The residency requirements for serving on the Homer City Council include living within the city limits for the year prior to the election.
Whether Storm Hansen-Cavasos actually meets that requirement is a question the council will take up at its Monday night meeting, which begins at 6 pm in the council chambers. The meeting is likely to be packed with participants, many of whom will have something to say about the matter.
Must Read Alaska has learned that Hansen-Cavasos has sought legal help from “Resist” attorney Libby Bakalar, who is famous for suing the governor for firing her from the Department of Law.
Hansen-Cavasos has issued careful statements that support her claim of residency, while others in her former East End neighborhood are saying she has been using her mother’s address in town, but living far out of city limits off of East End Road until this summer.
Hansen-Cavasos was the second highest vote winner in the October election, unseating Homer City Council incumbent Shelly Erickson by seven votes. The final tally was 663-656.
Joey Evensen won a seat decisively with 922 votes and incumbent Tom Stroozas came in fourth.
Stroozas said he gets that he has lost the council seat, and he’s happy to be going into retirement mode, but that there are enough questions about Hansen-Cavasos residency that he challenged her win and put up a $750 surety bond to bring the matter to the attention of the council.
Tonight the council will decide whether the residency question deserves an investigation. If the council decides against Stroozas, he’ll lose his $750.
Also tonight, the council is set to certify the election win for Evensen.
But would Evensen have won if Hansen-Cavasos was not on the ballot? How would those 663 voters made their choice between Evensen, Erickson, and Stroozas?
The whole matter appears to be uncharted waters for the City Council, and it may be asked to not seat Evensen, but to conduct an investigation into Hansen-Cavasos’ residency and if she is found to be invalid, to have a new election held between the three remaining candidates for the at-large council seat.