Government is not “other,” and it is not an enemy to slay. Our nation is rooted in the belief that government is of the people, by the people and for the people. We can, especially at the local level, be true to those values. We can work together for efficiency, stability, and responsiveness. As voters, elected officials, employees, appointed commission or task force members, residents – we are the City government. But what does that mean? What do we want from our government? How do we pay for it, and make it work in the long-term? Council members are elected from the community as your neighbors to take turns grappling with the many ways those questions take shape.
We are all neighbors here in Homer. With wide ranging views and opinions on everything — you name it, and doubtless there will be folks expressing opinions all across the board. But those different opinions and beliefs don’t negate the fact that we are all neighbors. We might not always agree on the little stuff, or even on a lot of the big stuff. But at the end of the day, we can disagree with civility. We can listen to one another and sometimes agree to disagree, but still with humor and kindness. I’m running for another term on City Council firmly holding on to that as a core value. As a parent, I strive to teach my children and to lead by example. We are problem solvers. We listen, and consider other people’s thoughts. We treat others with respect and civility, always with politeness, and we strive to be kind. I can see examples of this around us every day in Homer.
We all live here for some reason. Some, like my husband, were born here. Others moved here for jobs (like I did), for partners, for adventure. We stay for family, for jobs, for a quality of life that we enjoy and want to protect. The City has a role to play in those individual decisions by setting a stage. I believe for a strong local economy, we require a stable, responsive, and transparent government system setting a strong foundational stage for individuals, families, and businesses to build upon. I want this community to be a good investment. To be a truly good and attractive investment, we need a town with walkable trails and recreation opportunities, a thriving library, a harbor you want to have a boat in and visit, a vibrant small business community, good schools, reasonable utility rates, wide ranging activities from sports to arts and culture, safety through strong and well-trained police and fire departments, community supports for vulnerable people. The City of Homer plays a direct role in many (though not all) of these things, and we’re better on some than others. There is plenty of room for improvement, and to support what we do well.
City Council is a nonpartisan body. Council passes responsible budgets and sets policies for our core services — to support that strong foundation, the stage for successful private enterprise. Council members hear concerns and dive deep into policy and budgetary details that could sometimes make your eyes water and your head hurt for lack of excitement. It’s all important. Working with the public’s trust and the public’s dollars, everything the Council does must be transparent and logical. Council must keep an eye on rates, and on maintaining our publicly-owned infrastructure responsibly to avoid unexpected and costly emergency repairs. Council needs to respond to concerns and issues from speeding on local roads to confusing and outdated City Code. To be responsive in a positive and responsible way, Council members have to do the heavy lifting of research, collaboration, cooperation, and ultimately policy making and prudent budget setting to move the City forward. Please vote, and I hope when you do you’ll share these values and consider voting for me for another term working for a vibrant and strong foundation for Homer.
Rachel lord is a member of the Homer City Council who is running for reelection.