Evensen resigns from city council

Homer City Council member Joey Evensen states “lack of productivity” as his reason for resigning.

Homer City Council member Joey Evensen announced his resignation from the council Friday, July 9. Evensen was elected in 2019 and had a year remaining in his term.

Evensen in an email stated his resignation was caused by the “Council’s consistent lack of productivity and the strongly unpleasant work environment.”

Evensen had not responded to email or phone call requests at the time this article was published.

In a press release from the City of Homer administration, Homer Mayor Ken Castner thanked Evensen for his service during the pandemic.

“Joey Evensen was a Councilmember during the COVID-19 pandemic response, one of the hardest times that Council has experienced,” Castner said in the release. “I appreciate his time, participation and service.”

Castner accepted Evensen’s resignation. In a phone interview, Castner said the reasons for Evensen’s resignation were “fairly petulant.”

The city council will vote to approve his resignation at the upcoming July 26 meeting, which is expected to be held in person at the newly renovated City Hall Cowles Council Chambers. Under city code, the council has 30 days after accepting Evensen’s resignation to appoint a new member who will then serve until the Oct. 5 election. The city will announce the vacancy and solicit applications. A simple majority vote of the remaining five council members is required to select a new council member. That seat goes up for election, with candidates running just for that seat. The elected successor will finish out the remaining year of Evensen’s seat.

Until a temporary successor is appointed, the council will continue with five active seats. All motions will still need four votes for approval.

In addition to the one-year term, council members Heath Smith and Donna Aderhold’s seats will also be up for election during the Oct. 5 election. Both have served for two three-year terms. The election filing period for the three seats opens Aug. 2 and will close at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 16. Candidacy forms are available at the city clerk’s office.

The last time the city council selected a member to fill a vacant seat was in October 2012, when James Dolma was selected to take over Beth Wythe’s seat when she was elected mayor. Dolma had been the third-place finisher in an election to fill two seats.

The upcoming city council regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 26 at the City Hall Cowles Council Chambers. For more information, contact the city clerk’s office at 907-235-3130 or visit www.cityofhomer-ak.gov/.

Reach Sarah Knapp at sarah.knapp@homernews.com.