or appointed for a while."
The governing toolbox has since been melded into the municipal leadership training program.
Fisher also served as president of the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association, which works closely with the League on similar priorities.
Despite everything Fisher has done, she believes others have done more.
"It really humbles me because I've worked with so many dedicated folks, not only here in Spencer but also across the state, that were always willing to step up and help," she said. "I feel singled out. I appreciate the honor, but I'd like to share it with others who have been doing a lot."