It took three secret ballots, but the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly agreed to name former assembly member Betty Glick to serve as the Assembly District 1 representative until the October municipal election.
Glick, who served on the assembly from 1982 to 1996, and Mary Jackson, currently chief of staff to Sen. John Torgerson, were the only two who filed to be appointed to the Kenai South seat vacated by assembly member Bill Popp, whose resignation became official at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Popp has taken a job with the borough promoting a natural gas spur line to the peninsula.
The assembly's first two secret ballots ended in 4-4 ties. Members did not explain their reasons for voting as they had, but earlier discussion indicated some had concerns that Glick, who has said she is thinking about running for the assembly in October, would be handed the advantage of incumbency by the appointment.
However, redistricting has altered the lines. Glick said she would not be an incumbent in the district to which she was seeking appointment. If she chooses to file, she said, it would be in a newly defined district.
Jackson said this week she does not intend to file for office during the filing period from Aug. 1 to 15.
On the third ballot, the assembly voted 6-2 to give the veteran assembly member the temporary assignment. Glick will attend four scheduled meetings between now and the Oct. 1 election.
Among the issues she said she would like to see addressed is an ordinance that would require members leaving the assembly to wait at least a year before accepting a position with the borough.
"I was really quite surprised because I knew some assembly members had some heartburn with me running for a full term," Glick said Wednesday morning. "But my concern was that that should not be an overriding factor whether or not I was qualified or experienced enough to be appointed to the seat."
Glick said she thought they were going to appoint Jackson. She said she would have had no problem with that.
"Mary and I go back a long way," she said.
Glick said she was prepared to withdraw her name had the balloting gone on much longer, but after three votes, she won the seat. Jackson said she was pleased for Glick, who she said was "a great lady."
Jackson said she had tossed her name in the hat to provide the assembly with a choice.
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