Kenai Peninsula Borough

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

With under three weeks to go until municipal elections, the three candidates running for borough mayor made a stop in Homer Thursday for a town-hall style forum. Candidates took both prepared and audience questions. Topics ranged from local control over hospitals to the current invocation policy, but the budget deficit and taxes stole the show.

Linda Farnsworth Hutchings, Dale Bagley and Charlie Pierce squared off for the 2017 Homer Chamber of Commerce’s town hall forum at the Homer Elk’s Lodge Thursday evening.

Alder Seaman

Proposition 1, if passed, will ban all marijuana sales, cultivation, paraphernalia sales and testing in borough areas outside of incorporated cities. Leif Abel,  Doug Anderson and Amy Jackman, representatives of 
Keep Cannabis Legal, a group formed to oppose Prop 1, are the guests on this week's Coffee Table.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

School start times are changing for students on the Southern Peninsula this fall. Younger students will be getting out earlier than in past years, and with the first day of school just a couple of weeks away, some parents are scrambling to find a place for their kids to go after school. A coalition of businesses and non-profits in the Homer area are working to solve that problem.

Courtesy of Keep Cannabis Legal

Marijuana businesses across the Kenai Peninsula Borough are facing an uncertain future. Ballot Proposition 1 will go to a vote in October and would ban all pot operations within the borough that don’t fall under municipal regulations. A ballot initiative group is pushing back against the proposition by promoting the economic growth of the marijuana industry.

Keep Cannabis Legal gave a presentation to the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Board Friday. The ballot initiative group is traveling around the peninsula to push back against Ballot Proposition 1.

Borough Assembly Upholds Invocation Policy

Jan 4, 2017
Image courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly is standing behind their controversial invocation policy.

At their Jan. 3 meeting, Assembly President Kelly Cooper introduced an amendment to the policy that would have allowed individuals who share a common “interest or belief” to be able to give the invocation.

That amendment failed in a 6 to 3 vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed a lawsuit against the Kenai Peninsula Borough on Dec. 14 over the invocation policy.

2016 Municipal Election: Unofficial Results

Oct 4, 2016
Image courtesy of City of Homer

The city of Homer has reported the preliminary results from the 2016 municipal election.

Bryan Zak won the Homer mayoral race, with 52 percent of the vote. Candidate David Lewis received 46 percent of the vote.

Shelly Erickson and Tom Stroozas have been elected to Homer City Council.

Voters rejected Homer City Ballot Proposition 1, with 53 percent voting no on the proposition. The bond proposition would have financed a new police station in Homer.

Invocation to Continue at Borough Assembly

Aug 24, 2016
Photo by Daysha Eaton/KBBI

For now, the invocation will continue to be said at the start of Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meetings.

An ordinance that would have replaced the invocation, or prayer, with a moment of silence never made it to introduction at the body’s regular meeting on the evening of Tuesday Aug. 23.

The ordinance was set to be introduced by Assembly Vice President Brent Johnson, but it failed to be introduced in a four to four tie vote.

The 'yes' votes were cast by Assembly Members, Kelly Cooper, Willy Dunne, Brandii Holmdahl, and Brent Johnson. Assembly Member Stan Welles was absent.

Borough Passes $80 million FY2017 Budget

Jun 14, 2016
Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

After some tweaks and tinkering, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly passed a fiscal year 2017 budget Tuesday with general fund expenditures just under $80 million.


Coffee Table: Legislative Impact on Local Government

Apr 27, 2016
Photo by Rose Grech

Legislators are more than a week past their deadline to end the regular legislative session and the most important issue, the budget deficit, is still unresolved. This session lawmakers heard multiple bills that, if passed, could increase costs for cities and boroughs around the state. 

This week on the Coffee Table we discussed session’s proposed legislation and the impacts it could have on the city of Homer and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. 

Assembly Member Criticized for ISIS Reference

Apr 6, 2016
Courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

A Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Member, Stan Welles, infuriated borough residents after he wrote a letter to a local newspaper arguing the irrelevance of marijuana revenue in the face of its social costs. Residents turned out at Tuesday’s Assembly meeting to tell Welles their thoughts on the letter’s closing, which they say, compares people involved in the marijuana industry to Islamic State terrorists.


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