Four Candidates Run for City Council

     Voters who live within the boundaries of the City of Homer will have a few key decisions to make before the October 1st municipal election. In addition to a ballot measure concerning the town’s ban on plastic shopping bags, four candidates have filed to run for the city council. 

     Fiscal conservatism and a dislike for big government are common themes among this year’s spate of candidates for the Homer City Council. Four candidates are running for two open seats.

     Justin Arnold is a 28-year-old commercial fisherman. Arnold was the driving force behind gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to overturn Homer’s ban on plastic shopping bags. That issue will be put before voters at the October 1st election.

     In a candidate statement, Arnold said he chose to run for city council to take a stand against what he calls “Nanny-state government.” He says the council should be “the voice of the people” and should put a stop to “frivolous spending.”

     Thirty-two-year-old Corbin Arno is a lifelong Homer resident. He is employed as a manager of his family’s business, Arno Construction. Arno says he decided to run for office to stem the tide of increased city regulations, which he says are hurting local businesses.

     Arno is a member of the grassroots group “Homer Voice for Business,” which was formed this year to oppose the City of Homer’s latest plan to overhaul water and sewer rates.

     Gus Van Dyke is owner of Scruggs Automotive on Ocean Drive. In a candidate statement, Van Dyke says he chose to run because he feels that Homer city government is growing too much and spending too much money. Van Dyke says the city has a bad habit of finding ways to overtax businesses and residents when it runs short on funding.

     Bryan Zak is the only incumbent in the city council race. Zak is a business owner and the Regional Director for the Southwest Alaska Small Business Development Center. He was first elected to office in 2008 and was reelected in 2010.

     In his candidate statement, Zak emphasized Homer’s “quality of life,” saying the council should make smart fiscal decisions while prioritizing street maintenance, downtown revitalization and expansion of the city’s harbor.

     Arnold, Arno, Van Dyke and Zak will compete for two open seats on the city council. Council member James Dolma, who was appointed to fill the seat left by Beth Wythe when she was elected mayor last August, chose not to run for a three-year term.

     The municipal and borough election is Tuesday, October 1st.