Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:52 PM on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Planning commission chair resigns



By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

The chairperson of the Homer Advisory Planning Commission, Shelly Erickson, resigned last month. In a letter dated Feb. 20, Erickson said she resigned because she has been distracted by the pressure of trying to save her business, HomeRun Oil.

In 2000, Erickson and her husband, Jeff, started their heating fuel oil and gasoline station, the only locally owned heating fuel company.

She has been a critic of the Natural Gas Homer Special Assessment District, saying in testimony that public support of the gas line unfairly competed with private fuel and propane distribution businesses like HomeRun Oil. The special assessment district passed and was approved by the Homer City Council at its last meeting.

"I just don't have any emotional space to give the city," Erickson said in an interview last week.

"It's taking all that we have not to lose our home and business. We have to figure out what we're going to do in light of the fact that the city thinks it's OK to wipe out our business."

In her letter, Erickson said is pulling back from extra activities.

"I have never been a quitter, but the necessity to help my husband as we work to keep our business from folding in a very competitive market and continue to provide jobs for the families we employ dictates otherwise for the time being," she wrote in her letter.

Erickson became chairperson of the planning commission after former chairperson Sharon Minsch's term expired last summer and Minsch stepped down. Erickson's term would have expired on July 1.

"I would like to serve the city again," Erickson said. "I don't have the mind space to deal with it right now."

Erickson also owns Homer Tours. Erickson said she is trying to sell Homer Tours.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

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