Homer's Plastic Bag Ban Likely Headed for Repeal

     The 2013 Kenai Peninsula Borough election is in the bag and most key races and ballot initiatives have been decided. 

     At the top of the ticket, Wayne Ogle and Brent Johnson have won seats on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, in Districts 3 and 7 respectively. Ogle beat Steve Chamberlain for the Nikiski seat, 67 percent to 33 percent. Johnson defeated two challengers – Damon Yerly and Travis Swanson – while collecting just over 50 percent of the vote. 

     In the race for District 7, Dale Bagley appears to have defeated incumbent Linda Murphy, 56 percent to 43 percent, although one precinct was still left to report in at press time.

     Borough voters overwhelmingly approved an increase in the maximum property tax exemption, approving ballot Proposition 1, 64 percent to 36 percent. 

     Voters also approved a bond proposition to pay for new roofs at several district schools and a new turf field for Homer High School. Prop 2 passed 57 percent to 43.

     If voters have their way, term limits for borough assembly members will remain in place. Two propositions that would have removed or limited term limits both failed by more than 40 percentage points. The assembly still has the power to change the law on term limits, however.

     In the City of Homer, voters appear to have repealed the city’s ban on plastic shopping bags, although more than 200 absentee and questioned ballots will be counted by the clerk’s office on Friday. The bag ban was defeated 554 votes to 438.

     In the race for the Homer City Council, Gus Van Dyke was the top vote-getter, with 544 votes. Corbin Arno and Bryan Zak were close for second, with 461 and 457 votes respectively. Depending on the tally of absentee ballots, that race could be headed for a runoff election.

     In Kenai, the mayor’s race was too close to call Tuesday night. Incumbent Pat Porter held a slim lead – 51 percent to 49 percent – over challenger Bob Molloy. But one precinct has yet to be counted in that race.

     In a three-way race for two seats on the Kenai City Council, only two percentage points separate Brian Gabriel and Terry Bookey. Mark Schrag was third, with 22 percent of the vote.

     Results were less conclusive in Soldotna Tuesday night, with only half of precincts counted. Keith Baxter had a large lead over Paul Whitney – 63 percent to 35 percent – in the race for one seat on the city council but the race between Dave Carey and Meaggan Bos was too close to call.