Candidates for Homer Mayor Face Off
Beth Wythe is the personnel and administrative services supervisor for Homer Electric Association. She was first elected to the Homer City Council in 2004 and was chosen by her peers to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in 2009.
"I've lived in Homer for nearly 40 years," says Wythe. "I feel like I've contributed quite a bit to the council."
Bryan Zak is a business owner and the Southwest Region Director for the Alaska Small Business Development Center. He has served on the city council since 2008 and on the Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District board of directors since 2009.
"I'm willing to take the jump from city council to mayor to help lead," says Zak. "I'd like to try to encourage some of our small business people to be excited about providing their input."
Because of her employment with HEA, Wythe has been recused from the council’s ongoing conversation about how to best build a natural gas pipeline network in the city. But that doesn’t mean she does not have opinions on the matter.
Wythe says the citizens of Homer need to be "awake at the wheel" during the process.
Zak says residents do voice their opinions but he sometimes doubts whhether the council and city officials listen to that input.
One big difference between the two candidates is their stance on the proposed ban on disposable plastic shopping bags. Zak supports the ban.
"I think it sends a message," he says. "I think the plastic bag ban is a drop in the bucket compared to all the small steps we all need to take to make the future bright."
Wythe was one of two council members to vote against the plastic bag ban. She says that the notion of moving away from disposable bags is a good one but she does not feel it’s the role of government to force that change.
Wythe and Zak made their comments on the Coffee Table program, which aired Wednesday on KBBI and KDLL. The two candidates will appear in a debate sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce, scheduled for Tuesday, September 25th at 7 p.m. at the Kachemak Community Center.