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Homer mayor and council members sworn in Monday; printing error delays city business

Homer Mayor Ken Castner is sworn in for his third term as mayor on Oct.10, 2022.
Nancy Lord
Homer Mayor Ken Castner is sworn in for his third term as mayor on Oct.10, 2022.

City Clerk Melissa Jacobsen swore in Ken Castner for his third term as Homer Mayor on Monday. Castner’s two-year term will expire in October 2024.

Incumbents Storm Hansen and Jason Davis were also sworn in for their seats on the council. Each will serve another three-year term.

Hansen was elected in 2019 and Davis began a partial one-year term in October 2021. Davis was elected to fill a vacancy after former council member Joey Evensen resigned in July of that year.

The city also adopted an emergency ordinance at Monday’s meeting. The ordinance appropriated $40,000 to fix issues with a waterline on Alder Lane before freeze-up. All work repairing the waterline must be completed in 60 days.

Items on the consent agenda were also adopted, including a minor zoning clarification and modifications to city code reducing land use issues through conditional-use permits.

A few resolution items also passed, including adoption of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, which lays out a road map for capital projects. Those include legislative priorities like the Homer's Port Expansion project, the multi-use (formally the HERC) building and fixing water transmission lines.

The meeting was shorter than usual. Items up for public hearing were removed from the agenda due to a publishing error at the Homer News. City code requires public hearings be published in “a newspaper of general circulation” four days before a scheduled meeting. But this week, city staff said the information did not make it to the press in time.

City Councilmember Donna Aderhold said the next meeting on Oct. 24 will likely be longer than usual to accommodate for the delayed public hearings.

At that meeting, council members are now expected to discuss a number of hot-topic issues like an ordinance requiring newly developed streets to contain sidewalks, and matching grants for big and small ticket items like the Homer Harbor expansion and a micro-hydro plant. Also up for discussion is partial funding for the Alaska Small Business Development Center at the Homer Chamber of Commerce.

Looking toward the future, council members are expected to tackle Homer’s housing crisis. In their work session prior to Monday's meeting, they discussed their plan for short-term rentals, which they’ll be addressing in upcoming meetings.

Corrected: October 12, 2022 at 9:01 PM AKDT
A previous version of this story stated that the election results were certified on Oct.10, 2022. The election results will be certified at the next council meeting on Oct. 24.
Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, Desiree has called Alaska ‘home’ for almost two decades. Her involvement in radio began over 10 years, first as a volunteer DJ at KBBI, later as a host and producer, and now in her current role as a reporter. Her passions include stories relating to agriculture, food systems and rural issues. In her spare time, she can often be found riding her bicycle, creating art from handmade paper, or working in the garden.
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