I want to express my appreciation for the often thankless work that is done to benefit our community by city employees and elected officials, in particular the three council members who are currently under attack for having brought forward a resolution to reaffirm Homer’s commitment to tolerance, inclusivity, and safety for everyone. Although an early draft of the resolution produced controversy, I believe the final draft would have spoken well for Homer.
The targeted council members should be receiving accolades for agreeing to sponsor a resolution that articulated a vision of our town shared by a large number of residents — who, by the way, are as entitled to representation as anyone else that lives in Homer — but instead they are being targeted by a recall petition. The petition accuses them of “taking part in a political campaign or other political activity,” and “broadcasting political activism,” blames them for “economic harm and financial loss,” and refers to “irreparable damage” done to our town by the resolution: all spurious claims.
The three council members under attack did not write the resolution, did not agree to sponsor the infamous early draft, were not responsible for that draft becoming public, and did not write the tendentious blog posts that stirred up a brouhaha and caused so much divisiveness. They are being blamed for things that other people did or that never happened at all. The claims of economic harm are far-fetched. If anything, Homer restaurants have probably reaped a bonanza from out-of-towners driving here to speak against values encoded in our laws and enshrined in our constitutions. And it’s hard to see how keeping the controversy alive for months on end with this recall petition is not exacerbating any supposed potential for future financial loss.
Should the recall succeed, council members would no longer feel free to represent constituents’ concerns for fear of reprisals by anyone who disagrees. It would have a paralyzing effect on the Homer City Council and a chilling effect on free speech. I urge the residents of Homer to reject this unwarranted attack on three of our own. They are guilty of nothing but doing their jobs.