Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add that Deb Lowney has filed to run for city council.
With Homer’s municipal election coming up in October and two council seats and the mayor on the ballot, earlier this week only one city council member had filed to keep her seat. On Friday, Aug. 10, Deb Lowney filed to run for city council. Lowney is a retired teacher and a member of the Parks, Art, Recreation and Culture Commission and the Homer Educational and Recreational Center Task Force.
Donna Aderhold has officially filed to retain the seat on Homer’s City Council, which she had held since 2015, her first term. Aderhold has sat on the Homer ADA Compliance Committee since 2016.
Homer Mayor Bryan Zak is recovering from brain surgery he had in Anchorage last week after being diagnosed with cancer and said he has not yet decided if he will run for re-election. Zak said doctors caught the cancer early and he has a good prognosis. He will start radiation treatment in Anchorage soon.
“I’m going to wait and see how it goes and then I’ll know for sure if I’m going to run for mayor or not,” Zak said Wednesday.
Zak said doctors discovered a brain tumor after he told them he was having trouble remembering names. At recent council meetings, he sometimes called council members and others by the wrong name. Zak got testing with his VA doctor that showed the tumor.
“It was very minor,” he said. “It was amazing. They were able to perform the work and discover what was causing the inability to remember people’s names.”
As he looks toward recovering from cancer, Zak praised the support he has received from his medical team, family and the community.
“I’ve been so appreciative of this wonderful community and people I work with,” he said. “I’ll get through this and move on. … We are so fortunate all of us to live in this wonderful state and this wonderful community.”
Council member Heath Smith’s seat also is on the ballot. Smith said Tuesday he has not yet decided whether he will run for his seat again.
A wildlife biologist and Alaska resident of 28 years, Aderhold is also a member of the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust board of directors and the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve community council.
Aderhold was the only person who filed for a seat as of Wednesday morning, according to the city’s website. The filing period for council and for the office of the mayor is open until Aug. 15. The municipal election will take place on Oct. 2. With two council seats on the ballot, voters can vote for any two candidates, with the top two vote getters elected to the seats.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael Armstrong contributed reporting.