Most new arrivals to Santa Barbara may know him as a current assistant basketball coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. But before that, Bertka, who still makes his home in Santa Barbara was director of recreation for the city from 1961-72.
While many others helped, Bertka had a hand in the development of Shoreline Park where thousands of local citizens annually enjoy their leisure time; he was one of the leaders in the planning of Las Positas Park where youngsters and adults alike can enjoy a variety of recreational activities today; he was the founder of the Round Table’s weekly press luncheons where hundreds of the area’s athletes and coaches are honored yearly; he was instrumental in starting up one of the nation’s first city-sponsored fitness programs for all ages and he was a leader in getting the city and Santa Barbara City College to work out a joint-usage program for the facilities at Pershing Park.
And if that wasn’t enough, Bertka helped promote local sports through his weekly award-winning radio and television sports show. He was also on the ground floor in the development of the Athletic Round Table.