Mayor’s Biography

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2018 10:59

Johnson Glenn

Glenn A. Johnson, Mayor, Term: 2004-2007; 2008-2011; 2012-2015; 2016-2019

Glenn has the honor of serving Pullman residents as Mayor since 2004 and is now in his fourth, four-year term.  When he was re-elected in 2011 he became the first mayor elected to three terms since the city was founded in 1888.  Although the position is part time for this city of 33,280, Glenn has ways of keeping his schedule busy serving the citizens of this great city and state.

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Glenn as a trustee of the Community Colleges of Spokane in February, 2018 for a term through September, 2022.   Spokane Falls Community College serves Pullman with a campus location at WSU.  Community colleges are critically important in this country and Glenn has benefited from his community college education and, after earning his doctorate,  teaching at Sacramento City College as an adjunct professor.

He is a Professor Emeritus and taught his last class at Washington State University in 2014.  He retired as the Les Smith Distinguished Professor of Media Management in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, where he was professor for 35 years teaching courses in television news, communications management, along with other courses. He continues as the “Voice of the Cougs” as the public address announcer for Cougar football and men’s basketball, a position he has held since 1980.

The WSU Alumni Association presented the highest award it can give to an individual who did not graduate from WSU—the honorary alumnus award to Glenn in January 2016 “for significant contributions and steadfast support of WSU and the Pullman community.”   The WSU Foundation presented Glenn with its Outstanding Service Award in 2013.

He has been chair of the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Board of Directors since 2004 as part of his mayoral responsibilities.   The airport (PUW) is working on a $119 million project to re-align its runway with help from the Federal Aviation Administration.  The project will also lengthen, widen and provide instrument approach.  It is scheduled for operation Oct. 10, 2019

Glenn truly believes in servant leadership and works at it daily.  He represents the city on several state boards.  He was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve on the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB). He is on the board of the Municipal Research and Service Center (MRSC) based in Seattle and serves as chair of the Employee Benefit Trust Board of Trustees, representing the southeast.   This is a self-funded insurance pool covering city employees in over 240 communities, along with special districts.  He is past president of the Association of Washington Cities (AWC), an organization that represents all 281 cities in the state and served on its board of directors from 2006 to 2013.

He is on the board of directors of the United Way of Pullman and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce and was the chamber president in 1999.  He has been chair of the popular Fourth of July celebration at Sunnyside Park since 1998 and in 2014 received the first ever “Continuous Service Award” from the chamber.  He serves on the board of the Community Action Center of Whitman County and the Palouse Free Clinic.  He is also secretary-treasurer of the Washington State Association of Broadcasters and is a member of both Rotary, and has served as club president, and Kiwanis.

Glenn became active helping the community when he first arrived in 1979 through the chamber and helped with several city bond issues.   He was co-chair of a bond issue to build a new police station and was chair of several other successful bond issues: the expanded Bill Chipman Palouse Trail in 1998, the Downtown Riverwalk, and the measure to add three new firefighters and police officers—“dime for peace of mind.” He continues to volunteer with the Pullman Fire Department as its PIO and has done so since 2000.  He was the PIO for the Pullman Police Department from 1998 to 2003.

Before becoming Mayor, Glenn was on the Board of Commissioners for Pullman Memorial Hospital (now Pullman Regional Hospital) serving from 1998 to 2003.  He was board president for the last three years of his term.  He was actively involved in the process of getting a new hospital on Bishop Boulevard that was completed in 2004.

He earned an AA degree from Modesto Junior College in California; a BA from Sacramento State University in speech with a minor in journalism and political science; a master’s degree from UCLA in journalism and a Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Iowa.  Prior to arriving in Pullman, Glenn was a broadcaster and news reporter in California, including Los Angeles and Sacramento and managed two radio stations in Sacramento for four years before becoming a full-time college professor.

Glenn and his wife, Kathryn, raised two children in Pullman’s excellent school system.  Their son, Eric, is executive director of business and operations for the Moses Lake School District and his wife, Darcy, is director of special services for the district.  Glenn and Kathy’s daughter, Karen, who was a registered nurse in Kirkland, Washington, and her husband, Jeff Doke, were killed in a car accident on Dec. 23, 1996.