With a background that includes serving as mayor and law enforcement officer for the city of Soldotna, being pastor of a church and accumulating day-to-day lessons of life in general, Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor candidate Tom Bearup believes he has acquired “a lot of quality things over the years that will be attributes for a borough mayor.”
Bearup’s vision of being mayor includes developing a “team of quality people” that would complement the directors and managers already in place in the borough.
Two propositions on the Oct. 7 regular election ballot will gauge local opinion on two Kenai Peninsula Borough issues.
Proposition A asks voters who live outside of cities to consider whether the borough should exercise limited animal control powers and if it should charge a property tax to pay for those services. Proposition B asks all borough voters if elections should be held by mail.
A candidate for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly District 8-Homer, Kelly Cooper isn’t waiting until she’s elected to find out what’s going on in the borough. She’s already doing some homework.
“When I got on the (South Peninsula) hospital board, I did that, too,” said Cooper, a SPH operating board member since 2008. “I went to some meetings before I decided to accept the board position so I could see what I was getting into, so I could come in a little prepared and up to speed, understanding how they operate. It’s invaluable.”
After certifying the results of the Oct. 1, election, the Homer City Council swore in two council members at its regular meeting Monday.
Raising his right hand, first-time city council member Gus VanDyke swore to “impartially perform all duties of the office which I am about to enter, according to law, and therein do equal right and justice to all, so help me God.” Returning council member Bryan Zak also took the oath of office.
In a squeaker of an election, incumbent Homer City Council member Bryan Zak made up a four-vote deficit in unofficial election day results to win re-election to a third term.
After the city elections canvass board tallied absentee and other votes last Friday, and after a recount on Tuesday, Zak won with 546 votes over Corbin Arno’s 536 votes — a 10-vote lead.
Homer businessman Gus VanDyke leads the Homer City Council election with 544 votes. One of two candidates endorsed by Homer Voice for Business, the other endorsed candidate, Corbin Arno, is in a tight race for a second seat against incumbent council member Bryan Zak. Arno is just four votes ahead, with 461 votes to Zak’s 457.
Name: Justin Arnold
Likes: Long walks on the beach
Superhero: Chuck Norris
Politics: It’s complicated
Homer was once a small community with no road system, no water and sewer, no harbor, no gas line, and many of the modern amenities we enjoy today. In order for those advances to have taken place over the last 50 years, I can only imagine the lively discussions and differences of opinions that took place, but things obviously got accomplished.
My name is Gus VanDyke. I am a 21-year Alaskan, the last 17 years in Homer. I was born and raised in Northwest Oregon. My wife and I vacationed in Alaska in April of 1992. We were so impressed by Alaska and its people when our all to short time in the state came to an end, we returned home and quit our jobs, packed our house in a Sealand container, flew to Anchorage and had jobs and a place to stay before our belongings arrived. We have never regretted the move.
My name is Corbin Arno, and I was born and raised in our beautiful town of Homer and I am now raising my wonderful family here.
The children of Alaska should be our top priority, their health, safety, education and their future. As stakeholders in our state we are responsible for meeting these needs. None of them are optional, and I am sure we all agree that these are necessities for our children, especially if it is for the children of our families, our communities and even our school district.
I would go a step further and say that I believe we will all benefit if every child in the state becomes “ours.”
The public had an opportunity on Tuesday to hear the four candidates for Homer City Council give answers to five prepared questions at a forum sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Held at the Kachemak Community Center, Corbin Arno, Justin Arnold, Gus VanDyke and incumbent Bryan Zak took turns answering questions from moderator Aaron Selbig, news director for KBBI.
1. What is the most important role of a school board member and why do you want the job?
Sunni Hilts: I believe the most important role of a school board member is to be a voice of those I represent to the board of education and the school district and to bring their voices back to the communities. Then when we make a decision regarding policy, administration or budget I know that it is made in the most representative way possible.
1. What do you see as the most important role of a Homer City Council member and why do you want the job?
Corbin Arno: The most important role of a council member is being a voice for the people. I want this job because I don’t see government working for the people but rather working for themselves, and that is not what they were elected to do.
While the Kenai Peninsula Borough has several initiatives on its ballot, the city of Homer keeps its simple with one question: “Shall Homer City Code Chapter 5.42 prohibiting sellers from providing customers with disposable shopping bags be repealed?”
A yes vote repeals the plastic bag ban. A no vote keeps the bag ban.
The initiative made the ballot after lifelong Homer resident Justin Arnold put together a petition and gathered sufficient signatures. Arnold, 28, also is running for Homer City Council.
With the Oct. 1 municipal election less than two weeks away, Kenai Peninsula Borough voters have time to do their homework before stepping into the ballot booth. Understanding the three borough propositions is a good place to start.
Proposition No. 1
Lower Kenai Peninsula voters won’t have national or state elections to worry about this fall. When we go to the polls on Oct. 1, this time around, as the late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill said, all politics is local.
In the city of Homer election, a slate of four candidates run for two 3-year seats. There also is an initiative asking voters if they want to repeal a plastic bag ban.
With the closing of the filing period for city of Homer and Kenai Peninsula Borough candidates in the upcoming Oct. 1 election, four Homer residents have thrown their hats into the ring for two city council openings.
Seldovia resident Sunni Hilts will be running unopposed for re-election to KPB School Board Seat D, the southern peninsula.
Corbin Arno, Gus Van Dyke, Justin T. Arnold and incumbent Bryan Zak are running for two Homer City Council seats, each seat a three-year term. The seats are currently held by Zak and James Dolma.
Halfway through the candidacy filing period for the Oct. 1 election, two Homer residents have filed as candidates for Homer City Council: Corbin Arno and Gus Van Dyke. Two city council seats will be on the October ballot. They are currently held by Bryan Zak and James Dolma. The filing period for city of Homer candidates closed at 5 p.m. Aug. 15.