The Homer City Council reviewed and evidence and in the end voted 4-1 to seat Storm Hansen-Cavasos, who was elected to the council Oct. 1, but who faced a challenge as to her residency.
The argument on the side of allowing her to serve was that she had testified that she had moved into town, and so had her mother. Council members said they didn’t want to call her a liar, and that she apparently intended to move inside city limits.
But council member Heath Smith said the decision needed to be based on objective information, such as Hansen-Cavasos’ voter identification and the fact that she had signed leases in the borough — outside city limits — and was apparently living there during most of 2018 and 2019. To qualify for the ballot, a candidate must live inside Homer city limits for a year prior to the election.
Smith’s was the lone vote in dissent during the special council meeting held Monday afternoon to decide the matter, which came to light after the Oct. 1 election. A formal investigation had been authorized by the council on Oct. 14, at the same time Hansen-Cavasos was sworn in.
About a dozen people spoke after today’s council vote affirmed Hansen-Cavasos as the winner.
Tom Stroozas, former city council member who lost to Hansen-Cavasos and one other challenger, said the council had become lawless:
“I cited Alaska statute 15.05.020, which simply states the address on a person’s voter registration is presumptive of their residency. She [Hansen-Cavasos] didn’t change her voter registration until Aug, 2019,” said Stroozas. “In her testimony last week she made an excuse, saying she had just overlooked it.”