Homer City Council 2020

Ravn Alaska air service in Homer nearing return

Oct 14, 2020
Float Shuttle

In just two weeks you’ll once again be able to purchase tickets on a scheduled flight to Anchorage. The new Ravn Alaska has received approval from the FAA to begin service out of Homer, according to an online post by Homer station Manager Peggy Swisher.
    Meanwhile, Homer City Manager Rob Dumouchel reported to the city council Monday night that the state of Alaska has approved the sublease at the airport terminal.

City of Homer

Absentee, special needs, and questioned ballots for the Homer Municipal Election were counted Monday afternoon by the city’s Election Canvass Board. Nearly half of the 1,901 ballots cast, 863 of them, were made in one of those ways. There was an exceptional turnout of 37 percent.
    The influx of votes did not change any of the outcomes from last week. However, in the mayoral race, challenger Donna Aderhold picked up 474 votes to incumbent Mayor Ken Castner’s gain of 363, narrowing the gap between them to 84 votes. Castner’s victory margin was 52 percent to 47 percent.

CDC

The COVID Incident Command Team made their regular report to Homer City Council Monday night amid rising case counts across the state and the switch to remote learning at McNeil Canyon Elementary School. Schools in Seward and Moose Pass are already all  100% remote learning  and Central Peninsula schools are preparing to switch to remote learning if case counts rise. Derotha Ferraro, spokesperson for South Peninsula Hospital says that their testing has identified ten positive cases in Homer in the last ten days, one of them, an employee of the hospital. 

 

City of Homer

There will soon be 11 more pieces of property inside Homer city limits that will enjoy water and sewer service after action Monday night by the city council.
     Residents of Tasmania Court and a portion of South Slope Drive petitioned the city to create a special assessment district for water service. The lots, just uphill from Homer High School, formed something of a “donut hole” with water and sewer service in all directions, but none serving them.

Responsiveness of city law firm questioned

Sep 29, 2020
City of Homer

A three-year, boilerplate renewal with the city’s contract law firm was almost pulled from the consent agenda during Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting at the request of a council member who expressed frustration with the representation the city has received.
Councilmember Joey Evenson shared his concerns about Jermain, Dunnagan & Owens of Anchorage during the council’s Committee of the Whole meeting, held in the hour before the regular meeting.

City of Homer

The COVID-19 Incident Comand Team delivered their regular report to Homer City Council at Monday night's meeting. Fire and EMT Chief Mark Kirko told council he's been meeting with the city manager to to set up a plan for the City to reopen council chambers to the public. 

"I do want to say that you can expect something coming soon. If it's not prepared for you tonight then you will see it in the near future. Probably at the next meeting we'll have metrics of some sort of what that might look like as you move forward," said Chief Kirko

Smithsonian Institute

The incumbent candidates for Homer City Council appeared on The Coffee Table, Wednesday morning on KBBI. 

Full campgrounds a concern as closing looms

Aug 31, 2020
City of Homer

Ingrid Harrald of the Parks, Art, Recreation and Culture Advisory Commission, or PARC-AC, updated the council at its most recent meeting last week, including the status of camping areas.

Homer Public Library eliminates late fees

Aug 17, 2020
KBBI

In an effort to keep books and other materials circulating in the community as much as possible, the Homer Public Library has gone fine-free.
     “Many Homer library book borrowers have been late returning books to the library, nothing to be ashamed about. It happens to many of us. Hear ye hear ye our library has joined the nationwide movement in eliminating all overdue fines,” said Kate Finn, giving the Library Advisory Board report during last week’s Homer City Council meeting.

Google Earth/KBBI

At Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting, an ordinance to totally ban vehicular access to Bishop’s Beach went nowhere. Council member Joey Evensen had sought to get vehicles banned from the west portion of the beach by promoting natural gas as a heating fuel and prohibiting vehicle-powered coal-gathering as a way to achieve that goal.

Mask use up as infection rate slows

Aug 13, 2020
City of Homer

Homer Mayor Ken Castner commented during Monday night’s city council meeting how pleased he was that he was seeing more people around the city wearing face masks. It coincides with a slowing of infection rate locally and around the state.
     “I really want to give my appreciation to the community for the increased use of masks. It's been really noticeable. And I appreciate the tolerance that people are exhibiting, because it's become a lot less edgy and a lot more acceptable,” Castner said. “And I hope that that trend continues.”

CDC

At last night’s Homer City Council meeting, the council extended the City of Homer Disaster Emergency Declaration to October 27, 2020. And, they inched closer to a mask mandate.

Mayor Ken Castner said he spoke with Governor Dunleavy on several teleconferences last Wednesday through Monday, about a letter the council sent last month to the governor, requesting a statewide mask mandate or the power to declare masks mandatory in Homer. Dunleavy declined to mandate masks for the whole state but affirmed that the City of Homer can require masks.

Zoom screencap/KBBI

Everyone on the Homer City Council seems in agreement that Rob Dumouchel of Eureka, California, is fit to be the next city manager. After about an hour of questions and answers over Zoom video conferencing, the council voted unanimously to offer him the job.
    During the interview, Dumouchel was asked why he chose to apply for the job in Homer.

State of Alaska

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink was the special guest of the Homer City Council at Monday night’s regular meeting, with Mayor Ken Castner moving a question and answer session with her to the top of the agenda.
    Frustration was clear in Castner and council member’s questions as they pointed out how Homer and the South Peninsula have become the hottest Covid-19 spot in the state, second only to Anchorage.

City Council initiates Seawall Improvement District

Jun 11, 2020
City of Homer

The Homer City Council continued meeting via Zoom video conference Monday night. It was a relatively short meeting, but the body got quite a bit accomplished.
    After an update on the Covid-19 situation with the ferry Tustumena, which sailed into Homer during the council meeting, Councilmember Donna Aderhold asked the city’s Unified Command how it’s handling the reopening of city parks.

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