Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Homer Voters Overturn Plastic Bag Ban Imposed From The Top Down By City Council; Incumbent Bryan Zak May Pay The Price For Voting Twice In Favor Of Ban

On October 1st, 2013, residents of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula Borough also went to the polls, and the most encouraging development was the fact that residents of Homer overturned the ban of plastic bags imposed from the top down by their city council on August 27th, 2012. The repeal initiative, designated Referendum #1, passed with 56 percent of the vote, and absentee and questioned ballots are unlikely to change the outcome. Furthermore, a councilman who voted twice in favor of the ban may lose his seat because of it. Links to pertinent election results below:

-- Kenai Peninsula Borough Election Results
-- Visit this portal to obtain boroughwide results stratified by community as well as local community election results.
-- City of Homer local election results

The original ordinance, designated Ordinance 12-36A, banned the use of disposable plastic shopping bags after January 1st, 2013, although it grandfathered inventories purchased before the effective date. It set a fine of $50 for each violation. The ordinance was approved by a 4-2 vote on August 27th, 2012 (scroll down to pp 14-15). On September 7th, Mayor James C. Hornaday vetoed the ordinance, but on September 24th, the council voted 4-2 to override the mayoral veto (scroll down to pp 10-11)

However, the individual who organized the repeal campaign was not successful in his own race for a city council seat. Justin Arnold is a distant fourth with only 243 votes. The top two finishers will be seated on the council; Gus Van Dyke, who has 544 votes, has clinched one of the seats, while the remaining seat is still disputed between Corbin Arno and incumbent Bryan Zak. Zak not only voted for the plastic bag ordinance on August 27th, but also voted to override the mayor's veto on September 24th. Zak may end up paying the price for these votes. Most community residents who objected to the ordinance simply objected to the coercion; many already voluntarily use cloth bags.

This is the major problem we have with progressives. It is not so much their ideas which are objectionable, but their tactics and most specifically, their reliance upon the ban-hammer as the first weapon of choice rather than the last resort.

Boroughwide, voters sounded off on three propositions. Proposition 1, which added a supplemental $30,000 property tax exemption, passed with 65.7 percent of the vote despite the possibility of a loss of $1.3 million from the borough's general fund as well as unspecified losses for various service areas. Proposition 2, a $23 million school bond geared towards upgrading school roofs, passed with 56.4 percent of the vote. However, Proposition 3, which called for the end of term limits in borough elections, what shot down in flames with nearly 72 percent voting No; perhaps voters were pissed off at having been asked this question for the fourth time in 16 years. There was also the usual spate of assembly and service area candidates; Pat Porter has a narrow lead in the Kenai City Mayor's race. Kenai city voters also turned down their city's comprehensive plan, fearing it would lead to more "hit-and-run" developments by big-box stores, although proponents of the plan said it would more efficiently target vacant buildings for remodeling or destruction.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats from San Francisco, CA!

    I am so glad the voters overtured it. I am so glad the mayor was vindicated. I am proud that one of the councilman who voted for it lost his seat. He should go!

    The bans and fees are bad for businesses, consumers and environment.

    You want to watch this movie:

    Then, come to: -- 8/13 to read and to watch page.

    They are bad for:
    - businesses: to bag customers purchases is the least of customer services that retailers should provide, especially when it come to discretionary shopping, which is for fun. If it is no fun anymore, why shop? All stores can close, we can all go home!

    - residents: Many of us use plastic bags for trash and pet waste. Without them, we will have to buy the much thicker and bigger trash bags. Why is the later better?

    - for environment. Plastic bags are the by-product of natural gas, not oil. And they take little to make. Verses paper bags which come from trees. From logging, debarking, chop & dice, add water to make pulp, squeeze water out and flatten to make paper, the whole process takes much more resources and energy and create more greenhouse gases. Why is paper better?

    Save a tree! Use a plastic bag!
    Buy 1000 plastic bags from Amazon for $20 if you have to.

    Repeal bag fee throughout Alaska!