It was a jolt to many of us to learn about the resignation of Rep. Beth Kerttula. We’ve come to rely on her for her common sense and passion for public service. She always picked up the phone; always put Alaska first. She was so dependable in that way.
Since first coming to the State House in 1998, Kerttula has brought valuable experience in oil and gas issue as noted in the tributes below. In addition, she had the first legislation on cruise ship pollution and played a key role in criminalizing sex trafficking in Alaska. As part of the Juneau delegation, she played a central role in securing funds for restoring the House of Wickersham, for building cabins at Eagle Beach and getting the massive SLAM project underway. While these are all important contributions, you will note by the tributes below that Rep. Kerttula left her mark in special ways.
Former Senate President Rick Halford: “If it were not for Beth Kerttula’s efforts and her experience in dealing with the oil industry, there is a high probability that BP would have ended up the majority owner, owning 75 percent of everything on the North Slope and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. We would not have Conoco-Phillips today. Thanks to Beth’s contacts and knowledge BP ended up having to find another buyer.”
Former Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho: “The State will miss her most as a person understanding the complicated matters of oil and gas. But more than her expertise, Beth Kerttula represents the best elements of a deliberative body at work ... the ability to reach across the aisle for friendship and outcomes that made the State better.”
Rep. Cathy Munoz: “Beth and I have worked together as a team on behalf of Juneau and Southeast. Rising above partisan politics and working for our communities has been our mutual goal and I am going to miss her very much.”
Sen. Dennis Egan: “I’ve known Beth since we were kids. She’s a good friend and an incredible public servant. I’m going to miss her. Heck, we’re all going to miss her. I wish her the very best.”
Native Elder Harvey Martin: “Beth was never focused on one group of people. She considered all cultures and ethnic groups in her decisions. I admired her willingness to include an Alaska Native perspective in the matters that came before her. She became part of our circle of family.”
Former House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz: “Beth contributed a passion and an intellect to the legislature that is rarely seen, and she did so with a respect for the institution and love for Alaska that made those who served with her that much better, and which honored the best traditions of our state.”
Sen. Hollis French: “Beth led by example. She was unwavering in her convictions yet always willing to work with the opposition. I will miss her intelligence, her warmth and her good humor.”
Chief of Staff Aurora Hauke: “Beth has been an extraordinary boss, mentor, and friend who continually amazes me with her compassion and statesmanship.”
Thank you Rep. Kerttula for 15 years of exemplary public service and we wish you the best in your new ocean policy fellowship at Stanford University. Our loss, their gain.
• Troll is a long-time Alaskan with more than 22 years of experience in fisheries, coastal policy and energy policy. She resides in Douglas. She serves on the Juneau Assembly. The views expressed above are her own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other assembly members.