Soldotna to call for special election on home rule

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016 10:18pm
  • News

Soldotna voters will again have the question of home rule placed in front of them.

The Soldotna City Council voted at its Wednesday meeting to direct the administration to bring forward a resolution calling for a special election on the matter.

The vote came after a petition for a charter commission election was certified on Feb. 1 after gathering the needed signatures. Soldotna City Clerk Shellie Saner said at the meeting that the earliest a special election could be held is May 9 if one is approved by a resolution at the next city council meeting. If the council had taken no action, the question would have gone before voters at the general election in October, Saner said at the meeting.

Voters will decide at the election whether to establish a charter commission made up of seven members who would have a year to draft a home rule charter. That charter would also go before the public for a vote. Being a home rule city would let Soldotna determine tax rates, among other things.

Linda Hutchings, a sponsor of the petition, said she would prefer a special election because the issue would still be present in the public’s mind. Some council members argued that voter turnout would be greater at a general election, as it would include snow birds who might not be present at a special election.

— Megan Pacer

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