City says ‘thank you’ to dozens of volunteers

Appreciating the time and expertise of individuals serving on the city’s boards, commissions, committees and task forces, the city of Homer, Mayor Beth Wythe and the Homer City Council invited those dedicated volunteers to a recognition reception at the Elks Club last Thursday.   
Mayor Beth Wythe acknowledged the volunteers’ contributions and each one was individually introduced.
“As you can see, the array of boards and commissions that we have are specialty areas outside of the normal water, sewer, roads and planning to some degree,” said Barbara Howard, a council member who, along with Deputy Clerk Melissa Jacobsen, organized the event.
“These folks take on issues, vet them, entertain the process of public hearings at their level and bring us a pretty well-defined product in the end for a recommendation or ordinance or policy.”
The volunteers are, as Howard said, “the council’s “eyes and ears in the community. They have the best information. They are the experts in those fields. They have the passion and determination.”
City resident involvement at the board, commission, committee and board level is one way to keep the community engaged in city activities and decisions, according to Howard. It also serves as training ground for those considering an elected position.
“It’s such a grooming platform for council seats,” she said.
“It helps to have had some of that experience before you sit as a council member. It’s not necessary, but it’s helpful.”
Among those honored Sept. 25 were:
Advisory Planning Commission: Franco Venuti, chair; Don Stead, vice chair; Tom Bos; Savanna Bradley; Roberta Highland; Tom Stroozas; Shelly Erickson; Mayor Beth Wythe, consulting member; City Manager Walt Wrede, consulting member; and Public Works Director Carey Meyer, consulting member.
Economic Development Advisory Commission: Corbin Arno; Mike Barth; Patrick Brown; Josh Ross; three member vacancies; one student representative vacancy; Mayor Beth Wythe, consulting member; City Manager Walt Wrede, consulting member; council member Bryan Zak, consulting member.
Lease Committee (effective April 14, the Lease Committee was changed back to an administrative committee; Yager, Zimmerman and Krisintu’s participation until that date was recognized at the reception.): Terry Yager, chair; Steve Zimmerman, vice chair; Nantia Krisintu; John Li, city of Homer finance director; Bryan Hawkins, city of Homer port and harbor director; Rick Abboud, city planner.
Library Advisory Board: Phil Gordon, chair; Patricia Utley, vice chair; Nancy Porter; Matt Strobel; three member vacancies; one student member vacancy; Mayor Beth Wythe, ex-officio member; City Manager Walt Wrede, ex-officio member; Library Director Ann Dixon, ex-officio member; prior members recognized were Eileen Faulkner, David Groesbeck and Naomi Klouda.
Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission: Robert Archibald; David Brann; Tricia Lillibridge; Deb Lowney; Roger MacCampbell; Peter Roedl; Matthew Steffy; Pedro Ochoa, student representative;  
Mayor Beth Wythe, consulting member; City Manager Walt Wrede, consulting member.
Permanent Fund Committee : Matt North;  Barbara Howard, city council member; Francie Roberts, city council member; Zhiyong Li, city finance director; Jo Johnson, city clerk.
Port and Harbor Advisory Commission: Glen Carroll; Daniel Donich; Robert Hartley; Bob Howard; Michael Stockburger; Catherine Ulmer; Steve Zimmerman; Mayor Beth Wythe, consulting member; City Manager Walt Wrede, consulting member; Port and Harbor Director Bryan Hawkins, consulting member.
Public Arts Committee:  Michele Miller, vice chair; Marianne Aplin; Adele Person; Erin Hollowell; Lance Petersen; one vacancy.
Public Safety Building Review Committee: Mayor Beth Wythe; Police Chief Mark Robl and designee Will Hutt; Fire Chief Robert Painter and designee Dan Miotke; public member Ralph Crane; public member Ken Castner.
Transportation Advisory Committee:  Francie Roberts, council member, chair; Roberta Highland; Steve Smith; Caroline Venuti; Kevin Walker.
Vessel Haul-Out Task Force: Barbara Howard, council member, chair; Glenn Carroll; Bryan Hawkins; David Lewis; Mike Pate; Ian Pitzman; Mike Stockburger .
Water and Sewer Rate Task Force: Mayor Beth Wythe, chair; Beau Burgess, council member; Ken Castner; Bob Howard; Sharon Minsch; Lloyd Moore; Terry Yager.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at