This is why local races matter: Candidates reflect values, and values shape communities.
On Oct. 3, many local elections will take place around the Alaska. They are nonpartisan, if such a thing exists.
In Homer, council members David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds are not running for reelection after surviving a bruising recall election in June over their representations of community values.
Now, there are eight candidates from which to choose for the two seats:
Sarah Vance: Homeschooling mother of four who grew up in Homer and believes in limited government. A recall activist earlier this year, she has attended all council meetings since February. Believes council should ensure financial stability for the city government and encourage economic growth.
Caroline Venuti: Grew up in Kodiak, served on Homer Library Advisory Board, City Transportation Committee and Homer Boys and Girls Club. Believes the council should encourage economic growth, high quality of life and adequate public safety for all citizens. Has interest in climate change impacts on Homer.
Stephen Mueller: Pharmacist at Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware, he volunteers as an officer of the Homer Elks Lodge, Friendship Center volunteer musician, and as music minister at St. John’s Church.
Kimberly Ketter: Wants to encourage small businesses to help stabilize year-round employment. She ran previously.
Rachel Lord: Cross country running coach, Big Sisters mentor, board member at the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust and Homer Farmer’s Market, Economic Development Commission, Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee. Executive Secretary for Alaska’s Harbormasters Association.
Andrew Kita: Resident since 1997, who says although he has no government experience, he wants his son to have the opportunity to grow up in a wonderful community and he wants to represent everyone equally. He is a Navy veteran and a line cook at Café Cups.
Anne Poso: Did not provide a candidate statment. Formerly in the fishing industry for 20 years, she sits on the Old Town Professional Center Homeowners Association Board. Retired.
Dwayne Nustvold: Associated with Homer for 14 years, and resident since 2008. Former commercial fisherman, North Slope worker, now retired and volunteering. Concerned about shrinking funds, cost of living, spending decisions. Wants to help local businesses expand and thrive.
Absentee voting begins on Sept. 18 for the Oct. 3 election. The top two candidates will fill two, 3-year seats. Candidates must receive 35 percent of the total numer of votes cast, divided by two, to avoid a runoff. If none of the candidates get more than 35 percent of the vote, the top four will proceed to a runoff.
The Homer Chamber of Commerce candidates forum is Sept. 28 at the Elks Lodge in Homer, starting at 5:30 pm.