• The close call between Arno and Zak finalized in count of 188 outstanding ballots
By Naomi Klouda
Incumbent Councilman Bryan Zak hung on to his seat through a contentious election by a narrow lead of 11 votes over political newcomer Corbin Arno. Friday’s tally by the Election Canvass Board switched Arno’s earlier lead of four votes over Zak, the outcome at the end of Tuesday’s election.
The count came down to Zak with 547 votes to Arno’s 536 or 53 percent to 51 percent.
When the City Council meets Oct. 14, newcomer Gus Van Dyke takes his seat as the newest council member. Van Dyke captured the biggest margin of voters: 63 percent and 651 votes, more than 100 votes over the Zak.
The 188 votes counted Friday added to the 1044 previous ballots. The absentee, question and special needs voters didn’t change the referendum outcome to repeal the plastic bag ban. That vote came out 661 in favor and 519 opposed, or 56 percent to 44 percent.
Justin Arnold, who ran a successful petition drive to get the plastic bag ban on the ballot, picked up an additional 50 votes after Friday morning’s count: 292 or 28 percent.
Homer’s voter turnout was 28 percent, up from the last borough election in 2012 by 13 percent.
In Kenai Peninsula Borough election ballots:
The additional $30,000 property tax exemption passed borough-wide with 65.7 percent of the vote.
Passed: Prop 1 - Voters cast 2,723 ballots in favor of the prop, though a fiscal warning came with it: The borough calculated losses for each of the service areas as well as the $1.3 million from the general fund. For South Peninsula Hospital, that amount is calculated loss of $174,268.
In Homer, Prop 1 wasn’t quite as well received at garnering 61 percent of the ‘yes’ vote. Of the two voting precincts in Homer, 646 affirmatives trumped 374 negative casts.
Passed: Prop 2 – A Kenai Peninsula School District proposal to spend nearly $23 million on a list of 10 school roofs, including three in Homer, and a Homer High turf field. The district gains its request: 2,266 yes votes trumped the 1,747 nays.
Failed: Prop 3 went down in a loud ‘no’ from voters when asked for the fourth time in 16 years if they want to revoke term limits in borough elections. That vote was 2881-1135 on Part A, followed by the similar results for Part B asking about three-term limits instead of two terms: 2854-1127.
That two-part question received the most consensus among voters at 71.7 percent nays in Part A to 71.6 in Part B.
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