Long-time resident Corbin Arno is the first to apply for one of two Homer City Council seats available at the next general election Oct. 1.
Arno, 32, who was born and raised in Homer is married with three children. He has been in the construction field for nearly 20 years and is currently the manager of Arno Construction.
He agrees that he is new to the political scene, has not held political office before, but feels strongly enough about how city politics is run to throw his hat into the ring. He says that city government is not listening to the people.
“City government is supposed to do what we want them to do, and not what they want to do,” he said.
“I was born in this town and I’ve seen more and more regulations, and it’s not the same as when I was a kid. I want to keep Homer a nice town, a small town.”
Arno believes that city government is not business friendly and the rules and regulations passed are hindering the growth of business and not helping small business.
“I manage a business in this town and I know what it takes to grow and succeed. The city is inhibiting the growth of small businesses and making it tougher for them to succeed.”
Arno is part of the “Homer Voice for Business,” a fledging, grassroots advocacy group started recently in town. The group has over 20 business members.
Recent rules and regulations such as the plastic bag ordinance, sales tax on food and sign ordinances are examples of what Arno says is government interference. He would like to see the tax on food taken off year round. “We are about the only place in Alaska that has a sales tax on food,” he said.
On the sign ordinance he commented, “When I grew up the Best Western Bidarka sign was the beacon in Homer. The city came and told them they couldn’t fix the lights on the sign for whatever reason,” he said.
“If you’re a business, you should be able to put out any sign you want, to an extent. People are not trying to ruin the beauty of this place and we have people running around taking down signs. The government is there to help us not tell us to do this or that.”
Arno also says that the cost of doing business is going up on the construction side. There are certain people in the city that are making more and more rules and regulations so that the cost of doing business is going up.
The candidacy filing period for the Homer City Council opened Aug. 1 and will close 5 p.m. Aug. 15. There are two, three year terms available that are currently held by Byran Zak and James Dolma.
According to the City of Homer’s website candidacy filing forms and required APOC forms are available at the City Clerk’s Office or on line at: http://www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/cityclerk. To qualify a candidate must be a US Citizen; be at least eighteen years of age; be a registered voter of the City of Homer and must have been a resident, fixed habitation, of the City of Homer for at least one year prior to October 1, 2013.
A candidate may withdraw or amend or correct their declaration by appropriate written notice to the City Clerk no later than Thursday, Aug. 15 at 5 p.m. After, 5 p.m. Aug. 15 no declaration may be corrected, amended or withdrawn.
For further information contact the City Clerk’s Office, 235-3130, 491 E. Pioneer Avenue, Homer. The office is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
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