General Council briefed on draft budget, Wood Village property

Approximately 60 Tribal members attended two executive sessions in the Tribal gym on Sunday, Nov. 5, that provided confidential updates on the proposed 2018 Tribal budget and an update on Tribal development plans for Spirit Mountain at Wood Village.

Since both briefings were delivered in executive session, Smoke Signals cannot report on the details.

Tribal Finance Officer Chris Leno gave a 36-minute briefing on the proposed budget for 2018 and then fielded comments and questions from nine Tribal members. The membership input lasted approximately 53 minutes.

Comments on the 2018 draft budget are due by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4. The Tilixam Wawa draft budget edition was mailed first class to all Tribal member households at the end of October.

After lunch, the general membership received an update on Spirit Mountain at Wood Village, the Grand Ronde Tribe-owned site that used to be Multnomah Greyhound Park.

The 31-acre property in the eastern suburb of Portland was purchased by the Tribe in December 2015 after it had been mentioned as a possible site for a private casino in Oregon.

In June 2016, the Tribe held an event at the site and announced that Spirit Mountain at Wood Village would possibly become a mixture of lodging, entertainment and housing, as well as complement the Tribe’s Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde.

Tribal members interested in obtaining videos of the two executive session presentations should contact Tribal Council Chief of Staff Stacia Hernandez at 503-879-2304 or via e-mail at

In open session, Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy opened the meeting with a cultural discussion about the 34th Restoration celebration scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 22, in the Tribal gym and how “culture was the backbone” for the Tribe’s Restoration efforts in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Tribal Elder and former Tribal Council member Steve Bobb Sr. volunteered to provide the invocation.

Shane Partridge, Ann Lewis and Dorothy Leno won the $100 door prizes and Raymond Tuomi, Dawson Partridge, Louise Coulson, Bernadine Shriver and Michelle Anderson won the $50 door prizes.

The next General Council meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, in the Tribal Community Center to accommodate the Tribal Council Christmas Party, which will be held shortly afterward in the Tribal gym.

An edited video of the General Council meeting, without the executive session briefings, can be viewed on the Tribal website at by clicking on the News tab and then Video.