At its Feb. 10 regular meeting, the Homer City Council set a timetable for the next step in the charter commission election process. It established a commissioner candidate petition period of March 1 to July 15 and an election date of Oct 7.
In a memorandum in the Feb. 10 council packet, City Clerk Jo Johnson affirmed that the number of signatures was sufficient for a citizen initiative led by Ken Castner to create a charter commission and potentially make Homer a home rule city. The 15 petition booklets received had 196 valid signatures, Johnson wrote, above the threshold of 15 percent of the votes cast at the last city election, or 185. Johnson certified the petition.
The next step in the process is for prospective commissioners wanting to serve on a charter commission to begin collecting petition signatures. To be on the ballot, each candidate would need to collect 50 signatures. At its last meeting, the council agreed to a time period of from March 1 to July 15 for commissioner candidates to solicit signatures. Castner supported starting the petition period soon to keep the dialogue on home rule going.
The council also set the election date for the charter commission as the same as the next regular city election, Oct. 7. Citizens would vote on the issue of approving a charter commission and on a slate of commissioners. If a commission is approved, the commissioners would have a year to write a city charter, which would then go to the voters for consideration.
Petition booklets for commissioner candidates will be available at the clerk’s office starting March 3.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com.