Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:56 PM on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hogan resigns from city council

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer



At Monday night's Homer City Council meeting, Council member Kevin Hogan had said at various times during discussion he wouldn't be attending the next meeting on March 27. With council members frequently absent, none of the other members seemed surprised at Hogan's anticipated absence — until he said why.

"I need to disclose that in the near future I will be engaging in litigation against the city," Hogan said at the end of the meeting the during "comments of the city council" portion of the agenda. "I am resigning my council seat effectively after this adjournment."

Council member Barbara Howard said she was surprised by his announcement.

"I had no inkling. Nope," she said. "I wish him well. His intent is always good. He loves his town."

Hogan said he had no comment on his lawsuit until after he had discussed it with his lawyer. He said he would have a statement next week.

Hogan had introduced a resolution on Monday that would have changed the sewer and water fee schedule, reversing a new $45 monthly fee per rental unit to a per-account or building basis. Many apartment complex owners spoke in favor of Hogan's resolution. In a 2 to 3 vote, with Hogan and Council member Bryan Zak voting yes, the resolution failed. Hogan spoke to that before announcing his resignation.

"Frequently, we have a lot of people coming here addressing issues and expecting to get justice. What you get here at the council requires four votes for whatever happens," Hogan said. "If you're looking for justice, you have to look elsewhere."

Hogan's term ends in October of this year. To fill Hogan's seat, the city council first has to accept his resignation, said City Clerk Jo Johnson. It can do that at the March 27 meeting. Assuming it accepts his resignation and declares the seat vacant, the council then solicits applications from any Homer resident interested in serving. Applicants have to be at least 18 years old, a city resident and qualified to be a voter. The council has until April 26 to appoint a new council member and fill the vacancy. The council member would serve the balance of Hogan's term.

The last time the city council filled a seat was in April 2008, when Howard was selected after former Council member Lane Chesley resigned to move to Virginia. A more contentious selection was in 2005, when former Council member Rose Beck resigned to move to Montana. After several failed attempts, the council eventually appointed Mike Heimbuch.

Hogan delivered a resignation letter to Mayor James Hornaday at Monday's meeting.

"It is with regret that I find it necessary to resign my seat on the Homer City Council," he wrote. "It has been a great honor to serve with you and other council members."

Council member Beth Wythe said she wished Hogan well.

"I just hope that whatever his endeavors are he is successful," she said.

Howard said she also will miss Hogan, and appreciated a courtesy he showed her at meetings.

"He always made sure he helped me out to my car. And now I don't know who's going to do that," she said.

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