Homer City Council

City Council Candidate Profile: Shelly Erickson

Sep 23, 2016
Photo Courtesy of City of Homer

Shelly Erickson has lived in Homer most her life and owns businesses here. She and her husband started Home Run Oil, which includes the Home Run ShortStop Tesoro. She also owns Homer Tours, including Baycrest RV Park. Erickson has served on the Homer Economic Development and the Planning commissions. In addition, she served on the city’s Lease Committee. She’s one of three candidates running for two seats on the Homer City Council. Incumbent Gus VanDyke and Bryan Zak are not running again, though Zak is running for mayor. 

Erickson is proud of her local roots. She was born and raised in Homer. Erickson went to college at Northwest College in Kirkland, Washington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music. She then married, moved to Wrangell, Dutch Harbor and then back to Homer, where she settled and had children.

City Council Candidate Profile: Kimberly Ketter

Sep 23, 2016
Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Ketter

Kimberly Ketter is new to Homer. She moved here in 2015 from her hometown of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh. She’s one of three candidates running for two seats on the Homer City Council. Incumbent Gus VanDyke and Bryan Zak are not running again, though Zak is running for mayor. 

Borough Mayor Promotes Propositions in Homer

Sep 14, 2016
Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre attended the Homer City Council meeting on Monday, where he talked with council members and Homer's Mayor about two propositions that will appear on the Oct. 4 municipal ballot.

Both propositions address Borough tax code. Mayor Navarre said the proposed tax increases are needed.

City of Homer Updates Animal Policies

Aug 29, 2016
Image Courtesy of City of Homer

At a recent Homer City Council meeting the council unanimously approved an ordinance that updates city code related to domestic animals.

The change is based on recommendations from the Sustainable Animal Control Review Committee. The ordinance came to the assembly from the City Manager and the Police Chief.

Proposed Naval Training Causes Concern

Aug 16, 2016
U.S. Navy

The Homer City Council passed a resolution on August 8, formally requesting changes to U.S. Navy joint training exercises in the Gulf of Alaska.

The proposed training area is 24 nautical miles from the Kenai Peninsula shoreline, just south of Prince William Sound and east of Kodiak Island. It covers over fifty nine thousand square miles, an area slightly larger than the state of Georgia.

Governor Visits Homer to Address Fiscal Crisis

Aug 3, 2016
Photos by Shahla Farzan

Dozens turned out to hear the message of Gov, Bill Walker, who visited Homer on Tuesday to talk with residents about the state’s looming budget crisis. As he described the enormity of the $4 billion state deficit, Gov. Walker didn’t mince words. He began by quoting David Teal, Alaska’s legislative fiscal analyst. 

Indoor Athletics Field Coming to Homer

Jun 24, 2016
Image courtesy of the Soccer Association of Homer

Soccer, baseball and other typically spring- and summertime sports are usually put away during long Alaska winters. But come this fall, people in the Homer area will have a new place to play.

The Soccer Association of Homer is realizing its dream to build an indoor athletic field. The goal of the South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center, or SPARC, is providing healthy activity for the community, year-round.

Homer Council Says 'No' to Special Election on Pot

Mar 15, 2016
Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Homer City Council voted down an ordinance that proposed holding a special election on whether to ban commercial cannabis in the city at their regular meeting Monday evening.

About a dozen people testified, mostly against the ordinance, saying that the voters of Homer had already spoken when they cast their ballots on the statewide initiative. Lindianne Sarno said it was the Council’s responsibility to opt out and that they shouldn’t make voters cast their ballots a second time.

Petro Marine Almost Loses Lease To Bidding

Mar 1, 2016
Photo by Quinton Chandler/KBBI

Petro Marine Services had a big scare last week when the Homer City Council considered putting the lease for a property the business has used for years up for public bid. The company could have been forced to move millions of dollars of equipment. A city employee says opening the lease up for bid was a hard conversation to have but it was important to keep the city’s options open.

Homer Considers April Marijuana 'Redo' Vote

Feb 23, 2016
Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

Homer City Council could hold a redo vote on commercial cannabis in a special election this spring even though voters already cast ballots on a statewide ballot initiative that legalized it in 2014. They made the decision at Monday night’s Homer City Council meeting.

By Daysha Eaton

It was standing room only at the start of Monday evening’s Homer City Council meeting where dozens of people showed up to testify about an ordinance that would ban all commercial cannabis activity in Homer. Most who testified were against the ordinance introduced by Homer City Council Members Heath Smith and Gus Van Dyke.

Some, like longtime resident, Misty Van Hooser, argued against it for economic reasons.

“Opting out would prevent future tourism in Homer. Tourism is down and always kind of up and down in Homer as I’ve witnessed and I think that by adding a safe place for people to go, that’s reasonable, well regulated – [it] would offer potential increase in tourism that we could desperately use,” said Van Hooser. 

City Planning To Switch Management Of Permanent Fund

Jan 12, 2016
Photo KBBI.

The Homer City Council is considering an ordinance that will end its contract with a company hired to invest money saved in the city’s Permanent Fund.

The Permanent Fund was created in 2006 to hold settlement money awarded for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. In 2010 the city was awarded $1.1 million for the spill. According to Homer Finance Director John Li the fund is now worth close to $2 million.

Homer Mayor Beth Wythe says that money must be used in a very specific way.

City Council Outlook For 2016

Jan 8, 2016
Photo KBBI.

The City of Homer had a budget deficit of close to $1 million for the 2016 budget. Proposition 1 allowed the city to divert money from the HART fund to make up for most of the shortfall. But what’s next? On the Coffee Table Homer Mayor, Beth Wythe and City Manager, Katie Koester discuss Long-term revenue solutions for the city and what is on the horizon for 2016. 

City Lobbyist Defends Contract

Dec 16, 2015
Photo KBBI.

The City of Homer’s contracted lobbyist attended last week’s city council meeting to defend her job. Several city council members opposed renewing the city’s year-long contract with the Anderson Group.  It was argued the lobbyist’s $40,000 fee should be spent in other places.

Homer City Council Adopts Budget For 2016

Dec 8, 2015
Image Courtesy of the City of Homer

The Homer City Council adopted the budget for 2016 and added five additional budget items during its regular meeting Monday night.

The additional projects include: a submersible pump requested by the Department of Public Works, safety improvements for a portion of Soundview Avenue bordering West Homer Elementary, Calhoun Trail work, a sidewalk extension project for Soundview Avenue, and an expansion of the Hickerson Memorial Cemetery.