The group behind a recall election for three Homer City Council members filed a complaint with the Homer City Clerk on Friday afternoon.
Heartbeat of Homer, a group of conservative, civic-minded activists, say that council members Donna Aderhold, Catriona Reynolds, and David Lewis, violated city code when they certified their own election results without declaring a conflict of interest.
The special election was June 13, and all three retained their seats. The city council certified the election on June 19, with the results accepted unanimously. The minutes of the meeting reflect no effort to declare a conflict of interest by the three who were the subject of the recall election. That detail caught the attention of the pro-recall activists.
Through attorney Stacey Stone, Heartbeat of Homer says David Lewis in particular violated code when he seconded council member Tom Stroozas’ motion to certify the results.
The group’s letter cites Homer City Code § 1.18.030(b)(1), “[n]o City Official… shall participate in any official action in which the person is… a party… in the subject of the official action.”
Stone wrote, “As Respondents were all parties to the subject of the official action taken with regard to Resolution 17-064 it was improper for each Respondent not to abstain from voting on such Resolution. Furthermore, it was especially improper for councilmember Lewis to second the motion.”
The group asks that the matter of city council members certifying their own election be forwarded to the Board of Ethics “for consideration of the appropriate sanction, penalty or remedy pursuant to HCC § 2.80.070.”
The Board of Ethics is comprised of all members of the city council and the mayor. The mayor, or the mayor pro tem in the mayor’s absence, serves as presiding officer.
The controversy began this winter when the three city council members worked together to forge a resolution to make Homer a sanctuary city, where illegal immigrants could hide from federal authorities. Ultimately, they watered down their resolution to pledge the city to “inclusivity,” but the original intent of the resolution irritated local conservatives, who felt the city council members were overstepping their authority.