Homer councilman resigns, pledges to sue city

Associated PressMarch 17, 2012 

HOMER -- A city councilman apparently stung by the defeat of his resolution to eliminate a new water and sewage fee abruptly resigned and, on his way out, promised to sue the city.

Former Homer City Councilman Kevin Hogan submitted his resignation at the end of a council meeting last week, the Homer Tribune reported.

"People come to the City Council meeting wanting justice. You don't get justice here, you get the results of a political process," Hogan said during public comments at the end of the meeting. He said when people don't feel they receive justice, they usually have to take to the courts for remedy.

"I am probably going into litigation with the city, and I am resigning effective at this meeting," Hogan said

He did not say what the subject of this lawsuit would be.

Hogan had introduced a measure to roll back the new fees, amounting to $45 a month for most renters.

Homer multiplex users were switched from higher commercial rates to residential rates, meaning the city would see a revenue decrease of nearly $100,000.

The city installed a $45 water-sewer fee to offset the losses.

The council voted 3-2 against passing Hogan's resolution. If Hogan's resolution had passed, it would have a fiscal impact on the budget amounting to more than $170,000 in shortfall needed to run the water-sewer service.

Those affected by the change lined up in support of Hogan's resolution last week.

Landlord Hilda Caraballo wrote to the council objecting to the rates. She charges rent that includes the water-sewer bill for each. Previously, her bill was $500 a month but leapt to $758.41.

"This is crazy. I cannot raise the rent of my tenants to pay for it because they are also struggling to pay their own bills," she wrote. "Besides, I am sure they haven't get a raise on their salary in a long time."

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