Annual Report Paints Broad Picture of City Government

Aaron Selbig


     The City of Homer’s annual report for 2011 has been released and offers a comprehensive snapshot of how the city is doing, compared to previous years. In the 30-page report, Homer City Manager Walt Wrede says 2011 was a – quote – “rewarding but challenging” year.
     The challenges, says Wrede, include economic stagnation, uncertainty about future revenues, and a widespread antipathy on the part of Homer’s citizens toward taxes and fees.
     Despite these challenges, the City of Homer’s finances are relatively stable after a few years of relatively conservative budgets and small cutbacks in government operations.
The city was able to increase the General Fund balance in 2011, by just over one-million-dollars, bringing the fund’s total to 6.7-million-dollars. 
     The Port and Harbor fund is in relatively good shape, according to the report, although Wrede says that political pressure to keep fees down at the harbor has resulted in a backlog of maintenance, repair and replacement projects.
     Tax revenues generated by sales and property taxes remained similar to the previous year but construction permits were down in 2011 to a total of 40 permits issued. That compares to 45 in 2010 and an all-time high of 108 back in 2004.
     The annual report is a good resource for anyone looking for a comprehensive list of city departments, employees and commission members. It also contains in-depth profiles on the inner workings of every city department, including the library, public works, finance, the city clerk’s office and the police and fire departments.
     And how many people officially lived in the City of Homer last year? 5,051. That’s down slightly from a high of 5,551 in 2009.
You can get a closer look at the City of Homer’s annual report at the city website,