Assembly chambers named for long-time public servant

Jan 11, 2019

Betty Glick, with her husband, Carl, to her right, poses with past and current assembly members at a ceremony Jan. 8 naming the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers.
Credit courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough

The George A. Navarre Borough Building in Soldotna has gained another distinguished name. In a ceremony before the assembly meeting Tuesday the assembly chambers were named for Betty J. Glick.

The designation honors a woman who has been involved in public service virtually since moving to the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1960s.

Max Best, director of the borough’s Planning Department, was one of several well-wishers at the ceremony Tuesday.

“I want to thank you from our family to yours and for your selflessness and your family’s commitment to your public service and everything you did, setting a gold standard that all of us need to follow,” Best said.

If there was a position that allowed Glick to represent her fellow Kenai and Kenai Peninsula residents, she held it over the years. Glick served on the Kenai City Council, Kenai Peninsula Borough Planning Commission, Board of Equalization Board of Adjustment, Reapportionment Committee and Election Canvass Board, often serving in leadership roles.

Glick has been president of the Alaska Municipal League, was the Alaska representative to the National Association of Counties Board of Directors and was the first female president of the Western Interstate Regional Board of Directors.

She’s probably most well known for her time on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, from 1982 to 1995 and from 2002 to 2005, where she served as vice president and president multiple times.

That’s how Dale Bagley, current assembly member and former borough mayor, got to know her.

“I remember working on the Alyeska pipeline, and I was a catering manager and Carl was the pump station manager, and he kept talking about his wife, Betty, who was on the assembly," Bagley said. "And I didn’t know what an assembly was but a few years later I got elected to the assembly and found out. And Betty was still serving on the assembly at that time.”

Bagley most remembers  Glick for her encyclopedic knowledge of public process.

“You know, I don’t think anybody knew parliamentary procedures better than Betty. In fact, I would call her if I was on a nonprofit board and we had a question I’d say, ‘I know somebody who knows,’ and I’d quickly call Betty and try to get an answer. And she’s just been amazing over the years at knowing what to do,” Bagley said.

He also remembers her as an efficient public servant.

“You ran a tight ship when you were president of the assembly, you ran a quick meeting and you didn’t tolerate any B.S. and it was always a pleasure to serve with you on the assembly,” he said.

Glick acknowledged that she might not have always shown much patience for people who didn’t match her level of dedication.

“I always did my homework and I didn’t suffer fools lightly when they didn’t do their homework," Glick said. "Somebody’d say, ‘Well, where did you get that?’  And most the time I was nice, I was a nice lady, but every now and then I forgot how to be nice. … I said, ‘It’s right on the front page.’ I said, ‘If you’d read your packet you would know.’ And as soon as the words were out of my mouth I thought, ‘That’s not a way to talk.’ I mean, that’s what I thought. But I thought, ‘Well, maybe they’ll do their homework from now on.’”

Carl, her husband of 65 years, says Betty still tells it like it is. And now the assembly chambers where she so often spoke her mind, bears her name.