Homer voters head to the polls for recall election

Jun 13, 2017

Recall supporters and one against the election gather near WKFL park.
Credit Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer residents are deciding the fate of three city council members today. Absentee voting was high and there were long lines at the polls this morning. Supporters on both sides of the fence also gathered along Pioneer Avenue, waving signs and soliciting honks from passing traffic.

Homer residents are voting on whether to recall city council members Donna Aderhold, Catriona Reynolds and David Lewis.

Supporters of the recall and those against the election gathered about one block from each other. Red pro-recall signs sprouted up near WKFL Park, but one sign advocating against the recall joined them.

“We have healthy discussion on this corner,” Alex Koplin said, holding a blue sign crossing out the word recall. “We’re like Willie and the Poor Boys. Remember them?”

Koplin stood next to Coletta Walker, a recall supporter, who held a handmade sign urging people to vote. As people drove by, some honked, waved or gave a thumbs up or down.

Walker: We’re getting more thumbs ups because they don’t know whether it’s him or us.

Koplin: That’s true, because nobody quite knows because of the blue sign.

Walker: And I’m just saying vote today.

Koplin: We want people to vote, but also we have our priorities too, but yea.

Walker: Right.

Larry Zuccaro, one of the sponsors of the recall petition, also held a sign that read, “You’re fired.” He’s one of the larger financial backers of Heartbeat of Homer, the pro-recall political action committee.

Zuccaro is very aware of the divisiveness in the community, and he’s looking forward to putting the issue behind him.

“I didn’t want to be in the newspaper. I don’t want to be on the radio. I don’t want my face all over the place,” Zuccaro explained. “I’ve got the angry calls. I’ve got people at work that won’t talk to me anymore, but when that resolution hit my inbox, there was no choice.”

Chairman of Homer Citizens Against the Recall Ron Keffer and a handful of supporters gathered just down the street. Both Keffer and Zuccaro do share some common ground when it comes to how the community will handle the election results. Both say it may be a long time for the divisiveness to dissipate.

“We have to find a way to understand each other a little better,” Keffer said. “Because right now, there isn’t even any understanding going on.

Both sides say they will watch closely as the unofficial results are announced after the polls close at 8 p.m., but fate of the council members may not clear tonight. About 820 absentee votes were cast in person and by mail. That number doesn’t include ballots sent out to absent voters electronically.

About 730 votes were cast at City Hall and Homer’s Senior Center by 3 p.m., possibly making it a tough election to call until the vote is certified Friday.