For almost two years, Homer condo owners have listened to the city tell us we were wrong when we protested the way condos were being assessed for the new natural gas distribution line. Nothing we showed them or told them was heard.
So, one owner took his case to court and a year ago last January, he won. His Order Granting Summary Judgment says, “IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion is granted. The City of Homer shall CORRECT Ordinance 13-02 to make it comply with this order.”
It has taken over a year, but the city council finally did correct the plaintiff’s assessment. The council corrected one condo lot. There is one assessment on that lot. Just like every other lot in Homer.
But every other lot with condominiums is still being over assessed and is not corrected. Does the city council intend to make every one of us drag our city into court? It sure looks that way.
But consider this:
1. Ordinance 13-02 has not been corrected as ordered.
2. When the council corrected the plaintiff’s lot, they corrected all the owners on that lot … not just the plaintiff’s.
3. Both the past city manager and the city attorney recommended the council correct condo assessments.
4. With one exception, every lot with condos on it is wrong. That makes every assessment wrong. This should have been corrected over a year ago.
We have been told there is a pathway for objections built into the ordinance. We have followed it and found no recourse. It feels like the city council is trying to write new condominium law by setting a precedence with this method of assessment. Is that it? Is it the “Only in Homer!” conversation happening again?
We tried, with one suit, to prove our point to the city and won. It was only one condo owner, but his case is our case. Must we continue to drag the same argument to court?