Published On: Thu, Aug 6th, 2015

Tribal Council Overview – Thursday, Aug. 6

 

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

ONE FEATHER STAFF

 

8:40 – Meeting called to order

 

8:43 – Orders of the Day

* Item #1 – Amendment to Cherokee Code Section 117-21 Travel and Section 117-22 Purchases for the Tribe – DEEMED READ AND TABLED

* Item #2 – Amendment to Cherokee Code Chapter 90 Burial Regulations – DEEMED READ AND TABLED

* Item #3 – Amendment to Cherokee Code Chapter 130A Article II Public Health and Child Wellbeing – DEEMED READ AND TABLED

 

8:45 – Item #20 – Tabled Resolution No. 603 – Recognition of David Leroy Cooper (d) heir and assignment of property – WITHDRAWN

 

8:46 – Reports and Announcements starting

 

9:34 – Several EBCI retires were honored including:

* Grady Curtis Thompson, EBCI Transit, 31 years with Tribe

* Phyll Reed, Cherokee Choices, 30 years with Tribe

* Darlene Ledford, EBCI Housekeeping, 28 years with Tribe

Thompson and Reed were present and were honored with Pendleton blankets.  Ledford will receive hers at a later date.

 

9:37 – David Jumper request for time regarding Seven Nations Society men’s group

“There’s a lot of things that us, the men, need to step up and start doing,” said Jumper.  “It is called the Seven Nations Society because there are seven clans, and each clan has a separate purpose within our society.  People shouldn’t have to go to court for DV (domestic violence).  We should take care of DV.  We should protect our women.  If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.”

 

9:54 – Keyonna Hornbuckle request for time regarding Healthy Kids Running Series

“I’m really excited about this,” Hornbuckle said of the program which is a non-profit youth running program for youth 2-14 years old .  “We got involved in this about a year ago.”

“Currently, Healthy Kids is in 24 states and six cities in North Carolina…I’m really excited to be able to bring this event to Cherokee.”

Races will occur at the Cherokee Central Schools on Sundays at 3pm starting Sunday, Sept. 20 and ending Sunday, Oct. 18.

 

10:35 – Item # 4 – Recognition of Phyllis Eugenia Catolster Haumpy (d) heirs and assignment of property – PASSED AS AMENDED

 

10:38 – Item #5 – Confirmation of Mary Ann Tahquette Widenhouse (d) Last Will and Testament and assignment of property – PASSED AS AMENDED

 

10:40 – Item #6 – Recognition of Melissa Ann Welch (d) heir and assignment of property – TABLED pending discussion about the possibility of other heirs

 

10:42 – Item #7 – Recognition of David Norman Hardin (d) heir and assignment of property – PASSED

 

10:44 – Item #8 – Kim Jackson requests that she is recognized as owning one-half undivided interest of Upper Cherokee Parcel No. 444 containing .912 acres together with all improvements – TABLED, EBCI Attorney General Hannah Smith agreed to review documents relating to the legislation and provide an opinion

 

10:54 – Item #9 – Kim Jackson requests that Parcel No. 444 be offered for sale to eligible individuals at a fair market value and that the proceeds be divided one-half to Jackson and one-half to the estate of James E. Smith, to be divided among the heirs eligible to receive the possessory interests of the decedent – HELD

 

10:55 – Item #10 – Authorization for the exchange of properties, as an equal exchange with a monetary value of $20,000 between Rene Ledford and EBCI Housing and Community Development – PASSED AS AMENDED

 

11:08 – Item #11 – Mutual Help-Home Assignment – PASSED

 

11:10 – Item #12 – Authorization for EBCI Housing and Community Development to sell Wolfetown Parcel No. 1459-G at the agreed upon price of $142,022 to Jamie Brown – PASSED

 

11:13 – Item #13 – Authorization for EBCI Housing and Community Development to sell Birdtown Parcel No. 795-N at the agreed upon price of $123,000 to Alexander Hornbuckle Jr. – PASSED

 

11:15 – Item #14 – Authorization for EBCI Housing and Community Development to sell Wolfetown Parcel No. 1413 at the agreed upon price of $89,000 to Rustlina Long – PASSED

 

11:35 – Break taken due to audio problems in Council House

 

12:45 – Item #15 – Ernest Tiger requests Council approve moving forward with the Tribal Gas Station concept

If we’re not going to build a gas station and this guy wants to help us build a gas station that will help us all, I’m all for that,” said Big Cove Rep. Teresa McCoy.

Painttown Rep. Tommye Saunooke said the idea of a tribal gas station was discussed many years ago.  “There’s not enough information here.  There’s no figures.”  She said she supported keeping the legislation tabled pending seeing figures.  She recommended that Tiger take his business plan to the Tribal Business Committee.  “At this time Ernie, there’s not enough information for me to support this.”

“I attempted to do Business Committee per the direction of Council,” said Tiger who said he had difficulties getting on the agenda.

Vice Chairman Bill Taylor commented, “I hate to put him off another month, but he needs to bring his business plan back in.”  He related the legislation was referred to the Business Committee last month.

Tiger related, “I know that it will work.  I know that it is sound.”  He said he has a federal patent on his business plan which would include tax rebates on gas sales.  “I am now requesting that my business plan go to Business Committee for review.”

Cherokee County – Snowbird Rep. Adam Wachacha said, “At this point, I would like to be able to look at the model more.”  He said he is in favor of tabling the issue for further review.

Tiger further commented, “I don’t think that the Tribe has ever partnered with a tribal member on a business before and it would set a precedent.”

Yellowhill B. Ensley said he wants the full numbers and a full analysis on the project.

Chairwoman Terri Henry said she would like to see everyone involved in the discussion come together and work out the best scenario for everyone.  “I agree with the table, but I would actually like for us to have a big discussion on this and talk about what all of the option are and pick one and see what we can do…I am willing to schedule a work session for that to happen.”

Rick Bird, an EBCI tribal member who owns three smokes shops in Cherokee, commented, “I am a business man, a very successful business man..there’s a lot of business people out there upset about this.”

Birdtown Rep. Tunney Crowe said any enrolled member has the right to open a business.  “What Mr. Tiger wants is for the Tribe to partner with him.  If Tribal Council doesn’t want to do that, then tell him that.”  He said he disagrees with sending Tiger to the Business Committee and implored Tribal Council to tell him whether they plan to do business with him or not.

Terri Taylor, an EBCI tribal member from the Birdtown Commuity, said, “I will drive off the reservation to buy cheaper gas, and I know I’m not the only one.”  She added, “The Tribe needs to do something because the gas stations here overcharge.”

Chairwoman Henry asked three times for moves on the legislation.  None were made.  Rep. Saunooke had previously moved to table, but she removed that during the debate.  Since no moves were made, Chairwoman Henry deemed the issue dead on the floor.

 

1:57 – Item #16 – Mollie Grant requests Tribal Council to instruct Attorney General and the Election Board to compile rules and regulations for candidates seeking political positions from intimidating, coercing and/or from having any political discussion with Tribal employees while on the tour of duty.

Mollie Grant said one of the candidates for Principal Chief visited her on the job on July 1.  “He tried to intimidate me and used a scare tactic because of who I’ve supported the last two terms.  He also said I used my job to campaign for the current Chief…I think I have a right to support whoever my choice is.”  Grant said other employees have approached her with the same problem.

Grant commented, “I can withdraw it, but I think that something needs to be in place to protect the employees.”

Rep. Wachacha said they need to empower the Election Board more to give them capacity to deal with such situations.

Grant added, “I just think there should be a Code of Ethics for people running for office.”

Chairwoman Henry commented, “I like what you’re legislation is getting at…we need some form of civil discourse when it comes to politics.” She agreed with Rep. Wachacha in that the Election Board should be given the power to enforce violations.

The legislation was amended to instruct the Attorney General to draft legislation and policies on the issue to present back to Council in October.  The legislation was then passed.

 

2:54 – Chairwoman Henry related that Holly Kays, a reporter with the Smoky Mountain News, made a request to sit in on the meeting

In referencing an article written in the Smoky Mountain News criticizing the fact that Kays was dismissed from a previous Council meeting, Chairwoman Henry commented, “I had to take great offense to the things that were stated in the article.”

Kays was asked what issue she was there to report on and she related that she was there to listen to the meeting and see what was newsworthy.

Rep. McCoy said she supported the right for Kays to stay.  “Is this a public meeting?  Then, what’s the problem?”

Council voted and Kays was allowed to stay for the meeting.

 

3:11 – Item #17 – Tabled Resolution No. 146 – Newman Arneach heirs request a closed working session with Council regarding a resolution submitted by Tyler Blankenship

Attorney General Smith recommended the family initiate legal proceedings in Tribal Court.  “All of these issues really and truly belong in the Court system…my recommendation would be to go back to your attorneys and see how they can get you into a court of law.”

After much discussion from both parties, the legislation was withdrawn.

 

3:54 – Tabled Resolution No. 565 – Francine Parker Watty requests a right-of-way to residence and a utility right-of-way – WITHDRAWN

 

4:06 – Item #19 – Request for the Chief of Police position to be an elected position

Travis Smith, Birdtown resident who submitted the legislation, commented, “I believe that we’ve come to an agreement after the work session that we do a study on the Police Department and see what their needs are.”

Rep. Saunooke said she’d like to see a plan on the issue.

Chairwoman Henry proposed an amendment that a study be done to determine whether electing a Police Chief for the Tribe is a viable option.  The amendment was approved.

Rep. McCoy moved to pass the legislation.  An amendment was then added by Chairwoman Henry that a deadline date be set for the study at Jan. 31, 2016.

The legislation was then passed as amended.

 

4:12 – Item #21 – Tabled Ordinance No. 646 – Amendment to Cherokee Code Chapter 28A Article 19 Administration of Decedent’s Estates – TABLED

 

4:30 – Item #8 – Kim Jackson requests that she is recognized as owning one-half undivided interest of Upper Cherokee Parcel No. 444 containing .912 acres together with all improvements – TABLED, EBCI Attorney General Hannah Smith agreed to review documents relating to the legislation and provide an opinion – PASSED

 

4:37 – Item #9 – Kim Jackson requests that Parcel No. 444 be offered for sale to eligible individuals at a fair market value and that the proceeds be divided one-half to Jackson and one-half to the estate of James E. Smith, to be divided among the heirs eligible to receive the possessory interests of the decedent – Brought back to the table and tabled

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