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14th way to kill a community

Posted: September 18, 2013 - 3:08pm

Relative to your editorial of last week, I would like to add a fourteenth way to kill a community: It is when the local government chooses  administrative convenience over democratic process. 

Homer has a government that has lost its way. The government no longer trusts the citizens and the citizens have grown weary and cynical of a tone-deaf city council. Rather than having votes on multi-million dollar projects that will bind property owners and taxpayers to higher assessments and taxes, the city council finds every means possible to avoid making a case and putting the project before the voters. 

The path of the city seems paved with new municipal buildings — now a new $15 million public safety building — constructed without any demonstrated community support. 

And what of some of the base needs? Homer’s storm water system is  laughably inadequate for a coastal town. A single inch of rain plugs the few storm drains in the city’s center, and the rest of the town is left with ditches, culverts and overflows.  

It would be nice to connect the short stretch of Greatland Avenue to alleviate traffic on the bypass. It would be  nice to have a short piece of bike path connecting the Spit path to Kachemak Drive. 

The council reasons that using money granted it by the Legislature places the decisions solely in their hands. 

Do they really believe those grants are  personal? Do they really believe that the CIP list reflects community needs?

The council seems glued to the desires of an unelected administration operating out of offices that we own but will never be welcome to visit. 

It’s a community killer. 

Ken Castner

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foreign_observer 09/19/13 - 04:02 pm

I agree with your letter. Edifices to bureaucracy seem to be the addiction of politicians. I think people in Homer would feel their elected representatives are doing their job if they just paid the most attention to roads, water/sewer and the harbor(the true "business" district). Homer actually has low crime and high taxes. Our officials have the view that, "if you build it they will come", which hardly ever works. If they were truly honest, they would admit that fishing, shipping and visitors are the real business of Homer and visitors only come for the ocean.

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