After 50 years, the list of laws passed by the City of Homer has gotten longer and longer. The city code grew so large, as a matter of fact, that last year, the city clerk’s office decided to do something about it.
Homer City Clerk Jo Johnson says the idea of re-codification was to take the job out of the city's hands and put it into the hands of professionals. The job used to be done by Johnson and her three-person team at the clerk’s office but man, it was time-consuming and tedious.
The task went to Code Publishing, Incorporated, a Seattle-based company that specializes in this sort of thing. Last year, the Homer City Council approved $10,000 to pay for the re-codification and the city has $3,500-a-year contract with the company to keep the code updated.
Part of Code Publishing’s job was to make sure all of the Homer City Code was up to date with state and federal law. They also eliminated redundancies and re-organized the whole thing so it made more sense and was much easier to use.
The new system also makes it easier to update the code in almost real time.
It used to be when the Homer City Council passed a new ordinance it would have to wait until a quarterly update to make it into the city code, a process that could take a couple of months. Johnson sasy that process has now been shortened to two or three days.
The re-codification project was finished in November and went online shortly thereafter. Johnson says the new, more organized, more accessible code makes things much easier for city employees and for members of the public. She says that so far, it has received rave reviews.
You can check it out for yourself at cityofhomer-ak.gov.