Story last updated at 12:25 p.m. Friday, September 6, 2002

Council hopefuls outline positions
Compiled by Carey James
Staff Writer

In the coming weeks, leading up to the Oct. 1 municipal election, the Homer News will present the answers to a series of questions posed to candidates for Homer City Council. This week, candidates for the council's two one-year seats are profiled. They are listed alphabetically.

Hank Boelter

Age: over 30

Occupation: President of Hank's Water Co.

Residence: I live in part of the annexed area.

What are the lessons learned from annexation?

Lessons learned is that open government is a must in Homer.

Given the current tight state fiscal situation, what is your philosophy on taxes, spending and the current city budget?

Due to my limited knowledge on the city budget, I will say that, as everyone, I would like to see less spending but have not been exposed to the process nor the numbers when setting up a budget. I also believe that taxes are necessary but should be limited to true needs.

Given all the projects the city has on its plate (library, animal shelter, water and sewer expansion) what would your top priorities be?

Water and sewer expansion is also a must, but should be provided to those who have been without for much too long first. The library is important to every community, and the animal shelter is in desperate need of improvement.

How can the Homer City Council make Homer a better place to live?

I feel it is the responsibility of the Homer City Council to make each and every citizen feel a part of the community and that their voices will be heard. I am very disappointed in the attitude overall of the current council members and the mayor.

Doris Cabana

Age: 67

Occupation: Commercial fisherman and tender since 1955

Residence: In the annexed area near Baycrest Hill.

What are the lessons learned from annexation?

We all came to Homer for one reason or another, but the beautiful mountains and water and friendliness of the community is what keeps so many here. A secret "no vote" of the people involved, tore our community apart and pitted neighbor against neighbor. Even our state Boundary Commission was against us by not excusing a member that had worked for the city of Homer. Many things need to be changed to prevent this happening again. Government by the people means a vote by the people. Let's have no more tearing our community apart and let us heal.

Given the current tight state fiscal situation, what is your philosophy on taxes, spending and the current city budget?

We need to really make sure there is a dollar's worth on every dollar spent in this budget and the future. Some things may have to wait a while. People can only spend so much on taxes to lead a dignified life, not everyone has insurance and benefits with their jobs and that and taxes already deplete income and family life.

Given all the projects the city has on its plate (library, animal shelter, water and sewer expansion) what would your top priorities be?

People come first with me, but I also believe animals should be cared for. They are in most people's lives. I'd like to study all projects. Lots of people in town are still waiting for water and sewer, but I don't believe most can afford it unless the ratio is changed again and more grants are used.

How can the Homer City Council make Homer a better place to live?

Find out what the public wants, they are paying the taxes, and follow through. Forget about boundaries and view this as a community, everyone gives back what they can, one way or another.

Alex Clark

Age: 43

Occupation: Retired Public Safety, writer and part-time Air National Guard

Area of residence: Eagle View area, near Diamond Ridge, in the annexed territory.

What are the lessons learned from annexation?

I learned that my taxes and house payment went up. I do not have any new services. While the annexed commercial areas may add extra funds to the city coffers, full services to the residential areas may negate any advantages. I would not be surprised to see limited services for the new areas so that the extra tax money could be shuffled into existing city problems.

Given the current tight state fiscal situation, what is your philosophy on taxes, spending and the current city budget?

Spend money on what makes money. Encourage new business, don't meddle in with it. New business means jobs and people spending more money in the community. Expanded tourism also means more jobs and money kept in Homer. A straight deal on public safety and services means people stay in Homer to earn and spend. Anything else spells going in the hole.

Given all the projects the city has on its plate (library, animal shelter, water and sewer expansion) what would your top priorities be?

The animal shelter is a public health and safety issue. It should have been improved years ago. Water and sewer is improving. Some items need to be handled by grants or land trades. While it may be nice to have new cultural centers, we have to see how far our money takes us. If I have a choice between a new paint job or new tires and only money for one, I'll get the tires. Then I can drive to work and earn the paint later. Some things just have to wait.

How can the Homer City Council make Homer a better place to live?

Learn a lesson from the other Kenai Peninsula cities that are diverting money away from Homer. Encourage new business like a cargo-handling terminal. Include the downtown area into tourism expansion plans along with development of our historic buildings and areas. When I was growing up, Homer was the only hot spot on the peninsula. Seward was still a wreck from the earthquake, Kenai was full of city folks and nobody ever stopped in Soldotna. Now things are different. People bring money to the peninsula and are looking for an excuse to spend it, so we can't keep sending them away.

Ray Kranich

Age: 62

Occupation: retired

Residence: West Hill Road

What are the lessons learned from annexation?

I knew even before the annexation was started, there would be strong opposition to it, no matter how it was done. The main thing I think may have been done differently would be to have given more information to the public about the benefits, sooner.

Given the current tight state fiscal situation, what is your philosophy on taxes, spending and the current city budget?

At this time, I do not favor any new city taxes. I feel we need to hold the line on all city spending That way we can see where we are with the actual new expenses, as well as revenues that are a result from the annexation. I do not feel we will have any "surplus" revenue, but I also do not feel there will be any major negative impact on the financial position of the city, either. This, I feel, will go along with my conservative outlook on all spending.

Given all the projects the city has on its plate (library, animal shelter, water and sewer expansion) what would your top priorities be?

I feel we need to continue to get the animal shelter actually under construction. There are still several things that need to be worked out on that, location, as well as total cost and available funds. I do not favor cutting that back in order to build it with available funds. Next, I would move on to the library. All one has to do is go to the present library and the over-crowding is obvious. We also have to continue working on water and sewer line extensions in the area of the East Road Rebuild project as far as Kachemak Drive.

How can the Homer City Council make Homer a better place to live?

The council needs to continue with a stable philosophy for the growth of the entire city. We need to continue to update our zoning and land-use regulations so they can keep pace with what is happening today and for the future. These regulations do not need to be too restrictive in nature, but they need to protect neighbors and neighborhoods as the city grows.

Rick Ladd

Due to a trip outside Homer, incumbent Rick Ladd was unavailable to respond to the questionnaire this week. His responses will be included in next week's paper.

CONTACT US

  • 3482 Landings St.
  • (907) 235-7767
  •  Fax: (907) 235-6571
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES