Elections

KPB Prop 2 won’t hike taxes to pay for SPH improvements

As Kenai Peninsula Borough and Homer voters face a slate of bond propositions and tax changes, KPB Proposition 2 could be an easy sell for voters for one simple reason: It won’t take a dime from taxpayers.

The proposition asks voters to approve a general obligation bond of up to $4.8 million to expand South Peninsula Hospital’s Homer Medical Clinic and install a new hospital operating room air handling and ventilation system. Because of increased property values in the SPH Service Area, that won’t require a mill rate increase.

Prop 1 would bring cop shop into 21st century say proponents

In considering Homer Proposition 1, a proposal to borrow up to $12 million to build a new Homer Police Station, the controversy isn’t whether or not police need a new station.

Even opponents of Prop 1 say it’s clear the 39-year-old station needs replacement. The debate is over the cost and how to pay for it.

“I think they deserve a new facility,” said Homer City Council Member Heath Smith. “I think the community can afford to provide that, but I don’t think we should have to afford what’s currently being proposed.”

City, borough elections to be held Oct. 4

Two candidates are running for Homer Mayor and three candidates are running for two, 3-year Homer City Council seats. The city also will hold an election on Proposition No. 1, to approve general obligation bonds for a new police station and a 0.65-percent seasonal sales tax increase to fund the bonds.

For profiles on the city candidates, see pages 5-7. In the Sept. 22 issue candidates will answer questions posed by the Homer News, and in the Sept. 29 issue we will publish commentaries by them.

Running for mayor in order of filing are: Bryan Zak and David Lewis

Kimberly Ketter: In Homer for a new start

Kimberly Ketter moved to Homer in May 2015 from her hometown of Cranberry Township, Pa., looking for a fresh start.

Following a painful custody battle which ended with limited rights to see her son, Ketter moved to Homer to live with a family friend who had retired and moved into a house on West Hill. In addition to giving her the chance to gain a handle on her life and find her career path so when she could see her son, she would be more stable, she was able to help the friend with the upkeep of his house.

Shelly Erickson: Roots go deep into Homer

When Homer City Council candidate Shelly Erickson says that Homer is her home, her words refer to roots that go deep into past generations. Both sides of her family have been in Homer for close to 80 years.

Three candidates — Erickson, Tom Stroozas, and Kimberly Ketter — are running for the two seats open on the city council. The two candidates with the highest number of votes will win those seats. Incumbent Gus VanDyke and Bryan Zak are not running again, though Zak is running for mayor.

Tom Stroozas: Wants to serve community

Tom Stroozas is a transplant from the Lower 48, similar to many Homer residents who visited, were captured by Homer’s beauty and decided to make a home here. Now, he looks to the city council as a way to serve the town he has called home since 2006.

“I believe that you should live your life so that when you’re gone it will have mattered and if by being elected to the city council in Homer I can make a difference in the quality of life of everyone who lives here, then that’s a good sense of well-being,” Stroozas said.

Council member Bryan Zak: his experience qualifies him

With his 3-year term expiring this October, veteran Homer City Council member Bryan Zak chose not to run for re-election and instead shifted his focus to another city office: Homer mayor.

Like opponent David Lewis, Zak was first elected to the council in 2008. Zak, 60, won a 2-year seat that came open when former council member Lane Chesley resigned, and then won re-election to regular 3-year seats in 2010 and 2013.

Council member David Lewis: running to give voters a choice

Three-term Homer City Council member and Mayor Pro-Tempore David Lewis said he’s running for one simple reason.

“I thought about it for a while. I wanted to see who put their name in,” he said. “I don’t think it should be a giveaway job. I think there should be competition.”

Lewis, 62, faces fellow council member Bryan Zak in the mayoral race. The most senior members on the council, both bring extensive experience to the race. While Zak has been running a strong campaign with yard signs and advertising, Lewis has been out of the country on a tour of Mongolia and Japan.

Victory behind him, Seaton looks ahead to fiscal challenge

After a resounding win Tuesday in the Republican Party Primary for the House District 31 seat, Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, looked ahead to the challenge of the next session.

“We’ve got a big problem to solve. Our biggest concern is making sure we solve this fiscal problem in a way that’s sustainable over time. I think we can get there,” Seaton said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Seaton easily wins Republican Party race for District 31 rep

Despite a well-funded, negative campaign by political action committees against him, incumbent Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, easily won election in Tuesday’s primary for the District 31 House seat.

Seaton said negative campaigning backfired and probably helped him in the three-way Republican contest.

With no other candidates running in the general election, barring a write-in campaign, Seaton, 70, will be elected to an eighth term in the Alaska House of Representatives.

Candidates air differences

In two debates last Friday and Tuesday, Republican Party candidates for House District 31 representative answered questions on everything from books to marijuana to support for seniors. But it was another “b” word — the budget — that dominated discussions at debates sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library and the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Beth Wythe: City experience good preparation for state job

For almost 12 years I have had the privilege of representing the City of Homer which has prepared me well for the current financial situation facing us at the state level. The financial integrity of the city has been a large focus of my attention and actions that I have promoted have resulted in:

• General fund reserve balances compliant with governmental accounting standards;

• Budget reductions;

• Establishment of the Homer Permanent Fund;

• Reinstatement of the Economic Development Com-mission;

• Reduction of property taxes; and,

Paul Seaton: Outside, industry money distorting his record in the House

You have a choice to make — Outside and Industry money is being used for negative ads and I feel I should respond to those distortions.

I have been a Republican all my life. I believe in the big tent philosophy with a diversity of views — but in the spirit of President Eisenhower, I am leery of the military industrial complex and corporate monopolies having undue influence on our political process.

Alaska Primary Election

Early voting, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 11-12, Aug. 15, Homer City Hall

Election Day, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday

Republican Party ballot (must be a registered Republican, nonpartisan or undeclared vote)

House District 31 Representative: Paul Seaton, Mary E. “Beth” Wythe and John “Bear” Cox

State Senator, District P: Gary Stevens

U.S. Senator: Bob Lochner, Lisa Murkowski, Paul Kendall and Thomas Lamb

Republicans debate budget, books at library forum

At a debate last Friday at the Homer Public Library, Republican Party candidates for House District 31 representative took some easy questions like “What is your favorite book?” or “What foreign languages do you know?”, but the discussion centered on issues key to Alaska’s future. What is the biggest budget issue? How would you cut the budget? Do you support new taxes?

Sponsored by the Friends of the Homer Public Library, moderator Andrew Haas asked questions thought up in advance as well as new questions from the audience. About 75 people attended the debate.

John Cox

Interview with John Cox

John Cox, one of the three candidates for the State House District 31 seat, is a business owner in Anchor Point, where he has lived for the past 10 years.

Cox moved to Alaska originally with his family when his father, who was in the Army, was stationed in the state. When Cox turned 18, he declared Alaska residency before joining the Navy. He served for 30 years, and then moved to Anchor Point to settle down as a businessman.

Beth Wythe

Beth Wythe

In running for House District 31 Representative, Homer Mayor Beth Wythe follows a time-tested approach: earn experience and name recognition in local politics and take the jump to the state level. Hers is a voice heard twice a month for the past 12 years on KBBI AM 890’s broadcasts of Homer City Council meetings. She served eight years on the council and will have served two terms as mayor as of this October.

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