If you are asked to sign a petition to recall any one of our three city council members, I respectfully urge you to politely refuse. If you are considering circulating one of these petitions, please don’t. Instead, please do your part to put an end to this discouraging and pointless endeavor to shame three fellow citizens who have made a commitment to public service. To continue to encourage citizens to make the sacrifices necessary to run for local office, we must honor and appreciate those who do.
I identify with and understand getting angry from time to time with positions and actions elected officials take; I’ve felt those emotions too. But as a local elected official many years ago myself, I also know what it takes to have the courage and commitment to one’s community to run for office, to study and become knowledgeable of a wide variety of issues, to attend numerous meetings and work sessions, to listen to hours of staff reports and public testimony, to be stopped endlessly throughout the day to listen to community members about issues important to them, and to day after day put your personal needs and desires to be with family and to just relax and have some fun second to the demands of the position to which you were elected.
I applaud council members Reynolds, Aderhold and Lewis, and the other council members who have in the past sponsored resolutions at others’ request for public hearing and then for voting as they believed was best. It is important to remember that a resolution is not a law, not a regulation. It is a statement of aspiration, of sentiment. It is an important vehicle for examining our values as a community.
It is in our best interest as a diverse and engaged citizenry for our council to sponsor public discussion on issues about which community members feel strongly through the resolution process. We should support them in continuing to do so regardless of our own opinions — and, if we feel strongly in favor or against a proposed resolution, show up and speak out, as many did last month. That was accomplished.
Now it is time to let the council move on and attend to the many other important matters confronting our city. And, it’s time for all of us to say, “Thank you, Homer City Council members, each and every one of you.”