Council undecided on HERC task force members

May 15, 2018

It’s still undecided who will be on the Homer Education and Recreation Complex task force. The Homer City Council decided to form the task force last month in order to evaluate how much it will cost to bring the HERC up to code and whether the city should lease or sell the building among other questions.

Mayor Bryan Zak recommended appointing seven people to the task force Monday, including five Homer residents and two non-residents.

But multiple people from the public questioned why the group did not include a member from the Parks, Art, Recreation and Culture Advisory Commission.

“The PARCAC group really does need a representative on that group to speak because they do have the historical memory of what's been done with the HERC, and they've done an awful lot of work on it,” Homer resident Ron Keffer pointed out. “I'm surprised you left them off. Another thing is that you guys should be on there as well. City Council has such a huge interest in this.”

Council members agreed that a member of the advisory board should be on the task force, but none of the six council members volunteered to serve on it. 

Council Member Heath Smith said it would not make sense.

“I really don't think that we should seat council members on task forces or commissions,” he said. “We have an opportunity to vote here, and if we want to have one that serves in an advisory role or as a representative to the council so that there is some transparency in the process as far as translating what's happening there to council and vice versa, then I'm in support of that.”

The council declined to place a council member in an advisory capacity on the task force. Council members also declined to expand the size of the group in order accommodate another member from the Parks and Art Advisory Commission.

Zak will remove one of the seven members from the list he presented Monday.  He will present his new list of appointees, including a member from the advisory commission, at the city council’s next regular meeting on May 29.