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Homer to run for mayor

BY Carolyn Muyskens - cmuyskens@chronicle-tribune.com

Marion City Council member Dave Homer has announced he is running for mayor of the City of Marion, joining fellow Republican Council Member Steve Henderson and Democrat Mayor Jess Alumbaugh as the current contenders for the job.

Homer will make his official announcement Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Clarence Faulkner Center, where he will speak about “his plans for a safer, more unified and successful Marion,” according to a press release.

Homer said he doesn’t agree with the way Alumbaugh is handling public safety and said reducing crime will be a focus for him.

“We need more police officers, no question,” Homer said. “There’s a lot of different things we could do if we had more officers.”

Homer said he will draw on his experience as a former chief of the Marion Police Department, a job he held from 1992-99, to create a comprehensive plan to improve public safety.

“When I was police chief it was a teamwork effort. Everybody was working together for a common goal and shared the same vision to move forward and I’m not sure that’s happening now,” Homer said.

Part of that plan for Homer includes improving community relations.

“We were successful at that when I was police chief, so I would work to rebuild that confidence in the city as well as hopefully trying to bridge the gap between the community and the police. I think there are areas we can work and collaborate together and I think if we work together we’ll have more success,” Homer said.

Another focus will be continuing to work towards “financial stability,” Homer said. “(Our finances) will dictate our success,” Homer explained.

The city council member said he would look at ways the city could collaborate with county government to provide services both governments are spending money to provide, for example creating a centralized 911 dispatch for the whole county. Marion currently has its own emergency dispatch based at the city building.

Homer also said blight was a key issue for him, as well as continuing to move downtown development forward.

“There are daily things that should be taken care of that are noticeable throughout the community,” Homer said. He said he is looking at how to get rid of vacant empty lots that the city is paying to maintain.

Homer works in the Grant County Prosecutor’s Office as chief investigator.

Julie Autry, who works with Homer in the Prosecutor’s Office, is treasurer of his campaign committee. 

Homer said his campaign committee doesn’t have the typical structure of a campaign team and he may go without a campaign chairman.