City council election winner has eligibility challenged
One of the winners of the Homer City Council election is having her eligibility challenged. Storm Hansen-Cavasos won the second most votes out of all four candidates running for city council, according to the final election results released Friday. That should have guaranteed her one of the two open seats on the council.
But early this week, current city council member, Tom Stroozas, challenged her residency eligibility. Stroozas ran for reelection this year but lost—garnering the least amount of votes of all candidates. On Monday, he filed an affidavit with the city alleging that Hansen-Cavasos did not live in city limits for a full year prior to the city’s municipal election. That would make her ineligible to sit on the council.
Stroozas says multiple people have alerted him to evidence that Hansen-Cavasos lived outside city limits for part of last year. If his allegations are incorrect, Stroozas will lose the money he put forth to file his affidavit.
“I'm satisfied with what I've reviewed to put up $750 of my own money to contest her eligibility,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that if I thought I had a chance of losing that surety bond.”
When candidates run for city council, they must fill out a form indicating how long they’ve been a resident of Homer and sign a statement acknowledging that they meet the requirements of Homer City Code. The city clerk’s office will confirm that their application is complete and notarized and that their voter registration is current. But the city does not go beyond this to check on the candidate’s residency.
Stroozas declined to say exactly what evidence he has revealing that Hansen-Cavasos lived outside of Homer within the past year. But he claimed the evidence was, “ironclad.”
“ I guess the best answer I can give you is come to the city council meeting on Monday and find out,” he said.
In a statement, Hansen-Cavasos wrote:
“I understand a complaint has been issued regarding my residency. The very same issue was investigated, verified, and resolved before I could even become a candidate.
I am sure the same conclusion will be verified again. I was pleased by the official election results and look forward to tackling youth-related issues on the Council.”
Homer city code states that the city council should order an investigation into an election complaint "as it deems appropriate." The council is set to certify election results at its next meeting on Oct. 14.