Kimberly Ketter is making her second run at the Homer City Council in two years.
A transplant from Pennsylvania in 2015, Ketter ran in last year’s race along with Tom Stroozas and Shelley Erickson. She’s running again on much of the same platform: diversifying representation, encouraging tolerance and serving vulnerable populations.
“I think it’s important that there’s (competition),” she said of the election. “And different viewpoints are important, and I feel the (council) needs to make up the representation of Homer to include somebody to represent the citizens that don’t own businesses, and the ones that are struggling, and the elderly.”
Ketter said she’d like there to be a committee or commission at the city level specifically dedicated to dealing with addiction in Homer — not only the opioid epidemic, but alcohol abuse and other addictions as well.
This is an area where Ketter has personal experience. Her race last year was questioned because she had pleaded guilty to and been convicted of driving under the influence in August 2016, with two previous DUIs. Her first was when she was 21, an event which led her to being discharged from the U.S. Navy, which she served while stationed in San Diego, Calif. Her second DUI happened in 2006. According to online Pennsylvania court records, Ketter also has misdemeanor convictions for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession. Under city rules, anyone still eligible to vote may run for city council. Those who commit felonies “of moral turpitude,” like murder, are no longer eligible to vote. A DUI is a felony, but not a felony of moral turpitude under Alaska statute.
In addition to struggling with alcohol, Ketter battled heroin addiction as well back in Pennsylvania. She has been clean for about eight years, she said. She’s also suffered domestic violence, she said. It was after a painful custody battle that resulted in limited access to her son that Ketter relocated to Homer. She said she sees so much potential in the city, and wants the chance to be a voice for vulnerable populations, such as those battling addictions. Her experiences make her well suited to speaking to those issues, she said.
“A lot of hurting populations is what I see,” Ketter said. “And I see people turning their heads to it.”
Ketter said another large issue facing the city is finances, and a goal of hers as a council member would be to explore ways to come up with additional sources of revenue. Job creation ought to be another focus for the city, she said. She’d also like to see a greater effort made to bring Homer businesses and buildings into better Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
Ketter said she sees a lack of compassion in Homer that she would like to address. She wants others to speak up and not be afraid to voice opinions. Ketter said there has been backlash in reaction to her running for office, and that she has been told she won’t win.
“I win every time just by brining people into the electoral process,” she said. “… When I first moved here I told myself I was going to run every time a seat opened because I noticed all these vacant seats.”