My husband and I have lived just down the street from Homer City Hall for more than 35 years. A little over a year ago, we purchased a unit at Landing Condominium for our daughter, who is a single mother with a young child. We wanted them to have the stability and security of knowing they have their own place.
For our home, we pay the city of Homer a monthly water meter fee for our water meter. At the condo, we pay a monthly water meter fee for a water meter that doesn’t exist and probably never will.
We will pay the $3,282 assessment for the one LNG line that was put in for our benefit. At the condo, we seem to be expected to pay a full $3,282 assessment for the one LNG line that was put in for the entire building — of which I only own 1/17th.
Every building in the city of Homer, regardless of size or number of occupants, will pay the same $3,200 assessment fee — except for condominiums. Mr. Wrede seems to think it is fair for the Landings Condominium to pay 17 times more than any other building in Homer, including all very large hotels and apartment buildings.
Mr. Castner has already taken the city of Homer to court, and the judge ruled that this assessment was arbitrary and unfair to the condominium owners. How much more money is Mr. Wrede willing to waste on legal fees pertaining to this issue?
Why did the Halpins have to sue the city in court to get the city to sit down with them and come up with a fair settlement of their damages? How much in attorney fees was wasted on that?
Combining the years, Mike and I have lived in Homer, adds up to over a century. We have raised our children here. Most of them have stayed and are raising their children here. We love Homer, the place and the people. We do not appreciate special deals, different rules, or other unequal treatment that seems to becoming the norm for the city of Homer leadership.
You can call me naïve, but I believe that — most of the time — our judicial system gets it right. Evidence of this is Judge Huguelet’s recent ruling against the city concerning condominium assessments. I may be looking though rose-colored glasses, but I think the judge used some good old-fashioned, country common sense in reaching a decision.
City Manager Walt Wrede wanted to charge lucky customer No. 1 a fee of $3,200 for 100 feet of gasline. Not-so-lucky customer No. 2, up to $40,000 for that same piece of pipe. It’s kind of like, “we cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you.” The judge would have none of Mr. Wrede’s Soapy Smith-style shenanigans.
Now our city administration is pondering (brooding?) further legal action against condominium owners at God-only-knows-what cost to the City. Walt has “lawyered up” and believes by parsing language from the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act that treats condo units as separate parcels, mainly for ease of taxation by municipalities, he can still sell that 100 feet of pipe for $40,000 to some unlucky fellow citizens.
I have to believe that common sense will prevail once again. Of course, there are legal precedents out there. For those of you who are really bored, you can actually Google the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act, which clearly prohibits discrimination against the condominium form of ownership in assessments.
Or check Alaska statute AS 34.08.730. How about that pesky Steinbach vs. Green Lake Sanitation District court case in the Lower 48? There’s a hint in there somewhere from the City Council: put on your reading glasses.
Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula would like to acknowledge and thank the Homer Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee for its ongoing and generous support of our 2014 Summer College Institute.
Summer Institute, which took place at the Kachemak Bay Campus from June 3-13, allows students from seven rural Kenai Peninsula schools to gather in Homer and prepare for the college experience through learning and having fun. The program received rave reviews from our scholars.
We appreciate the continued support of the Homer Foundation as we work to assist students in achieving a rewarding and successful educational experience.
Prop 1 is a vote on how we will share our oil wealth with oil corporations. It’s been called the “Second Vote for Statehood,” because the outcome is so important for funding our roads and schools and services.
When I cut through all the misinformation, the best evidence Prop. 1 is good for Alaskans is this: BP, Exxon and ConocoPhillips are spending tens of millions of dollars to influence the vote. The oil corporations know it’s just smart business to spend millions to get billions in return. Exxon alone made $9 billion in profits in just the first three months of 2014.
If you believe Alaskans deserve a fair share, vote yes on proposition 1 on Aug. 19.
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and love to the Kachemak Bay Medical Center fund at The Homer Foundation, as well as the Homer Community Science fund. I acknowledge and thank the Kachemak Bay Rotary Club, The American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 16, The Homer Elks Lodge and The Kachemak Bay Lions Club.
I cannot express my honor and enthusiasm, knowing I’ve been selected as a worthy recipient, and being rewarded with monetary funds to bring me a step closer to attending the university if my dreams: Pacific Lutheran University. I’m eager to leave Homer in spring, and experience all that the future brings. Cheers, love and light.
It looks like this is the summer for fantastic spit runs! At Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic (KBFPC), we plan to celebrate the 20th-annual Homer Breast Cancer Run on Aug. 10 with several fun changes.
This year, we start at Mariner Park at 9 a.m. on a minus 4.3 tide. Participants have the option to run, walk or bike either a one-mile or five-mile loop on the beach.
All who enjoy beach-running or biking are invited to come on out. Strollers and dogs on leashes are also welcome. Proceeds support early diagnosis and treatment for our mothers, daughters, friends and neighbors right here in our community.
Interested in volunteering the day of the race? We’d love your help. Please contact me at 299-1985 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Details and registration are available at kbfpc.org and on Facebook, facebook.com/KBFPC. We hope to see you there!
Mary Lou Kelsey
Vice President, board of directors
Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic
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