Norma Peterson thought she was going to give the Board of Selectmen a report Wednesday on that evening's planning exercise for the Citizens Emergency Response Team. But Peterson ended up with a "response" that was entirely unexpected -- the 7th annual Fairfielder of the Year award.

Peterson was nominated for the town-sponsored civic award by three people -- CERT members Mary Lou Dunne and Keene Harkrader and Deputy Fire Chief Art Reid.

A past chairman of the Police Commission, Peterson initiated the Citizen Corps program in 2003, which later led to the establishment of the CERT team.

"I was brought here under false pretenses" Peterson joked as she collected her award. Peterson said that the honor is not hers alone, and thanked Reid for being a mentor to her.

Selectman James Walsh said Peterson's work has helped to make Fairfield a safer place, and Dunne, in her nomination, said Peterson is "passionate about one of CERT's main goal, emergency preparedness."

Peterson, who is still a Police Commission member, is "wonderful to work with," according to Reid. "She's objective; she's professional."

Getting the nod as this year's Fairfield Employee of the Year award was Ed Boman, the assistant public works director, who has worked for the town for more than 33 years.

It is thanks to Boman working as the town's "unofficial grants manager," said his boss, Public Works Director Richard White, that Fairfield has become a leader in clean and green energy and has brought in over $55 million in grants for town work over the years.

"Ed comes up with ideas that are totally new, totally modern," said First Selectman Kenneth Flatto.

Boman, who first came to work for the town during John J. Sullivan's administration, said he has always had the support of the public works director. "It makes for a great team," he said.

Under Boman's supervision, the town has purchased 27 alternative-fuel vehicles, a fuel cell and photovoltaic system, and initiated a study to determine the feasibility of a wind-powered electric generator, among other things.