Council members' hope for community healing may take a while

Jun 13, 2017

Credit City of Homer

The Homer City Council held what could be three of its members’ last meeting Monday. Donna Aderhold, Catriona Reynolds and David Lewis are all subject of a recall election, closing Tuesday.

Nothing very contentious was on the agenda, but the council chambers were full, some wearing pro-recall shirts.

Mayor Brian Zak read a statement several times throughout the meeting, reiterating the council would not comment on the recent court case or the recall election.

“I would like you all to understand that our attorney has instructed council members to not comment on the status of pending litigation until after the special election,” Zak read. “Any comments made on the eve of a special election could be interpreted as influencing the election.”

However, several residents commented on the recall, mostly in favor of keeping the three council members. Kachemak City resident and Kenia Borough Assembly President Kelly Cooper told the council she appreciates its current balance.

“The three of you that are sitting there that you don’t know what your future is tomorrow, I thank you,” she said. “And for those of you not involved with the recall, I know that you appreciate the conversations that begin when you have different opinions.”

During the council’s time to comment, Heath Smith made an emotional statement about the issue’s impact.

“What I want as a community, we appreciate each other, and we’re really all working towards a common end,” he said, fighting back tears, “and we might have different ideas of what that looks like. But, we’re in it together.”

Council member shelly Erickson echoed Smith’s comments. As for members subject of today’s election, David Lewis pushed back against the idea of coming together after the vote.

“And I’ll say a lot of hurtful things have been said, insinuated and it’s not going to be easy. I’m not going to go to the campfire and sing Kumbaya after this,” Lewis said.

Lewis said it would take time for the community the heal itself. Donna Aderhold, who has been attending the Kachemak Bay Writer’s Conference, chose to close comments with a poem by Wendy Erd. 

“Embrace opposites easily. Host travelers without boarders, feed them, listen to the distance in their songs,” she read. “Nurture the invisible, harbor the young. Send those you have raised out into the world. Digest insults, refrain and cleanse them.”

The polls will be open today at City Hall and the Homer Senior Center until 8 p.m.