Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 4:59 PM on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's now official: 3 file for council, assembly; six run for mayor's seat

By M. Armstrong and M. Jackinsky
Staff writers

Filing for Kenai Peninsula Borough and city of Homer candidates for the Oct. 4 municipal election came to a close Monday afternoon, with filing for Kachemak City candidates open from Saturday through Sept. 15.

Making their candidacy for borough mayor official were Dale Bagley of Soldotna, Debbie Holle Brown of Soldotna, Mike Navarre of Kenai, Tim O'Brien of Nikiski, Fred Sturman of Soldotna and Gary Superman of Nikiski.

Ron Long of Seward withdrew from the race earlier when Navarre entered, citing similarities in his and Navarre's philosophies and a desire not to split the vote. The current mayor, David R. Carey, will not be running for re-election.

In Homer, former council member Michael Heimbuch filed Monday for the city council ballot. Incumbents Barbara Howard and David Lewis had filed earlier. The top two vote-getters will be elected to two, 3-year seats.

A commercial setnet fisherman, Heimbuch was appointed in April 2005 to fill the remainder of former council member Rose Beck's term after she resigned to move to the Lower 48. Heimbuch was elected in October 2005 and served a full, 3-year seat.

"I miss the intensity of public debate. Quite simply you cannot participate in that very well unless you have a seat at the table," Heimbuch said of his decision to run again for the council.

"I have no burning desires to accomplish anything in particular. I am interested primarily in having the public see a more active brand of discourse in our city council meetings."

District 8 — Homer is one of three assembly seats on the ballot. Filing for that seat are Bryan Zak, a current Homer City Council member; Kelly Cooper, past board president of the Homer Ch amber of Commerce; and Bill Smith, who currently holds the position.

Smith is term limited under current borough code. On Aug. 2, the assembly passed Ordinance 2011-24 which redefined "term limit," to go into effect Oct. 14 or upon preclearance by the U.S. Department of Justice. Borough mayor David R. Carey announced his veto of the ordinance in an Aug. 12 letter to Assembly President Gary Knopp, but the assembly overrode the veto at its meeting Tuesday. The vote was eight in favor of the override, with Bill Smith abstaining.

Johni Blankenship, borough clerk, said Linda Murphy, assembly member representing District 4-Soldotna, has indicated her intent to bring forth at the assembly's first meeting in September an amendment to the ordinance to make it so an assembly person can only serve a maximum of eight years.

In District 2 — Kenai, Harold V. "Hal" Smalley has filed for reelection. In District 5 — Sterling, Funny River, Charlie Pierce also has filed for reelection and Dr. Eileen K. Sverdrup, M.D., also has filed as a candidate for that district.

Three school board seats are on the ballot: District 3 — Nikiski; District 4 — Soldotna; and District 7 — Central. Joe Arness, Penny Vadla and Bill Holt have filed, respectively, each of them running for reelection.

Also on the borough ballot will be:

• Anchor Point Fire Service Area Board, seats A and E, each three-year terms; seat B, a two-year term; seat D, a one-year term. Robin Proctor has filed as a candidate for Seat A and Reuben Sherwood for Seat C;

• Kachemak Emergency Service Area Board, seat A, a three-year term; Mildred "Milli" Martin has filed as a candidate;

• South Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board, seat C, a one-year term; seats D, E and F, each three-year terms; seat G, a 2-year term; Barbara E. McBride has filed as a candidate for Seat C; Roberta Highland for Seat D; Judith C. Lund for Seat E; and Marie E. Walli for Seat F.

• Proposition No. 1, applies borough-wide: Repeal of the borough seasonal exemption from sales tax of non-prepared food items (Ordinance 2011-03);

• Proposition No. 2, applies borough-wide: Increasing the borough sales tax from 3.0 percent to 3.1 percent with the additional 0.1 percent to be used for economic development purposes (Ordinance 2011-23);

• Proposition No. 3, applies borough-wide: Apportionment of the assembly and board of education (Ordinance 2011-25);

• Proposition No. 4, applies to voters within the service area: Abolishing the Lowell Point Emergency Service area (Ordinance 2011-27);

• Proposition No. 5, applies to voters within the proposed service area: Establishing the Seldovia Recreational Service Area (Ordinance 2011-28).

Detailed information on each borough proposition, can be found at www2.borough.kenai.ak.us/AssemblyClerk/Assembly/Ordinances/2011/2011%20Ordinances.htm.

Kachemak City's filing period opens Aug. 20. It will include two council seats currently held by Tammy Ackerman and Phil Morris, city mayor.

Also on Kachemak City's ballot will be a proposition asking voter approval for increasing the rate of real property tax by one mill also will be on the Kachemak City ballot. If approved, that increase would help finance the city's natural gas distribution system after a pipeline is constructed to deliver natural gas to the area from wells near Anchor Point.

Declarations for candidacy will be accepted by Kachemak City Clerk from Aug. 20-Sept. 15; call City Clerk Helyn Schoepke, 235-8897.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com. McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.