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Homer Mayor Ken Castner throws his hat in the ring for a third term

Mayor Ken Castner stands out front of City Hall on Tuesday. He's held the position since 2018.
Hope McKenney
Mayor Ken Castner stands out front of City Hall on Tuesday. He's held the seat since 2018.

Homer’s mayor has thrown his hat in the ring for a third term at the head of city government.

Mayor Ken Castner has held the seat since 2018. He filed to run for another two-year term on Monday.

Why am I qualified? Well, I've just had four years of on the job training, and I've worked hard at it. I think I've learned a lot and I've always been a civic leader,” he said. “The only thing I'm good at is that kind of planning. Can't play the flute, can't draw a horse. But when it comes to spatial reasoning, I'm off the charts. So I can sit around and think of things and how they connect and how they have to be progressively aligned and everything like that. And so I have pretty good visioning when it comes to where we need to be when it comes time to make a deal or to make a decision.”

Castner is the only candidate to enter the race so far, according to the city clerk, Melissa Jacobsen.

He moved to Homer nearly five decades ago and has been involved with a number of local organizations. He helped start the Homer Foundation, served on the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council and produced the local theater production of The Nutcracker for 33 years.

“I've got a long resume, but the past is just washed away, and it's [about] what we're going to do in the future,” Castner said. “I’m not resting on my laurels, on what I've done in the past. We've got a bunch of balls in the air right now and we've got to help them land and not break. And so that's why I'm running again.”

Castner describes himself as “fiscally conservative,” but “reasonably progressive” when it comes to social issues.

He said some of his greatest accomplishments during his four years in office include moving the city into a two-year budget cycle and closing out dozens of city projects.

Castner said working to put a long-term fiscal plan in place, working on green infrastructure and the sewer and water issues in town, among other things, are major drivers for why he’s running for a third term.

“Mayor is a funny job, and there's no real perks,” he said. “People say, ‘What's the best perk?’ And I say, ‘I get to park on the spit for free.’ And they say, ‘Doesn't everybody?’ I say, ‘Yeah, that's part of the deal.’”

The deadline to file to run for mayor is 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 15. You can find the paperwork on the city’s website or at City Hall.

To be eligible to serve, you need to have been a Homer resident for at least one year and be a registered voter in the city.

Homerites will be voting for mayor as well as two city council member seats in the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 4.

In 2019, Hope moved to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor to work for Alaska's Energy Desk and KUCB — the westernmost public radio newsroom in the country. She has lived, worked and filed stories from California, New York, Bolivia, Peru, Cuba and Alaska.
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