Borough assessor sizes up Soldotna council seat

Horan will fill position until next regular election in October

Posted: Friday, February 16, 2007

The Kenai Peninsula Borough assessor stepped into an added role Wednesday night when he was appointed to the Soldotna City Council.

Shane Horan will serve until the next regular election in October.

After hearing brief presentations from three candidates seeking to fill the unexpired term of council member Lisa Parker, who resigned, it took two tries by the four council members present to elect a replacement.

City code requires a candidate receive three votes in order to be appointed by the council.

On the first bid, Horan received two votes, Sharon Hale and Joyce Cox each got one. Horan garnered the three needed votes on the next try.

Before the vote, Horan, who said he moved to Soldotna in 1999 after living in Juneau for 20 years, detailed his beliefs about nearly every issue currently facing the city.

He spoke of the importance of the annexation being considered by the city, the mayor’s proposal to develop a five-year plan as well as update the city’s comprehensive plan and said the city should heed council member Jim Stogsdill’s recommendation to take action on helping solve the hydrocarbon pollution problem in the Kenai River.

Horan also said the city cemetery project “should be resurrected,” and addressing the river ice disaster “should be number one.”

“Soldotna is a great city,” Horan said. “I wish I’d moved here 20 years ago.”

Hale, a Redoubt Elementary School library aide, who narrowly missed being elected to the council last fall, said she and her family have lived in Soldotna for more than 20 years.

“I truly care what happens in this community,” she said. “I want to be involved in helping make it better.”

When asked by Stogsdill to rank the order in which she believed the city should address ice damage to river stairs and walkways, annexation and the cemetery, Hale said she would put the boardwalks first.

“I don’t know how I could rank the others, one above the other,” Hale said.

Cox, a former Soldotna council member, said the river ice disaster should be the council’s first priority, and added, “The cemetery needs to be on top.”

“Once we repair the damage (to the river walks), I hope we can set up a fund to replenish those funds,” Cox said.

Following his appointment, Horan was sworn in and immediately took his seat as a council member.

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