The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
General Council Meeting, January 9, 2011
Tribal Community Center, Grande Ronde,
Tribal Council Member (TCM): Cheryle Kennedy (CK); Reynold L. Leno
(RL); Kathleen Tom (KT); Steven L. Bobb, Sr. (SB); Jack Giffen, Jr.
Chris Mercier (CM); Valorie Sheker (VS); Wink Soderberg (WS)
Toby McClary (personal leave)
Gloria Sundahl, Tribal Member
Unidentified Voice: (UV)
Council Member (s): (MEMB)
Announcements: (See Minutes)
Events and Meetings
Other Business: (See Minutes)
Administrative Staff: Lauri Smith (LS), Dakota Whitecloud
Transcript of Proceeding
Start Digital Disk #1
Cheryle A. Kennedy, Tribal Council Chairwoman. Today
is our first General Council for 2011. We welcome you all
here. Thank you for braving the roads and coming on
out. Today is January 9, 2011, and I've asked Gloria Sundahl
if she would provide us with invocation.
(GLORIA SUNDAHL PROVIDED INVOCATION)
Thank you, Gloria. Now to the Cultural Presentation.
Kathy Cole, who as you know has -- spoke with me earlier. Oh,
here she comes. So, we will go ahead and turn this over to
her. Thank you, Kathy.
Kathy Cole, Tribal Member. (Speaking in Chinuk
Wawa) I said, hello to the people. I'm Kathy and
(unintelligible) with an overview and I'd like to say a few
words. I would like to give you an update on the Chinuk Wawa
Program. As many of you know, Tony (unintelligible) a
collection and I brought a list of items and I am acting interim in
his position as well as teaching the (unintelligible). Our
Chinuk Immersion Preschool started in 2001 and it's still
(unintelligible) today but a (unintelligible) students. In
2004 we added it to the Chinuk kindergarten program and I am the
teacher of that. We also added an 8:00 to 5:00 maintenance
program in 2004 and that's going strong. Last year we added a
class of middle school and that is still going on today. Our
hope is to eventually get into high school as well. We'd also
like to work with the elders and possibly start teaching Chinuk to
them as well. Our goal is to get it onto the web and maybe
some lessons that people could catch UTube from -- if they
(unintelligible) out of the area and to bring in as many people as
possible. We're also have an adult language program and I am
teaching that currently with (unintelligible) people enrolled in
that and they seem really excited about the language. We also
have a dictionary that's ready to be published. We're working
on getting that published hopefully this year if not next year or
soon. The language program recently received a national award
from the National Indian Education Association for the
-- the amount of work that we've been able to do in a short amount
of time. We'd also like to thank the Tribal family for their
continued support of the language program. Thank you.
Thank you, Kathy. We'll go ahead with roll call.
Kathleen Tom? Present. Steve Bobb, Sr.?
Jack Giffen, Jr.?
Where's Toby? Toby called this morning. He won't be
able to be here.
Personal leave. Chris Mercier?
Yes. I'm here.
At this time we are -- at this time we -- I will entertain a motion
to approve or amend the September 5th General Council
A motion's been made and seconded to approve the minutes. All
in favor say aye.
Aye. (In Unison)
The minutes are approved. Order of business today.
We'll move right on into New Business because we have no Unfinished
Business. We have a New Website Design Presentation by our
Informational System Director Trevor Aaron and Willie
Mercier. So, I'll turn it over to -- to Willie who is
Willie Mercier, Information Systems. I'm not sure if
he received it. So, I'll give the presentation.
All right. I don't know how many of you guys utilize the
current Tribal website but we wanted to keep the design similar
that we had to be able to provide more information to
membership. So, it's similar but there are some
(unintelligible) differences. We'll be able to feature more
events and news on the (unintelligible) and we'll also be -- we'll
have a newsfeed from the Smoke Signals page on the (unintelligible)
right up front. And that's here and this will take all of the
stories as well as the local (unintelligible) and the most
(unintelligible) is that Tribal members can see the listings.
There is also a little tab up here that says Blogs. We've
provided a voice for Tribal Council for its use to write about some
of the issues and communicate directly to Tribal members that are
on the website. We've also revamped the Tribal calendar so
that more events can be posted and it will be right on the front
page so it's not (unintelligible). Also we have a Twitter
link for anyone that is using Twitter. That will be posted to
the front page also and it will be for a small (unintelligible)
communications that we plan to push out to the membership and use
that -- that service. This is a -- a look at the new news
section. So, this is where the Smoke Signals stories will be
posted and what they will look like. So, there will be
feature stories and then second-hand stories and all the other
stories will be posted in here. The Tribal Calendar is the
(unintelligible) all of the different pages. And then down
here we also have a -- a service called Flicker. Smoke
Signals takes a lot of different photos and not all of them make it
into the newspaper. So, we wanted a place for them to be able
to feature those and Tribal members will be able to view those
photos. And then all of the stories will also be
(unintelligible) back here. Here's a look at the new Tribal
Council home page and this is where we will post all the new
agendas of all the meetings that happen. They will also do
our (unintelligible). And then we have a place here that we
can look at each individual Tribal Council member. As they
elect it we can change them out and you can go in and find more
information about that Tribal Council person that you choose.
This is also a place where the General Council blogs will be
posted. So, if one of our Tribal Council people put a blog
notice up it will show up -- show up here and we'll just be able to
go back and read what that Tribal Council person has to say.
This is what a blog would look like. It has a combined -- it
has all the contents in here. Again, you can see the Tribal
calendar. The Tribal calendar we'd like to kind of take a
more prominent position on the site. So, there's a lot of
meetings that happen around Grand Ronde and to the gaming
organization that don't necessarily get posted to this site.
So, we'd like to change that and make it so this is a place where
you can come to find out more information. So, this is a
default yearly calendar. It looks like it will be for a
calendar view. We can also change that to a disk view so if
you want to see what's happening today or tomorrow you can go into
that without having to look at just that -- that one view.
This is what the department page will look like. And you
should be able to go to this page and find any department in the
organization and the information that's going to pertain to you as
a Tribal member without having to call anybody unless -- unless you
don't find that information. It's less
(unintelligible). And also the membership that live outside
of the area and maybe never been to Grand Ronde before or don't
make it here very often we do have a -- a Google map here that kind
of shows a little bit different ways that you can get to Grand
Ronde if you haven't been here and want to visit. It also
posts there directions of how the -- we're trying to get
information for buildings or services that are available
there. So, if you need to look up (unintelligible) or
something to (unintelligible) building you'll know that
beforehand. And this is an expanded view of the department
page. So, if you would like to use education, since education
has a lot of sub-departments, and so here we've expanded the
education department. You can see the library, the area of
childhood education and then all the sub-departments underneath of
it. So, that one of the education programs that you could go
here and find other information that you need. And let's look
at how that education page would be set up. So, if you click
on that link and you go to the page, you get like program
information, it's an application that you can print out. And
then also we're going to have each department have the manager's
name and contact information. If a Tribal member does
need to contact that specific department they will be able to do
that and hopefully this will be easier. The videos. We
started video taping all the videos recently and so they'll be
featured on this page. And it's not just a Tribal Council
meetings that we post up here. We also have videos that we
have produced at Grand Ronde or people in the (unintelligible)
videos been up here for awhile and we also have a reservation video
that we have posted up here and we plan on posting more
videos. So, these will be served fully and we do plan on
getting them posted. It will be (unintelligible) by what the
subject is and Tribal Council videos we (unintelligible). And
that (unintelligible) one of the things you can (unintelligible) we
have the lifted the Tribal member only portion of the
website. So, you don't have to be logged in and have -- have
an account with the website to be able to view the
(unintelligible). This is a move towards be more
(unintelligible) as a government and it also helps alleviate a lot
of the technical support that we had and to be able to -- to work
more on the website and work (unintelligible) some issues that we
had with the current one. So, we've gone ahead a lifted that
restriction for all of our videos already. So, if you've got
family members that are outside of the area that been able to view
the videos you can have them go to the website and click on a
video without having to be logged in and they can view those.
That's all I have unless there's any questions?
Do you have a date when the site is launched?
The website is scheduled to launch January 31st, at the
end of this month. It seems to be on schedule. So, I --
anything you want (unintelligible) is going to happen.
Brenda Gray, #339. I know like (unintelligible) but
who's going to be (unintelligible)? How long does it usually
take before you can get back (unintelligible)?
That's -- it's an automatic system that happens. The question
was when you go to a (unintelligible) site how long does it take
for the past (unintelligible) sent? And generally that's, uh,
you know, a few minutes depending on how you access your emails
because that's where they've got the password is sent, the email
that you provided. Again, at the end of this month that won't
be necessary. There won't be any -- there won't be any
logging into the website.
Well, on the videos when we our meeting that's actually going to be
for everybody to see? It's not just for Tribal members?
That is correct.
Andy Jenness, #1936. When you talk about Tribal
transparency is there any move or any plans to podcast some of the
LAC meetings and -- and the work sessions that Tribal Council
Not that we discussed at least done that is a
(unintelligible). That would be something that we possibly
Tech -- technically it's fairly easy. Correct?
So, that would be something that -- that could be implemented with
relatively -- with relative ease on your part?
Any other questions? Thank you.
Thank you, Willie. (Applause)
Willie, I -- I do have a question.
Is there any -- is there ever going to be any way that Tribal
members in the Eugene office or the Portland office can Skype on
that and Skype into our Tribal Council meetings?
It's always a possibility.
Is it something you guys could do?
I believe so. I haven't really looked into Skype yet but I
know what the service is and I know a little about how it works but
if we wanted to get a max amount of, you know, say 100 tribal
members , all Skyped into a meeting that's a good question.
I'm not sure how that would work. How would we know which
Tribal member wants to ask a question and bridge that. We
have discussed the possibility of that being -- instead of where we
have to, you know, this meeting will be available tomorrow and
instead of having -- you know, if we had to wait a day, having a
live broadcast, well, you just -- it's kind of just a thought to
pass it on to the committee and be (unintelligible) with
instructions were in place for the additional (unintelligible).
All right. Thank you.
Wendell Olsen, Information Systems. Kathy, kind of a
little bit of an update to that. We did some research this
week actually and if we're able to secure a little bit of
equipment, there is a system by Cisco which is very inexpensive and
way more bendable than Skype and it doesn't require that people
have the Skype software on their computer. We can send out
invitations as such, like if there's going to be a meeting we can
send out an email link invitation and up to 25 people can log in
and be part of the video conference. It's a very inexpensive
and easy solution. As far as the user or the client end of
it, there was stuff that we would have to do here to make that
possible. The production end is always the most complicated
end and when you have up to 25 people coming into one location,
from like us at a meeting, up to 25 people out there are watching
remotely, if they want to interact and moderating that and we'd
have a dedicated extra staff person to moderate that so people
don't talk over each other and then give permission for people to
actually speak on the floor and some way of displaying them so
people know that it's coming in from the outside and stuff.
Those details would have to be worked on, of course, otherwise you
could have a meeting disaster basically. So, we are looking
into that and so -- so we're hoping -- everything seems like it
costs either a little bit of money to be -- for a simple solution
or a lot of money for the really nice solution. So, we've
looked at things that start anywhere from say $2 a month that's a
subscription, similar to Skype, saying these companies that would
come in and put in all the equipment here for $300,000 and it would
be a really cool system. You know, you just have to pick the
level of service that you want and go from there.
Thank you, Wendell. Perri?
Perri McDaniel, #2524. I know several years ago when I
was working on my Masters at the university (unintelligible) we had
a system called the Polycom System that could broadcast to 10
different sites and it was interactive, live interactive, and I
wanted to know if they still do not have that system available for
us to use?
We just added one to the Portland office. Polycoms are very
expensive. They work very well. They're made for large
-- or medium sized to large sized conferences. They work very
well. They're very expensive and so we could theoretically --
the Portland office has one. We could theoretically put one
in the different offices but individuals at that would not be able
to -- they would have to go to a conference room to participate in
these meetings. They wouldn't be able to participate from
home. Everything costs. You have to have a high speed
line, of course, to provide video-conferencing. You have to
buy for a video-conferencing system, which can run anywhere from
$5,000 to $20,000. It's a matter of how important do you
think that is to pay out so many dollars per month to have a high
speed line, initial line, that initially costs $10,000 in buying a
Polycom for a conference room and it splices and all of that.
If that is the way that the Tribe wishes to spend their money that
that they brought in $20,000 or so to put it in a conference room
somewhere else that a few people show up to once a month. I
mean we have to balance those things. We want to start out
simple and inexpensive and if the Tribe outgrows that -- outgrows
simple and inexpensive then it would be the time to consider
throwing down a larger amount of money to provide a better service,
uh, putting out a service that is, you know, a really nice service
for one or two people or many sometimes somebody doesn't even show
up to use that service, it would possibly be, and to tie up Tribal
assets that don't need to be tied up at this time.
I think we are ready for our next presenter of the Secondary Payer
Request discussion by -- who will presenting is Mark Johnston, our
Director of Health & Wellness. Mark?
Mark Johnston, Director of Health & Wellness
Center. Thanks, Wendell. Madame Chair, members of
Tribal Council, General Council, it's a pleasure to be here this
morning. I won't be taking much of your time this
morning. I've just got a quick presentation. I'm going
to talk to you today about the Secondary Payer Process. A lot
of you are familiar with that already. We've sent the surveys
out last October, I think it was, September. Quite a while
ago we sent the surveys out. We got about a thousand surveys
back. There's probably about 2600-2700 folks that still need
to return their survey. That survey is critical as we look at
ways to try and save money in the plan. And in considering
that, Council has determined that effective March 1, 2011, all
members who have not completed the survey, the Skookum Alternative
Resource survey, will not have their claims paid until the survey
is completed. So, when a claim comes in and you haven't --
you're not on record of having that survey completed Shasta will
notify you immediately, you'll be able to complete that survey over
the phone, you'll be able to complete it on line or you can have
one mailed to you and you can complete that and then send it
back. So, you'll have two or three different ways to complete
the survey as quickly as possible. Again, it's a short
survey. But why is this survey important? If you'll
take me to the next screen. I mean, just to give you a quick
example here. Let's say we've got a Tribal member who has
Skookum as the primary payer. What I mean is they don't have
another plan paying first. And they have a back surgery and
due to complications they remain in the hospital for 45 days.
The average cost to the Tribe, $250,000, and that's Tribal
Resources paying that $250,000. We take that example and have
that Tribal member has the same surgery and complications and
remains in the hospital again for the same 45 days but that member
has access to say their spouse's employer's insurance with a
maximum out-of-pocket of $5,000, the total cost to the Tribe then
is no more than $5,000. So, it's really important we get this
information back to see what insurances that members have access to
so that we can put a plan in place to try to help get members on
those plans first. So, that those plans pay first and your
Tribal money pays second. So, we can save millions of dollars
this way but we've got to get the information back for it.
So, I'm here today to ask you to help us and we -- we've got a
thousand surveys back but there's still a lot of them sitting out
there. So, encourage friends and family that you know that
haven't returned their survey to please do that as soon as possible
and so that we can put some plans in place to save you money.
With that do you have any questions?
We have a question over here.
Virginia Roof, #1607. Of the surveys that you did get
back there's a comment section on that. What were most of the
complaints or the comments that were (unintelligible)?
So, the -- the question was now on the survey there's a comment
section and what were most of the comments that we got back.
In answer to that is we haven't tabulated all of those yet. I
know Barb Mercier's been working on that. Just logging the
ones that we've received, uh, some of the comments that I just
initially saw, I think folks seem to be -- there's fear right now
of the folks thinking that by completing this survey or letting
folks know that they access to something else that they're going to
lose their Skookum and I need to make sure that people understand
that's not going to happen. Just because you have access to
something else doesn't mean you're going to lose Skookum. It
just means we're going to try to figure out a way to make that
insurance a first and your Skookum pay after that and save your
money. But that's -- that's what I've seen the most of.
People seem to be fearful of the process.
Ann Lewis, #3983. Mark?
What if the other insurance company refuses to pay? Is there
any assistance within our clinic that will help Tribal members
because it seems like my daughter hasn't gotten her -- her
insurance company refused to pay and she was just turned over to
collections because of it. So --
You know, is --
She doesn't know how -- she brought --
Is she --
She brought it -- yeah, she brought it in a little late. She
didn't know how to deal with it and then they're going to -- she's
now in collections over it.
So, if her -- if her insurance, a different insurance other than
Skookum, refused to pay?
Correct. And our insurance, you said -- said that if her
Her insurance won't pay?
Yeah. We -- Shasta can't help us with that and maybe know
it's (unintelligible) didn't know as well, uh, can coordinate with
those insurance to make sure that they pay when they're supposed to
pay. So, any time you have a situation or you can an EOB in
the mail, it's called an Explanation of Benefits, and it looks like
your primary payer is not paying correctly or they're not going to
pay at all then you need to get ahold of staff at the clinic, Jim
Holmes, Barb Mercier, Allyson LaCatses, myself, you can contact
Shasta, and we'll help you do the leg work to make sure that that
other insurance pays first. But you've got to catch it
early. The last thing you want to do is -- is, you know, not
see that and then suddenly it goes to collection. Once it
goes to collection it makes it more difficult.
Mark? Difficult but doable?
Once it's in collections? Uh, doable. If you're trying
to get that other insurance company to pay after it goes to
collections, uh, maybe. Sometimes not doable. Sometimes
it is. It's going to be dependent on how flexible the
Betty Bly, #3544. Mark, my questions is my son has
insurance through where he works but it has a really, really high
co-pay. So, if he uses his insurance first does he have to
pay this really high co-pay or does --
Co-pay or premium, Betty?
Uh, no, he doesn't have a premium.
So, there's no premium to have the insurance so when he goes to the
doctor he has a high co-pay?
And so what would happen in that case, uh, Skookum would come in
after the fact and pick up a percentage based on the
Okay. So, if he went to the doctor and -- I mean to the
hospital and his part that he would have to pay would be $5,000
then his insurance would pay for half of $5,000 what would Skookum
So, in that case you probably have a deductible.
Right. What would that pay?
Skookum would then come in and cover the cost that the other
insurance doesn't cover based on what you're eligible for
Skookum. You have deductibles for Skookum as well. So,
uh, you know, there's going to be cases just like you have now
where you have some out-of-pocket, unless you live in a
(unintelligible) and then you've got -- your next coverage, which
is Contract Health, covering a lot of your co-pays and
deductibles. So, if you move outside the system, folks a re
already paying some on the out of (unintelligible). In this
case, the -- the primary insurance would pay, there'd be a
deductible, and it then blows over to Skookum and so it would less
out-of-pocket in the interim for the member.
Now, you said once before that Skookum is paying the -- what --
what Medicare pays?
Uh, for members that live in the system, like they go to the
hospital we process those claims at what is called the
It's the legislation in 2006 that allows tribes to pay claims at
Medicare-like rates whether you're Medicare eligible or not.
Essentially all -- all the tribe are Medicare eligible for -- for
that type of rate.
I -- I noticed that the (unintelligible) when I did my -- my
surgery the neurologist was not happy with the amount of money that
he received and he told me do not make Medicare a primary
payer. So, uh, this kind of worries me because what if I need
to make an appointment with another neurologist. Does that
mean that --
Betty, are -- are you on Medicare or the --
Okay. So, that would have been the case either way.
Medicare would have paid first and then it would have -- your
surgeon would have had to accept that rate no matter which.
If he takes any Medicare clients he has to accept the Medicare
rates. And what I've heard a lot of the doctors say they're
not happy with that amount but that's what the federal government
says the Medicare rate is. So --
Now, the other thing is that -- if a person does have a premium for
their insurance you were talking about that before, are -- do you
pick up the premium for the -- for the insurance?
See that's what we need to figure out. We need to get all the
information back first to see what folks have available and then
try to put a plan in place so we get people on those -- those
coverages and if that involves picking up premiums that's certainly
going to be an option and I know -- I think -- we have some folks
that have access to other types of insurance that, you know,
$300-$400 a month and, you know, they pay $3,000 -- $3,000-$4,000 a
year for that insurance and then have no other costs for that
member for the rest of the year because that insurance picks up and
covers all the costs. So, you've got to look at each case on
a case-by-case basis and certainly reimbursing for premiums or
trying to pay those premiums straight to the insurance company is
something we're going to try to figure out a way to do
Okay. Thank you.
And ultimately the goal there is -- is if we look at something like
that and we want to make sure that any out-of-pocket expense to the
member is a short a time period as possible. S, if it comes
out of like your social security or retirement pension or something
like that we want to try to get that money back to the member as
soon as possible. But, again, we're not anywhere near that
yet. We're just trying to gather the information and see
Thank you, Mark.
Gladys Hobbs, #626. Hi. My name is Gladys Hobbs
and my role number is 626.
Oh. I'm sorry.
And as much as I know a lot of you, I don't know all of you.
So, I would please ask each and every person that speaks state your
name and roll number. If you don't have a roll number that's
okay, I don't care, but at least let us know who is talking.
Butch LaBonte, #347. What happens if I don't fill out
Well, what is your primary (unintelligible)?
Medicare is my primary program. It sounded like you said
though if I don't fill it out my paper -- or my survey I'll be
That's -- that's a good question, Butch. So, the folks that
are being required to fill out their survey right now and the folks
that don't have an alternate resource already, you have Medicare
and it's considered an alternate resource. So, everybody
that's already being coordinated with some other alternate resource
is not required to fill it out and is not going to get their claims
paid. But, Butch, what I want to ask you though, I think it's
important to point out -- Anna, do you mind if I --
-- use you as an example? Anna has access to retirement
insurance and that retirement insurance would cost her about $340 a
month. Now she's got Medicare already so she's Medicare
primary. So, really she doesn't need to fill out the survey
because she already has an alternate resource, but Medicare doesn't
always covered everything. So, I think it would be important
for all of our Medicare seniors if they have the time to fill out
the survey because they may have access to something and in Anna
case, you know, if we can figure out a way to get her reimbursed
for that $300 it could save the Tribe thousands and thousands of
dollars a year. That won't be the exact amount but -- but --
so there's opportunities for you to help us -- help -- help, you
know, you essentially to take a look if there's something out there
that you might have access to then I'd -- then I'd ask you kindly
to fill out the survey.
I think Patsy filled it out for, uh -- what is that, AARP? I
think that's only like $100 a month. That would be the
Good. Thanks, Butch.
Andy Jenness, #1936. Can you get the -- is it on the
Yeah. It's just on the Tribal website. It's the survey
you go first page and then there's a little link that says link to
Secondary Payer Survey.
Okay. Secondary Payer Survey.
And I thought this was going to be a short presentation.
Virginia Roof, #1607. Just one more thing. This
is the -- we were promised, uh, in the treaty, we didn't have
to fill out no survey that we are looking for health care.
That the Federal government is not fulfilling
(unintelligible). I don't think. Do you?
Just a comment on that. Virginia's comments was about the
treaty obligation that the government made with our -- with our
tribes back in the 1850's and were to provide us with medical care,
would provide us with health care, physicians, nurses, that kind of
thing. And the federal government does supply us with dollars
through the Indian Health Service that operate our clinic and then
Contract Health Care dollars for our members who live in certain --
in a certain (unintelligible) area. So, that's -- there are
(unintelligible) don't believe it's enough. I firmly believe
that they should be paying for all of our care and not just for
(unintelligible) or in certain cases. The dollars that we're
talking about that are spent for paying for what we call health
security are gaming dollars. It's the largest expense that
the Tribe does have and so the health department is trying to
figure out how can we make sure that services are provided at a,
perhaps, lesser cost and the attempt is really if our members do
have insurances or other resources that would pay for their health
care to tape into them and use them before the Tribal dollar --
Tribal gaming dollar is used. So, yeah, it -- I -- I agree
with you, Virginia, that the -- that the government is not living
up to its full responsibility and that is ongoing. Kathy?
Yeah. I agree too. Let me just say this, Virginia, and
to the rest of the membership that every time we go back to D.C. we
remind them that we've already prepaid for our insurance. We
let them know that we prepaid all of our lands, all of resources,
and all the things that were taken from us and that was set out in
the treaties. We remind them. We're probably -- we are
the -- the most unfunded group of people within the federal
government, underfunded. And so with being underfunded all
the time we have to make that up to meet the Tribal membership's
needs because all -- all that they do give us it's not
enough. So, I just want you to know that that is something
that we continue to fight in D.C. that they need to stand up and do
the right thing by us because we've already paid for health
insurance, education and housing.
Right. Is the -- is the reason that we're health -- or the
$24 million -- what percentage of the $24 million that goes out,
uh, in health care goes into referrals? Why -- I'm -- I'm
thinking that we should start back at the quality of health care
were getting. Nine times out of ten we have to go t o an
outside provider and that costs a lot of money. Why is that
and who does the hiring and what are the qualifications and why
don't -- is the money not there for qualified positions and optical
and all that? We -- we just need to really look into it like
classes for -- for (unintelligible) class because I have to
(unintelligible). Oh, I have for this year and every year I
have to pay for that and mine and it's costs, an average, $7.00 to
send one box of (unintelligible) back every time. That was
(unintelligible) when you could get a qualified person who -- who
would (unintelligible). We just -- everybody's just jumping
over what we're able to look at to save money and especially in
It's the -- the plan being $1.00 and the responsibility of Federal
government to (unintelligible) when you're talking about quality
care. And I'm assuming that (unintelligible) first of all on
Cheryle's comments to the treaty allegations is it fair that this
should be happening? Absolutely not. It's not
fair. It shouldn't be happening. You should not have to
fill out the survey. I shouldn't be standing here telling
you. The Federal government owes that to you but they have
not fulfilled that obligation. Not even close. You get
$1.6 million a year from Contract Health. That's the Federal
government's version of fulfilling that obligation. Do you
know how much money the Tribe adds to that? $20 million a
year. You need about $22 million a year to meet that
obligation and the federal government gives you $1.6. So,
it's not fair. You're right. Sadly though it's where
we're at. Well, what we're hoping to do is put a plan in
place that doesn't have an adverse affect on you. It doesn't
cost you money out of pocket. It just (unintelligible) on
somebody else to pay so t hat we spend less of your money.
Because ultimately it's your money. It should be in your
pocket. Not somebody else's pocket. So, that's our goal
is to try to save more of your money. And as far a quality of
care, uh, at the clinic, uh, I certainly understand what you're
talking -- you have some specific issues related to
optometry. We can sit down --
Optometry, dental, medical. One -- one instance of -- my
niece went in for a simple vaccination. They gave her a -- a
mixture and in it was one of the vaccinations that she had already
had and they gave it to her anyway. She had a seizure.
An ambulance had to be called. They did it again with my
nephew. They had to do CPR on him. And then they were
going to do it a third time with the brand new baby and Kelsey had
her notes, out of all the (unintelligible) records, and stopped
them and told them not to do that and they (unintelligible).
Simple as that. Dental. I went in there for something
simple. They couldn't do it. And I've got denied -- I
have to pay $800 bucks out of my own pocket because the Tribe
denied paying for it but our Tribe couldn't do it. What's up
with all that? And does anybody else have any complaints or
anything that they've gone through with their dental, medical,
optical, behavioral health? No?
Many people have but this is just a little bit of (unintelligible)
and I could go on with more.
Bryan Mercier, #1357. So -- so actually I kind of
(unintelligible) for me to get back on the subject of this -- the
survey a little bit and, you know, I will just to share my
experience my example because I think that -- that the
(unintelligible) that would be (unintelligible) people and
stuff. So, when Mark first started out on this three or four
years ago I told them that even though I'm a federal employee and I
have access to federal insurance, I wasn't getting that insurance
because the Tribe was paying for everything and for me personally
it would be cheaper to have the Tribe pay for everything than me to
pay $300 a month to get my federal insurance. And, you know,
Mark and I had lots of conversations about it and he convinced me
that this (unintelligible). I have decided to save the Tribe,
you'all, being included and that's fine, lots of money by going
ahead and chipping in my own money towards my federal
insurance. So, just for example, I have a bad back so I get
chiropractic care about 20 times a year. The Tribe was paying
for that. They were probably paying $500 a visit. So,
they were paying $10,000 a year of my chiropractic care. Now
my primary insurance pays for it. The Tribe pays the
difference between the deductibles and my primary insurance is
about $30 a visit, the Tribe pays $10 bucks. So, they're
actually getting $20.00. So, I'm still only paying $10
out-of-pocket and we're -- so it's costing us like $10,000 to the
Tribe, it's costing about $800 to the Tribe a year to my
care. And if we all did that, so those 2,600 people that
haven't filled out the survey, if they all made that contribution
to us as a people imagine how we could draw that 20 in to 15 or 10
then -- so that in 20 per year, my son and my grandchildren, if I
have more grandchildren, will still have a Skookum around because
if health care costs continue to go the way they're going, it's
going to be $30 million in 10 years. It's going to be $40
million in 20 years and we're going to run out of money to pay for
all this insurance, this out-of-pocket stuff. So, please fill
out the survey because it's in our Tribal (unintelligible) to do
And I'll -- if anybody wants to talk to me individually about
issues regarding qualities of care or access to care at the
clinic and let us know and any other comments brought up that, you
know, pertain specifically to folks. So, it may not be the
best venue in talking individually about those kinds of things but,
again, I'd be more than willing to sit down with you in some of the
stuff I hadn't -- I'm not aware of. So --
I took it to Chris, Jack, Steve, Wink and --
No. I don't remember.
You don't remember? (Laughter)
So, I'd -- I'd love to have the opportunity to work on these
I'm surprised you haven't heard anything about them.
Ann Lewis, #3983. Mark, I -- Mark? Okay. I
have to agree with Virginia. I would like to go the clinic
and -- and I used to -- I used to drive all the way over here to go
to the clinic from Southern Oregon but last year or the year before
last, I actually had a cracked molar. I went to the clinic
three times and got three separate diagnosis. They actually
(unintelligible) on that molar that was cracked. And finally
they sent me to another doctor because I kept telling them my molar
is cracked. I even told them what it was. And I went to
them again and they said you've got a cracked molar I have to
distract it. I can't even save it. So, I've gone
through that and it's just pretty horrible but I'm afraid to go to
the dentist now because after being there. Doesn't that scare
you that it --
Well -- well, what -- yeah, actually that scares me but I also
thought it was kind of -- I'd love to have the
opportunity to fix these things but to present them to me here and
then ask me to solve them standing here is a little unrealistic,
you know, to me.
Well, I -- what we'd like to see is maybe look into it and so that
we can feel comfortable going to (unintelligible) because I would
-- I would go to our clinic before I went to any other doctor.
Well, one of the things, I think, that's really important, at least
in here are there -- there are comment boxes over there at the
clinic and there is a box for Tribal Council concerns that -- I
think that every one of the Departments need to have a comment
place that would go directly to you, Mark, on concerns and
complaints that you have.
It's scary that you don't know everything that is going on and it
has been going on for years. You -- you have --
I'm surprised you haven't talked with me about that. I mean
I'm surprised you haven't talked with me about them.
I'm surprised you don't know about it.
Do you have anything else about, uh --
No. That's all I have.
All right. Thank you, Mark. (Applause) We're at
announcements and the next General Council meeting is scheduled for
Sunday, February 6th at the Tribal Community Center at
11:00 a.m. in Grand Ronde. I also have another announcement
for those folks who have attended any of the Spirit Mountain
Gaming, Inc. board meetings. We had a member who had worked
for the Tribe for many, many years and who was in charge of, I
believe, security. His name is Bruce Lattin and -- and it's
very sad to report that he passed away on Friday. Bruce was a
very good friend to the Tribe and took his job very seriously and I
just want to acknowledge his passing and I feel that we really lost
a very good friend, somebody who gave us a lot of information and
helped us to -- to achieve what we have. So, I wanted to
mention Bruce's passing to those who might have met him or knew
I also want to make a presentation at this time and it's -- I would
ask Rodney Ferguson, who is our CEO at the -- at the casino to come
forward. (Pause) This is a certificate of recognition
for the work that Rodney has done. He's been with us for two
years, a little bit more than that right now, but from the Tribal
Council, Rodney, thank you.
Thank you. (Applause)
Thanks for coming to the meeting, Rodney, and being
available. Do we have any other announcements? I just
got a note that it's snowing. We'll go ahead and move on to
the door prizes. We'll go ahead and turn that over to
Lauri Smith who will conduct the -- the door prizes. And just
to remind all the elders, the elders' election are taking place as
you walk in the door there so if you've voted please do
And actually, Cheryl, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind
people that we are all Oregonians and tomorrow one of the biggest
dates in the history of our State will be taking place when the
Oregon Ducks play for the National Championship so --
You're breaking up. You're breaking up. (Laughter)
So, we want to get all the Oregonians to support your state.
That's all. (Applause/Laughter)
What time do we (unintelligible)? (Laughter)
Lauri Smith, Tribal Council Senior Administrative
Assistant. For our first $50 I'll read the four numbers
that's on the ticket. 9491. 9491.
Oh, Dorothy. Yeah, Dorothy.
Dorothy Leno is our first winner. (Applause) 9495 for
$50. Janet Billy is the winner of our second $50. For
our third $50, 9455.
Oh, that's me. I'm going to donate it to the Elders
Kathleen Tom is the winner of our third $50. (Applause)
For our $100, 9458. That's 9458. Our winner is
What is -- JJ what is your last name?
Thank you. Congratulations. Well, congratulations to
all the winners of the -- of the drawing today. At this time
we are now ready to give the results on the election. So, we
will -- oh, okay. Wink, go ahead.
I would just like to remind people maybe you don't know but Kathy
Cole over at the -- the Immersion Progam, she collects Campbell
Soup coupons and then they trade them in and they get so
(unintelligible) and they have no funding for that so the only way
they have to get money is to -- to do the fundraising like that and
so save them, bring them in. If you have no place else to
leave them, leave them in the (unintelligible), but we've got an --
a building without a -- a reception desk, they've got a big box
there that we took the medicals over by there, so -- if you're
going to throw them away anyway, you might as well bring them
Thank you, Wink. Reyn?
Yeah. I'd just like to say, uh, last Friday we were notified
by the chairman of the board down at the casino that we lost one of
our board members, uh, by the name of Bruce Lattin. I don't
know how many of you knew Bruce but Bruce was for years the head of
our security at the casino, I believe, when it first started.
And then he actually retired and then he came back to serve on the
board of directors down there. So, I thought it was
appropriate and, I don't know, Bruce was always one of them guys I
think that really -- the Tribe owes (unintelligible) and it wasn't
about the money for him that he come out of retirement and
stuff. I believe Bruce was a dedicated person here and it
wasn't ever about, you know, I know so much and you guys know so
little, it was more of, you know, I know a lot and I'd like to
really help you guys out. I know that many of you knew him
but what I had felt was appropriate and I don't know when the
service is but I'm sure the Tribe will be --
I believe it -- I guess it is Thursday but I don't know the details
Thank you, Reyn. Well, yeah, we'll probably send a notice out
for those who would like to attend the services. We are --
it's about 12:00 so we will -- and I just want to ask everyone, is
there Other Business? We will -- well, all I'm asking about
is that we'll go ahead and take our lunch break and we'll come back
to Other Business, if there is Other Business.
And there is. Okay. I know that Gloria, when she did
the invocation she already blessed the food. So, thank you
for doing that, Gloria. We will go ahead and take our lunch
break and have a little social time. Thank you.
(OFF THE RECORD)
Okay. We'll resume our meeting and it is past 12:30 so I'm
going to ask if the Elders Committee would come forward and let us
know of what the outcome of elections were. Penny?
Penny DeLoe, Election Board Chair. Okay. We had
the vote and Gladys Hobbs, Julie Duncan and Duane Wheeler will be
the three that will be on the Elders Committee.
All right. Well, congratulations. I know that there is
always something going on with the Elders Committee so there's lots
of work to be done. And thank you all for the elders who
voted to make (unintelligible) the Elders Committee gets the
attention it needs. So, we will go ahead and I'll open the
floor to Other Business. I just want to make mention that I
-- the biggest news that was recorded yesterday was
(unintelligible) shooting of a senator from the state of Arizona
and it doesn't seem like they really know what the basis for the
shooting was but there were a lot of people who were killed and
then many were injured and, you know, I just know that people have
sometimes some pent up emotional issues and we have General Council
meetings here and it's really a forum to provide your opinion
from the general membership. So, I -- I do say this
that it's a very sad thing that happened in terms of officials who
are elected by their people to do a job and then things turn out
sad like this. So, my condolences to the state of Arizona and
to the families that were affected, but with that I will go ahead
and open the floor to Other Business. When you -- when you
have -- provide your comment or opinion, please come to the mic and
identify yourself by your name and your roll number and to be
respectful of yourself, to be respectful of the Tribal members who
are here and the governing body, the Tribal Council, who has been
elected by the people to provide the services and make decisions on
their behalf. We also want to ask that you be considerate of
the time constraint so that all members who wish to speak does have
time to do so. So, with that I will open the floor.
Brenda Gray, #339. My question was about the
budget. You know, I heard a few of you guys say that you guys
are, what, over -- it was saying in the paper that you guys have
cut, but, you know, by the budget in the paper, you guys are over
that amount by 11.9 and then after you guys worked it, it's just
about 5 percent. So, I guess my question is you guys keep
saying you're under but you guys are over and that's for you guys
to provide your -- I guess your travel or funding and stuff like
that. So, that's my question.
Question. There are budget people here. We don't have
that information before us here. So, does Rick or Jodie
someone have that information?
Rick Andersen, Acting Finance Officer. Yeah, I think
what that question was referring to was the preliminary budget that
was published, uh, after the -- the budget hearing and that was
right with -- at that point in time Council was -- our budget was
kind of in comparison to 2010. It was increased by 11
Thank you, Rick. Do you have another question or comment,
No. That was it but are you guys have an answer for me or
Well, he-- he just answered that it was 11 percent under the 2010
Okay. But I know it's still for now but that's another
question. You guys keep saying you're cutting and I don't
know where you're cutting.
I don't know what information you're referring to, Brenda, but our
Finance Officer has responded and that's my understanding as
Violet Folden, #625. I'm -- I'm up here to kind of
complain a little bit. We'd come over here to work in the
kitchen with the guys today, to help serve the meal, make coffee
and what have you and I have never seen that kitchen like it is
right now. It is terrible. I cannot understand.
Whoever used it last night left burnt pots, there's dirty dishes
all over back there, and it is just a mess in that kitchen.
And it wasn't the elders that done it nor the cooks. It was
there when we got there and I just -- I don't understand how people
can do that. I know when the elders was up here that kitchen
was always clean and now it looks like a pig pen. That's not
nice. Thank you.
Thank you, Violet. Do you want to -- do you want to make a
comment about that, Chris? I know you have staff who either
-- either let out or rent or whatever it's called, to members and
what some of the requirements are.
Chris Leno, Executive Officer. Yeah. We, uh --
the Community Center is available for community -- community
rental. I guess, I -- I don't know they charge. I think
it used to $50 or to fill out a facility use agreement. I
don't know of any events that took place in here last night but
we'll have to look into that and find out why it was left that way
or whoever did that (unintelligible) earlier in the week or some
other time since that's been used. So, we'll look into that,
Thank you, Chris.
Richard Ray, #1976. First off I'd like to apologize to
Cheryle for being obnoxious at the last meeting and a little
verbal. I have two points I'd like to bring up. I'd
like hands from the people to vote, whether we could do it together
or separately, on the $150,000 glorified secretary position and the
funding for t he Portland museum. That's been
(unintelligible) back to the (unintelligible) of the people coming
back from the budget.
You're -- you're requesting that the people, that a advisory vote
be made from the members on those two particular issues?
Thank you. Kathy?
Kathleen Tom, TCM. Richard, you're talking about the
chief-of-staff not the secretary position?
The chief-of-staff and then the --
The chief-of-staff and then the funds --
-- for the museum.
And you're asking for an advisory vote?
Because that's the --
I think it should be brought out to the -- to the general
population for a vote on that at this time.
I see. And so take that to the general membership?
I think you need to include the 45 percent per capita there
No, I don't think we can afford the 45 per capita right now.
We're enough in the hole.
Richard, we can go ahead and we need to talk with Finance about
getting that out for all the membership to -- to present, you know,
their opinion on it but yeah.
You're welcome. And -- and I accept your -- your apology.
I didn't take it personal. I know that it's a situation
where there's high emotions. Betty?
Betty Bly, #3544. I thought you were going to take a
No, it's -- it's for the general members is the request that I
heard. So, that's a way that we can go ahead and present that
to the members is through the Tilxam Wawa to see what they have to
Okay. I would like to ask Rodney how our casino's been doing
in the last, uh, oh, since New Years? I've seen the parking
lot has been super full. I went in there and it's been very,
very crowded and are the revenues really big?
Rodney Ferguson, SMC CEO. Yes. And actually,
Betty, uh, so far this year they're been running really well.
Actually our coin-in numbers, uh, compared to right at the end
pretty much are equal. So, it's what we expected to be
(unintelligible) information doing an update back in September, we
saw the decline really start in 2009, end of the year, as well as
into the first part of 2010. So, now we're talking 2010-2011
where the figures are flat or beginning to stabilize where we were
last year at this time. So, we are -- we're actually looking
pretty good. Last month we did actually better than we did
last year. So, things are looking positive for
That's wonderful. You know, I kind of miss, uh, our curator,
Siobhan. I guess she's not here right now. When she is
you could add in -- she could tell us that our glass wasn't half
empty, that it was half full, and she used to give us a boost and
tell us how lucky we are and how we were number one on the west
coast and that a lot of other nice things that help us. And I
think that that should happen again. I think we should be
reminded all the time about how we're number one and how we have
the most successful casino and we're the most successful
tribe. And I also think that the gloom and doom about a
casino going in north of Portland should not be emphasized so
much. Remember when we thought the casino was going to go in
in the Gorge and everybody was all upset and we spent so much money
and we spent so much time worrying over that. Well, this one
that's supposedly -- supposed to go in north of Portland to me I
don't think it will materialize. I really don't. And I
don't think people should get that hyped up about it and do what we
can to -- to not let it happen but even a more optimistic attitude,
have an optimistic attitude all the time about our -- our tribe,
about our people and how we're number one and we're going to stay
number one, our casino is going to stay number one and we, as a
people, are going to stay number one. Did you have any --
Well, I -- I just want to comment, Betty. I -- I agree with
you. I believe that many things happen because of the way
that we position ourselves internally, whether -- whether we -- a
defeat will come or success will come. So, I -- I appreciate
your -- your comments. Jack?
Jack Giffen, Jr., TCM. Yeah. Betty, I -- I agree
with you in -- in one aspect. I do agree with you in the
aspect that any time you let a tribe come into your ceded lands and
make claims, whether they have a casino or not, you're giving up
the -- the historical cultural sites and stuff to that tribe and I
will never do that. I will never give up our ancestor's
remains or their -- the authority to take care of those remains if
they're exposed or protect them. I -- I will never do
that. And that's one of the main points why I get excited
when I hear there -- the Gorge casino might come back or anything
Steve Bobb, Sr., TCM. And a lot of the reason -- you
said that you don't believe that it would materialize. Well,
a lot of the reason for that is because a lot of hard work that
Tribal Council members have made back in D.C. is talking about just
exactly the things that Jack is referring to. And our legal
staff, the work that they've done to hold these things off, that is
another good reason they will not materialize because they're wrong
and people coming into our ceding lands and taking part of our --
our market and we have to battle these things and that's the reason
that it may not materialize is because of the hard work that all
these people have put in to stop that. And you're probably
right it might not materialize but that's the reason why.
Well, I would just like to see a little more optimistic attitude
coming out of our Council about these things because when we hear
this (unintelligible) coming from our leaders then that leaves the
membership depressed and we don't want to be depressed. We
want to feel optimistic. We want to be -- be uplifted and you
are the people that can do it and that's just how I feel is -- like
you're saying it's an important -- an important thing and -- and
that you need to remind us more and more that our cup is half full
and not half empty.
Thank you, Betty.
I -- I think, Betty, that our view is optimistic, whether we were
-- if -- if we wouldn't have been advising and telling people about
what was going on or -- or we thought they had that casino in there
a couple years ago because there would have been nothing to stop
them. So, that way we had it figured that they would have
taken 50 percent of our income and so let's say that's $45 million
a year, that would have been $90 million if we would just by
fighting it saved. As it is now that the casino they say it's
going to go in up there, there's litigation that's got to go on and
the longer we fight it the more money we're saving ourselves and
going on with it. And you might be right, maybe it will never
happen but the money's got to be put out to fight it to make sure
it doesn't happen. And so that's optimistic to me because I
know it's not going to be here for awhile.
Yeah. Well, I always think we do have something in our cup
because at one time we didn't have nothing in our cup but a
cemetery. We didn't even have a name of a tribe which we
could claim. So, I would believe there's always something in
our cup. But as far as whether there's doom and gloom there
ain't much doom and gloom on Council as far as just -- it's kind of
like the health care. We shouldn't have to be dealing with
this issue but we're going to have to deal with this issue and it's
kind of like a roller coaster ride. One time one day you
think you're in a good position and then you hear something else
and you're not in a good position. They put a lot of time and
effort into what they're doing. It's just not a thing that
they're just saying. They put money into it. So,
hopefully we will state our case. We've kind of made a circle
with this whole thing. So, we'll just come back and -- and
we'll do that but I think the thing that's -- that's going to have
to be looked at by Council is to look at how (unintelligible) long
term whatever you've committed to today are we going to be in the
same position four years from now to take that commitment on and
pay that commitment? Them are the things that Council is
going to have to look at from here out until this thing is
decided. So, we do have to be very cautious but like I said,
I -- I think we should always be thankful for what -- everything
that we have. I've always said that we survived 30 years of
termination, there ain't nothing we can't survive out there.
So, I don't -- I believe that we'll fight it and we'll be
successful but it's really not doom and gloom. It's more of
something I feel we shouldn't really have to deal with but we
Start Diskette 2
Well, I guess I say doom and gloom because you hear that the casino
profits are down so therefore our per capita is down and we can't
fully fund our budget, we can't fully fund some of our programs and
-- and I -- it might be (unintelligible). Maybe what I've
explained right now do you know when things are going to get
better, the economy is going to get better and we're going to have
more and more people come in through those casino doors and they're
going to spend big money and then our -- our per capita is going to
go back up to $6,000 a year. That's what I want to
hear. And -- and all of our programs are going to be funded
and they're going to be well funded. And I don't want to be
sitting here thinking our per capita is going to go down and down
and down and down until there's nothing and that we're not -- not
going to have enough money to pay for our health care. I want
to -- I want to optimistic and think that -- that we're going to be
-- we're going to be successful in what we're doing and things are
going to be there for our great grandchildren -- our grandchildren
and our great grandchildren so that, you know, we can be rely on
Betty, your -- your time is up. You can get back in line
Jolanda Catabay, #3524. I want to say a little bit on
-- on kind of what she's saying although with a correction.
Obviously with the casino goings on in Washington, you know,
something that we have to think about and we just went through and
the issue in east Portland where someone -- it sounds like parties
are interested in trying to (unintelligible) that. To me it
sounds inevitable that there's going to be a casino of some sort in
the metropolitan area in Portland. I'm wondering if Council
-- and I know I had heard this was working with some of the other
tribes in the state of Oregon to try to pull rank on that.
I'm just wondering has there been more effort to -- to have a
(unintelligible) and if not why not and (unintelligible)?
Well, certainly these issues have been talked about for at least
the last 12 years, possibly longer -- longer than that when
off-reservation gaming, uh, the Tribe took a position back in, I
believe it was 1999, that off-reservation was not good for Oregon
and it took many, many meetings because of that other tribes don't
agree with that, many don't. But as we continue to fight our
fight there are many more tribes who agree with us and I know that
I testified at a couple of hearings this last year and Reyn
testified in -- I think Vegas was the last one and finally other
tribes, it's about half and half, and it used to be we were the
only tribe saying that, no other tribe, and we'd just get booed out
of the room but now half of the tribes are saying, hey, that makes
a lot of sense. Yeah. We have boundaries. We as
tribes, even 200 years ago, if someone entered in our territory and
they were not invited in and tried to set up their camp we went to
war. The same thing happens today. So, uh, the -- we
believe that as more education is imparted that other tribes, as
well as governments see. Well, that makes a lot of sense.
But you're right, the temptation is too great for speculators
to ignore the cash revenues that could flow if there were some
being placed right there in Portland. It's just too
tempting. And so our -- our discussions have focused on what
are we going to do to do this and, of course, one of our strategies
was to maintain Spirit Mountain. We've continually said
that. Maintain Spirit Mountain. Keep that provision
where it's one casino per tribe on reservation land. Keep
that there as long as we can. Of course, when you push past
that, which we've seen now, that's what we're seeing, after many,
many years of fighting this, we're seeing the exceptions being made
and we're going to demand not only is the exception for a few
choice tribes but it should apply to us and we will move and do
everything that we can to make sure that there's honesty and
there's integrity in the process and that it isn't simply choosing
so and so as the chosen one and the rest of you guys you just keep
pressing your nose up against that face, against that glass to
wish, we're not (unintelligible) in doing that. And I think
that as far as the capability of the Tribal Council to continue to
press that issue we will do it vigorously and with as much
expertise and, you know, the only real sad thing about all this
that -- that gets me is how many scholarships are we foregoing
because now we have to use these funds to fight these kind of
battles. How many of our children do need clothes that
through our clothing allowance that we will not be able to put
shoes on their feet. How many -- how is our meal site going
to suffer? How is health care -- we're talking about how we
can get more bang for our buck by using other resources for our
health care. How many people will have to go without care
because we have to do this? So, you know, while I -- I
appreciate the sentiments that we need to be optimistic because I
am. I know that we will prevail. I know that. And
as far as our Council and we talked a week or so ago my -- my
beginning remarks were clearly let's not lose heart. Let's
keep focused. We will prevail because I'm a believer that
when you are doing the right thing you will prevail. We're
not out trying to get something that isn't ours. I don't
think any of us were raised like that. I know my roots are
all grounded here and the teaching and belief is you fight for what
is yours but you be respectful of what else is someone else's and
you don't go in there and try to take it. And that's what we
stand for today. So, being optimistic? Yes, I am.
I know that in the end this tribe will prevail and that the -- the
future of our children will be good. Now if there's some --
some upturns and some curves along the way we'll deal with them but
I -- I do believe that in terms of being transparent to the
membership that you need to know that there are battles there and
we are going to go forward and do all that we can and it may mean
sacrifices. We don't like to do that. None of you like
to deprive your children of something that you have -- had within
your means to give it to them and that's the same way I believe
everyone of us sit here today and look at all of our members
because the thing about us, we are all related. So, when I
talk about using money I'm not just thinking, oh, it's some big pot
of money out over here, I know what it goes for. So, I -- I
appreciate your -- your concern. And the independent parties
that try to start these casinos they're not going to stop. If
you knew that you were going to put millions of dollars in your
pocket you wouldn't stop and that's -- that's the thing
there. So, we're -- we're ready to take -- take this
Yeah. We'd like to make assurance to everybody. I have
-- I have the honor of working with these people each and every day
and I'm very proud to say that, you know, we have different views
of how we want to get to a goal but the goal is to keep Grand Ronde
strong and that -- and that's exactly what we're going to do.
And like Cheryle says a market like that if you get a chance to
make millions of dollars you're going to keep coming after it and
be heard. It's even the same people that try to get the --
the dog track. We'll probably see them again and they're
going to continue to come at us but we're going to work together to
keep Grand Ronde strong. That's why we was put here.
We're not here because of money or making money or thinking that
we're -- that we're privileged in any way. We're here because
we have that small belief that in some little way we can better the
community and the people that we love here. That's what we're
here to do and that's what we're going to do and when people out
there when they believe that we're at our weakest we're going to be
at our strongest because we're going to stand together committed to
You're welcome. Gladys?
Gladys Hobbs, #626. First of all I'd like to thank
everybody for voting for me. And (unintelligible) although I
understand it's right in this area. Salem doesn't have snow
and Mac doesn't have snow. We're the lucky ones. I just
wanted to remind I just want to remind everybody and I know I was
listening to them talking today, our Skookum plan is not an
insurance plan. There's nothing about insurance involved
there at all. The only thing they do is pay. And every
penny that they pay out comes out of your pocket. It comes
out of the Tribal funds. It does not come from some place
else. We do get some funds from the federal government but to
be honest the bulk of it doesn't come out of your own pocket.
So, when you think of the Skookum plan don't think of it in terms
of being insurance because it's not. There's nothing there
that says insurance. Another thing I wanted to say is, you
know, I think the Tribe -- the Tribal members need to be the
cheerleaders. We're the ones that need to get up and say
we're doing fantastic job and we're going to continue to do our
best, a fantastic job. We do have bumps in the road but in
your own personal life there's bumps in the road but you just pick
yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep going. So, we need
to be-- and on that note I'd just like to say something came to my
attention recently about a Facebook posting that is very negative
to the Tribe. I didn't happen to see it but it doesn't
matter. It's just simply the fact that when you put something
on the internet someone else is going to jump on it and they're
going to jump on the negative side. I don't know whether it's
human nature, I don't know what it is, but it's caused suicides and
everything else. So, I don't know if it was young kids or
whoever gets on Facebook, I'm not a Facebook person, I'm not that
computer savvy, be careful what you say because someone is going to
take it and run with it and make something negative of it. I
wish they were more positive. Are we going to have a summit
on our budget this year? I haven't heard anything.
People keep asking what the budget is for the elders this year and
it's like, I don't know --
Is -- is your question about the committee funds and the committee
The committee summit.
Yes. We have a date. February?
February the 9th. We know that there were
invitations that are being sent out to all the committee members
with a date and time and all of that.
In the meantime can you call and get a difference or
anything? I was told you could.
Yes. Yes, you can. Call the finance office.
Okay. Fine. And the last thing I wanted to bring up is
for the elders, it's an FYI for people who want to go, tomorrow at
11:00 the elders are going to do a no-host lunch at Lee's Chinese
Restaurant in Lincoln City. There's just a bunch of people
that are going to get together, drive themselves over, pay for
their own lunch and just have a good time. So, anybody that
wants to go they can get ahold of me, they can get ahold of Sherry,
Violet, Brenda LaChance, anybody but we're going to go over to
Lincoln City to Lee's. And if you don't know where it's at,
it's across from the -- I think it's called D Lake Wayside but it's
very close to where they fly the kites. Anyway, we're
going to be there. Thank you.
Thank you, Gladys.
I said thank you.
I -- I did want to say something too, Gladys. Congratulations
to all the elders who got re-elected or elected. You know,
the elders do so much and with so little and do such a great job
and a lot of their time is volunteering and doing things like bake
sales and such and you're just really an inspiration for other
committee members -- or other committees to do the same
thing. So, I just wanted to say that.
Thank you. I have to tell everybody else congratulations too
and to remind them that they better -- if they don't have any
you're going to have to go out and buy them you're going to need
roller skates. Thank you.
Andy Jenness, #1936. In the last couple meetings and
this is when I heard about the question of the advisory votes or
people calling for advisory votes and my question to Council is
there's a lot of issues that come across your table and, you know,
many of those issues that the Tribal membership have opinion on how
are you determining or is there criteria set or are you going to
set criteria for what -- which of those issues goes out for a
advisory vote? Is there a certain dollar threshold? Is
there a number of Tribal members that it affects threshold?
Because otherwise, you know, it's just people standing up saying I
want an advisory vote. Well, that's going to -- you're going
to spend a lot of time and a lot of money for advisory votes just
because one members stands up and says I want an advisory
vote. So, is that process in place or is there going to be
criteria developed for how you determine when an advisory vote is
There -- there is not criteria for determining which ones
will be sent out to all the members, which is why I mentioned we
have to talk. You know, a possible way would be through the
Tilxam Wawa because that's for Tribal members only and you have to
see what time that next edition is going out and -- and that kind
of thing to -- and then the return of the vote itself. So,
that's what we have to look at. We don't know that -- we
don't have that information before for us right now so many other
parties which ones would be selected? Uh, generally if there
were -- I mean sometimes there have been gathering like this, which
we see today is pretty sparse, because we know that the weather
conditions aren't conducive for a lot of our members to be
here. We can take a show of hands here. In random
sampling I've -- you know, I'm not real sure what kind of validity
that might mean to have 30 or 40 adults.
Is that representative of the -- of the membership or not? I
don't know. Someone could probably sit down and figure that
out if we're -- but, no, we don't have policy about that and we
will go ahead and take this back and talk about whether, you know,
we will, in fact, be able to do this but I -- I'm agreeable that
the membership does need to -- to keep us informed of what the
concerns might be and -- and short of that, uh, that would be the
only way that we know, from our Tribal Council meetings, from our
General Council meeting, of course, we're members as well and we
have families who tell us, well, why aren't you doing this and why
aren't you -- you know, why don't you do all these other things as
well. So -- so our temperature -- or our thermometer is, you
know, always out there giving us input but to answer your question,
no, we do not but I do think that it is probably something that
should be considered under the General Council Ordinance. Of
course, we have the two powers, referendum petition recall and I
would say that the advisory vote is somewhere in there because the
General Council Ordinance does say the general membership is
advisory to the Tribal Council. Wink?
Wink Soderberg, TCM. Thanks, Andy, for bringing that
up. That's been a subject that I've worried about quite a bit
and spoke out on quite a bit. It could be potentially
dangerous because we could bring the whole system down if you use
it all the time. If you've got a vote that passes and then
somebody doesn't agree with it and -- and they get opposition to
it, uh, it doesn't work right. And I -- the last time we had
one I was the one that was really the -- the most against it but I
-- when after it passed I switched over and -- and joined the
hoard. So, I'm -- I'm willing to do whatever the -- the
membership says because that's their wish but I think that this
could be very interesting now what we decide on how that vote is
going to be -- how that decision is going to be made and it's --
you really happened to read my mind a lot so but thank
Just to add to that, yeah, I'm not all for the people having a
voice and I appreciate that this subject should be brought
up. I just want to encourage the Council to think about how
we do this and why we do it and make sure that there are certain
criteria set that when an issue rising to the level of needing an
advisory vote before we just take an advisory votes on everything
because obviously if that were the case the government processes
would, you know, screech to a halt. So, that was one
issue. The other issue that I had was on a budget -- a budget
question and that was I know they have -- we have a number of
Tribal businesses, the casino being one of them, the other Tribal
businesses that we have, uh, I haven't seen a report, are those
profitable or not profitable and if they're not profitable how are
those subsidized? Are those out of casino dollars that --
that each of us are paying for just like the health care we pay
I'm thinking overall, unless Wink, you know, overall all of the --
what all the other businesses are doing as opposed to -- was that
going to be your answer? Do you know what --
Yeah. I was just going to speak on what I know of the C
Well, I -- I'm thinking in general of all of the them and so I'm
looking to Finance. Do you have an opinion about where all
the other businesses are?
Rick Andersen, Acting Finance Officer. Yeah. The
only -- the only other entity owned by the Tribe that's subsidized
right now by -- subsidized, I mean, is GRFFCO and we have
appropriated about $130,000 to the budget to subsidize any -- any
shortfalls for operations that -- that could go. And the --
the last report we got from the manager that they expect a -- a
better 2011 than 2010, but I don't know what those figures are
And that's the C Store?
That's the C Store. That's correct.
And -- and Round Valley?
At -- at this point Round Valley, the operations for 2011 are still
in -- in the planning stage for -- for how they're going to
continue to operate. We appropriated some operating funds in
the Tribal budget but at this point it's still, I don't know, Pete,
if you want to comment on that, it's still up for debate as far as
how they're going to continue their operations.
So, how much was appropriated towards that company?
And that covers their overhead, their labor expenses and all of the
Pete said it's wages.
Okay. So, $380,000 in wages?
Okay. Thank you.
Yeah, on the Round Valley issue, you know, that's not taking into
consideration of what it saves the Tribes. You know, all the
-- all the projects that Round Valley does, you know, they do a
fantastic job for the Tribe and if we didn't hire our own people it
would have cost us and if we had to go out and hire somebody you're
probably looking at 25 percent higher costs we'd address. You
know, so you've -- you've got to also take in the fact, you know,
it's just like the new economic director, a very educated person,
due to come on board the 16th, said it's not always what
it would make. Sometimes it's what you save. So, you
know, there's -- there's that aspect of it too that, you know, it's
got to be factored into it.
Thank you, Jack. Mark? He works on Round
Mark Mercier, #551. Yeah. I do work for Round
Valley, the one that Mr. Jenness has just inquired about, and it
seems now, and I don't know why, but it appears to me there's kind
of a witch hunt going on amongst some of the Council, you know,
trying to scrutinize Round Valley and as a consequence now we have
a lady who's our bookkeeper, Virginia Fruitgard, who has informed
us that she is now going to submit her resignation. About a
week or two ago, she wouldn't specify the day, she got a call from
somebody at the office who was making inquiries about that what
Round Valley had done for some of the Council people. You
know, inquiring about the rates and everything like that, you know,
for equipment. And so she told them, you know, the rental
rates to the best of her knowledge and everything and also
explained that a Council member did pay and how the equipment
operator worked on his day off so he volunteered his time and
labor. So, then she kept on inquiring what is your name and
he finally said, well, my name is Mark. Well, then later on
he gave her his email address. Got a different phone call
later and (unintelligible) said that it was sent down to you, Andy
Jenness. And so now the Council wants to pay $135,000 a year
to hire you? You can't even tell the truth on the
phone. So, if that is not true about the Council wishing to
hire him let's hear that out now.
Well, Reyn, I see that you want to -- when we talk about personnel
issues and I have no knowledge of anyone being hired any where that
-- that's different but I was -- Reyn was saying he had a comment
next so go ahead.
Yeah. I have to agree a little bit. Yeah, I -- I think
there is a witch hunt going on somewhere here but I will just say
for as far as when Round Valley was set up going -- kind of what
Jack was -- Round Valley wasn't set up really to make a
profit. Round Valley was to make sure the profit didn't leave
the reservation. It wasn't set up to -- because any job that
people are hired to come in there and do they have a margin of
profit to make and we wanted to stop that and that was the intent
of Round Valley. So, it was really never intended to make a
profit. It was basically making sure money wasn't
leaving. As far as the work done, I -- I've asked to have
this meeting expedited, the one that Andy has asked for a couple
different times. I thought we were going to go ahead with it
Monday. Unfortunately, uh, the -- some of the Council are
going over to a swearing in, but I would be glad to say, I -- I
have made my stuff available to Mr. Jenness. I'm an elected
official. I ain't got nothing to hide. It was a very
simple job. As a matter of fact, they -- it wasn't part of
the job to even haul the equipment out there. It was actually
done when they actually come by my house, come out Coast
Creek, off the east side of the reservation. I ain't
got nothing to hide. So, I don't even know why we're really
looking into this thing but it seems like we would have other
things to do. But it probably falls in with the hay audit and
some of these other audits that happened that I think Council --
some Council are personally driving and with health care, gaming
and a lot of other big issues here for the Tribe I really don't
know why we spend the time doing this, point blank.
Andy Jenness, #1936. Mr. Mercier, Mark, you know, made
some pointed accusations that are unfounded. I -- this is the
first I've heard that Council wants to hire me. In fact, it
wasn't up until maybe a couple weeks ago that a Tribal member
approached me that had concerns about the chief-of-staff
position. I'm -- I'm assuming that's what you're talking
I have no idea.
Well, then why are you looking at me in that case if you've got no
idea? With regard to the phone call, I actually did
call. I -- I, uh, happened to go in and make, uh -- do some
reading on audits regarding Round Valley. Taking that audit
there was a significant finding and that significant finding was
that they had concerns that a Tribal Council member had had work
performed by Round Valley. I've now been pursuing to try to
find out simply who that Council member was, I didn't know at the
time, and it turned out to be Reyn. I didn't go out and have
him to do work or set that up. I just simply said there's a
-- there's a finding here, what's -- you know, who was that and it
turned out to be Reyn. Reyn, if you did nothing wrong then
let the evidence show that and so be it. That's great.
But I've been trying to get information for two and a half months
now and it seems like I'm just being stone-walled. So, help
me. Let's -- let's have this meeting. Let's get it all
out in the open so that there is no questions. I -- I have
not accused you of anything have I?
No, but we're wasting a lot of time on this issue because I --
there's one piece of evidence that says I owed $78.00 on the -- and
there's -- and it's stamped on there paid. I'll take you out
and show you the ditch that got cleaned if you want to.
All -- all I -- all I'm trying to find is is to say that there was
an external auditor who said this is an issue and I was just simply
trying to find out what is the issue and is there something we may
need to be concerned about.
Well, I'll have to go back and read that audit because that wasn't
It was a Round Valley audit. If my memory serves me correctly
it was on about Page 7 of the summary where it says that a Tribal
Council member had work performed and it doesn't name you --
And it says -- and it said there was a problem with that?
It -- it just simply brought it up. I can't remember if it
And it said there was a problem with that?
I can't remember the wording around it but given that a tribe --
given that we have a business that's losing money every year and we
have a Council member that has work done, you can -- you can see
the potential conflict of interest. That's all I was trying
to look at.
Here's the potential I see is I just paid $200 for a load of rock
from over in Independence because I wouldn't even use our rock at
this point and I think if people continue to dig into this stuff
and make ugly -- make it look like you are going to be wrong to use
our own enterprises I don't think people are really encouraged to
use it. Steve got rock. He was going to use -- get
Round Valley's rock. We won't touch it. I ain't going
to touch it.
With all due respect, Councilman Leno, as long as you've made known
that you're going to buy rock and everybody knows about it up above
before then there's no issues. It's that -- you know, no one
should be afraid of using Round Valley. It just seem simple
to say I'm going to use Round Valley. Okay.
Great. Let us know what the transaction is. Make sure
it went okay and everything. Great.
We do have a meeting set -- as Reyn did say it was scheduled for
Monday. Of course, that's the swearing in of Governor
Kitzhaber and Council will be over there. So, we tried to
move it forward. I don't remember the date off the top of my
I think it's the 25th it was scheduled for.
The 25th of January. So, that's -- that's when the
meeting will be. Right.
Great. Thank you.
Madame Chair? I believe maybe it was January
We were going to shorten up the time that we have for off-res and
perseverance and like 3 o'clock? Does that seem --
We did do that. January 18th. Larry?
Larry Brandon, #1214. Hi. Boy there's a lot of
negative going on in this room. And for those I could
(unintelligible) this is my other son Jesse and Jesse's here,
sitting here and thinking about the (unintelligible) something down
at the casino. And my other son is an MMA fighter who is
ranked 5th in the world and he's fighting in the program
versus a world discovery member and the winner of that gets to
fight for the world title. Yeah. (Applause) He
knows Chuck Wahlberg and some of (unintelligible) boys and I'll go
out and represent em. But, anyway, back to where I was.
I want to talk about that museum and stuff that we plan on up out
of Oregon City and to discuss that (unintelligible). There
was a (unintelligible) in the Tilxam Wawa, is it my understanding
that these collections that a priest come back in the 1800's that
they collected baskets and bowls and everything and took over to
England and now they want to bring back here and put on display for
a year but we'll spend $950,000 on this museum and another half a
million that insures itself?
Well -- well, now the -- the idea of what we really would like to
do is to bring it permanently here but the initial -- I mean there
-- there's been no approved plan because we haven't had the meeting
with the British Museum curator, I don't think that's
(unintelligible) I believe. And he, of course, will be
looking to see if we have a place that's adequate to display the
artifacts. That would be his first search. Our
understanding of whether or not we'll be able to permanently
acquire them really is depending upon, as far as we know, an act of
Parliament, which is like an act of Congress, because they say the
artifacts are owned by the people of -- of England. And so
that's -- you know, we -- we don't know if that's really everything
we have -- have to do or not. We have talked with the Native
American Pride Fund in Boulder, Colorado. John Echohawk is
the director there. They did identify an attorney who they
thought was successful in doing something like that already who now
works in Alaska. So, we've had that dialogue and so we're
really pulling all the pieces together on can we -- can we do this
and so it's establishing that plan. We also met recently with
the Department of Justice for the United States and we have one of
their top litigators, their judges, who indicated that if this is
problematic that they would make resources available to use their
attorneys of the United States to either negotiate or whatever we
have to do with the -- with the other country, with England.
So, there are many kind of strategies that could be figured out but
is there a permanent -- I mean one that's definite? No, there
isn't. The idea is that the Confederated Tribes of Grand
Ronde has to work out where if, in fact, we can acquire where will
they go? Is there -- is there an interim place? I mean,
we met with the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. who has indicated
they will house our artifacts for us. So, there is a definite
plan. So, part of the work is really to get that kind of
progress nailed down and to -- to move forward. So, uh, there
is -- there are funds that have been identified. One of the
things we talk about, I know that last month there was a question
about are we going to go ahead and do the museum down here.
We have identified a firm, Sparrowhawk, who has worked with a
number of tribes and been successful in raising funds for museums
and other things and they are to help develop that plan and that
the idea was that this museum here at Grand Ronde would be a 501
(c)(3), an Incorporated Non-profit Corporation. So, that
would run independent of the Tribe. So, any definite -- well,
there isn't (unintelligible). Reyn was saying he had
Yeah. I -- yeah, we met on this Thursday and we talked about
a lot of different options or whatever but one thing I do see if
Council is going to have to make some type of commitment by April
and from what Dave had said, you know, this is going to be a --
because we talked about several different things, storage, uh,
Oregon City, here or whatever and I -- I honestly think that
Council could end up making some type of commitment because this is
-- from what David's words were, just saying we're going to do it
is probably not going to be enough for the guys to go back and
argue that we should get it. So, whatever Council's position
is, my opinion is I honestly believe we've got -- we should table
it until we actually can afford it but, you know, whatever they
decide to do by April but this is kind of one of my concerns about,
you know, we -- like Cheryle said, you know, we went out and talked
all over the place and did a lot of work and everything and it's
one of the reasons I voted against this budget is because we had a
plan to do a simple insert for the Willamina grade school -- or
school district, put a simple insert in there about the Tribe's
history where we're represented -- we represent one-third of the
schools in the Willamina school district. We had that
insert. It was less than $15,000 and it got cut. So, a
week ago we (unintelligible) got all this other stuff all over the
United States, but we can't even get a simple insert that the kids
want to see in our Willamina School District for $15,000. And
-- and them things is -- you know, where is our priority to
me? That -- that's -- that's the issue. I mean these
kids are -- you know, our kids have to stand up in Willamina and
say, hey, that ain't right but they've got nothing in their books
to say it but Council doesn't make that a priority.
Okay. Also I want to remind (unintelligible) back in the mid
90's and stuff remember when congress passed the act where we got
all of our bones back from all the museums all over the US.
Well, I built over 250 cedar boxes for all them bones and we went
ahead and put them into the cemetery grounds over there, but that's
the way I feel about these different artifacts that they've got
over there in England, if we're going to get them back and stuff
but get them back and keep them. Not to put them on display
and -- and sell tickets for everybody to look at them. You
know, my (unintelligible) collection I think but there's about 60
Oh, yes. Yes.
There's bones that (unintelligible) that. It is still that
there's too much of our sacred stuff on display and I -- I mean,
they -- they took all this stuff from us. Why do we have to
pay them to have our stuff on display? That's what my problem
is. I just think there should be more discussions and -- and
look into it better.
Thank you, Larry.
Steve Bobb, Sr., TCM. Larry, to, uh, let you know that
a lot of this stuff was sold to a preacher, whatever it was, it was
sold to him and given to him. So, that's -- that's not what I
call taken away. It was sold to him. So, we say that
ours but when you sell something to somebody I don't know that it's
yours anymore. So, we're -- we're doing a lot of planning and
a lot of setting money aside on a maybe that the British Parliament
is going to allow us to have that back, something they're not real
fond of doing with any country. They've got artifacts from
counties worldwide and they're not -- they're not conducive to
giving stuff back. So, we're doing a lot of planning on a
measure and hoping to get it back. And like I say it wasn't
taken. It was sold and given. So, that's a -- that's a
Kind of like our land. All right. Thank you,
Well, the -- the other things that I would say about that, it -- it
was sold but it was as the priest wrote in his journal indicate
that Father Sommer's wrote was that he made known that he didn't
feel that the tribe was going to survive, not with the onslaught of
the vigilante -- vigilante groups that were in Oregon and with the
motto the "Only good Indian is a dead Indian". So, go on out
and kill them all. He -- he let the -- the Tribe know I'm
interested in purchasing from you artifacts so that you survive, if
you're -- if there's a future for your Tribe they will be in safe
keeping for you so that your culture doesn't die. So, our
members and I know -- I went and seen some of the artifacts.
I've seen my grandfather's pipe with his name on it. And it
was his spirit that, yes, if we survive I want these back with my
people. So, it wasn't just this is a commodity that's for
sale here give me the highest price it was really from I want our
culture to continue and to go on. Wink? And then we'll
go to LeLani.
I think that -- that we've got to be awful careful. If they
give it back and they serve the -- the Smithsonian and they display
it for us, uh, we were in Washington D.C. last year and we went out
to the storage area, not a storage area, it's where -- well, it's
kind of is, it's a nice big building.
Archives building. And we spent all day looking at our stuff
and the Coast Indian stuff that -- that they've got that -- that
(unintelligible) we should have because it's -- it's -- I don't
know whoever gets to see it. We had to go and get on ladders
and find them and look into all these deals she pulled out and --
and I don't want that to happen. If we get the Sommer's
Collection I don't want that to happen with that. I want a
guarantee that we're going to get that back and -- at a certain
amount of time.
LeLani? Oh, Jack?
Yeah. For me, you know, I -- I really want to have the
artifacts back. I just don't know -- I'm not convinced that
renting a floor at a museum or -- or anything like that or
partnering with a museum back east is the right direction, you
know, because, you know, when you think about it and probably all
the artifacts today are in storage. They're in an
archived storage. They're not on display. So, I'm not
so sure that building a warehouse, uh -- a climate controlled type
warehouse and store -- you know, have a place to store might not be
the proper avenue to take, you know, that would be here on site
with nobody to be able to take care of them and I just -- I'm not
convinced that renting a floor at a Portland museum or sending them
to the Native American Museum in Washington D.C. is the proper
Yeah. I feel the same way, except I feel that the money
should be spent here on a museum and brought here as a permanent
place for them but I do feel that they should come back. Not
that Council renting a place for a year and then sending them
back. Any way, thank you.
Thank you, Larry.
LeLani Folden, #1939. I actually have two
questions. I had one but now I have two. First of all,
uh, I agree with the -- with what Jolanda said about the
inevitability of other casinos coming in if it happens.
Anybody who doesn't think so is just kidding themselves. What
we have to try and figure out is how long. How long do we
have? Do we have one year? Three years? Five
years? It's going to happen and my concern is what are we
doing at our casino right now? I realize we're spending a lot
of money to fight it and we can stop it. We'll stop it for
who knows how long but what are we doing at our casino to maintain
our status and try to maintain that number one designation?
What are we doing different? The economy is down and I
understand that's going to cause a loss of -- of income for us but
what are we doing to try to increase and what are we doing to draw
people who may go somewhere else when the opportunity arises to
make them want to come here? What -- what channels do we have
open for that? Because I know, I -- I've been gone from
Spirit Mountain for six months now but I'm in contact. I was
there for seven years, I have a lot of friends there, and the
morale there is no better now than it was when I left. So,
how are we going to expect our employees to provide the customer
service that we think should be happening if they're not
happy? If we can't even make our employees happy how are we
going to draw guests in and make them happy? It's a big
concern and it just -- the casino right now is really our main
source of income. Where are we going to -- what are we going
to do? What are we going to do if we have to -- we're going
to lose revenue no matter what happens at another casino obviously
but what are we going to do to try to keep as much of that revenue
as we can?
Rodney? Do you want to respond to the question?
Rodney Ferguson, SMC CEO. Sure.
I did look to Reyn, Rodney, but he said -- he said you're here so
That's the (unintelligible) Reyn. Thank you, Lelani.
You're going to face a challenge no matter what business
you're in and certainly our job as, you know, operating a business
is to make sure that every guest that comes in the door are happy
when you come in there. Certainly employees have, you know,
choices to make in terms of whether they like going to work.
Some stay. Some go. I truly believe that some of things
we've done over the last several months in terms of employee
surveys and basically listen to what the concerns of the employees,
uh, have expressed and we've addressed those. Certainly
communication is always at the top of the list with every company
that, at least, I've worked at. Most companies are
(unintelligible) and I think we've done a lot better job in terms
of communicating to all employees what we're trying to do at the
casino, trying to stay on top as the number one destination resort,
and this -- this is a resort where the visitors come and they
stay. And we're drawing as many folks into the door as
possible. Certainly, logistically if a casino was to open in
-- closer to Portland it's a natural things folks are going to go
there because they're going to drive a half hour before they'd
drive an hour and a half. It doesn't matter whether you have
the fanciest, shiniest, prettiest casino in the world, it all comes
down to what's the most convenient place to go to. All we're
trying to do today is continue to provide the best service as we
possibly can, make sure that every employee appreciates their job
and give them the tools to do their job. If there's
additional training we'll provide that. If there's additional
things we need from a morale standpoint we'll try and do
that. Certainly there's certain physical things that we can
add more value to the property. Certainly, you know,
discussing things like a spa and a swimming pool, you know, and a
real nice RV park, things that can add value it just comes down to
timing. If the economy doesn't really take an upswing then
certainly you understand we're not doing anything right now.
If it does turn around then it makes sense to do something like
that, either add more of an attractive nature to our property
versus someone going somewhere else.
Well, yeah, the -- well, you touched all around. Have you --
have had surveys and you've done that kind of thing?
Okay. Well, the truth will be in -- in the response that it
does have. My other question to you, Rod, would be what
you've done to -- with the comp system? I
know with the help -- the comp system is pretty much on a -- I know
when I left I had people in my area that were playing -- that
played for an hour and a half and spent $2,000 and when they asked
for a comp I had to call a host and a host came over and politely
told them that they could not comp them for a buffet because they
hadn't played long enough. I just have a hard time
understanding, you know, that's part of the casino to see if they
comp. If they comp people do spend money and to me if they
spend $2,000 give them a dinner. I -- I don't care how
long. If they play five minutes if they spend $2,000 you give
them a dinner. You want them to come back. You want
them to feel like if I spent my own $2,000 bucks I'm not going to
go home hungry.
I (unintelligible). Certainly, every casino out there has a
comp system, actually it's a rewards program for their players and
they are -- different levels of players and different levels of
economy. We've modified so that -- we've actually brought in
a new marketing director who's had years of experience working
numerous properties on (unintelligible) and we've actually enhanced
that program. Not only have we enhanced that but we have
software to actually monitor a player's play simply just
(unintelligible) at a table or a slot machine and a host isn't
right there to be able to give authority to certain individuals to
allow that to happen. And some of things have been
implemented since you're been gone to show that one, one, the hosts
are not in their office but out on the floor where you just put a
(unintelligible) call them up in the (unintelligible) where if the
host isn't in the office you pick up the phone and it automatically
will page one of the hosts to go to that player so they can address
those specific kind of issues.
Yeah. How is employee morale affecting?
Well, employee morale is --
Yeah, employee morale is --
Your employee morale traffic is Facebook every day. I mean,
you're telling her that it's all better but it's not. I mean
you can say whatever you want but go read Facebook. They'll
tell you -- make you feel like less of a person.
Well, we have a little over 1400 employees at the casino. The
majority of the employees are happy and satisfied. I will
Well, that's -- yeah.
We -- we --
We need to go ahead for those who are speaking to come to the
mic. I'm not sure that --
I understand that. I -- he can say whatever he wants but it's
Well, in order to be recognized you need to come to the mic and
come to the phone -- to the microphone.
Absolutely. And I will if you want me to. I'm not a
Tribal member but I certainly don't like what's going on at the
casino. And -- and to remain number one you're going to have
to do that.
Well -- well, we need to -- if you're going to continue speaking
you need to come to the mic and identify yourself --
-- for the record.
-- and I appreciate that.
He's speaking on a guest level. As a guest from the
outside. I'm speaking on an employee tribal level and he's
just speaking for what he sees as a guest going and gambling there
as a guest. So, I guess, uh, you know, you have two different
sides of it here because he's not a Tribal member and he's not an
employee. He's a guest and he has said what he sees and this
is what I saw as an employee, as a Tribal member and no matter how
you say that you -- your surveys say, I can tell you I had an
employee who told me and this is what -- I'm not going to say what
department they work in, but they were working and a shift
supervisor and I'm not going say who that was or what shift they're
on or anything, told them if they lost about 50 pounds they'd make
more money. Now I'm sorry. That's my casino and I was
ashamed and that person has been there for a long time and that is
exactly the kind of stuff that goes on and I don't care if you're
doing surveys or not. I -- I don't care. You can say
whatever you want here about surveys. I've been in such and
such, I know how those go and it's crap and I'm sorry but I'm going
to lay it on the line. Now that we've got it going here I'm
going to lay it on the line. It's baloney. And if you
Lelani, your time is up.
You need to come up and (unintelligible).
All right. Fine.
My name is Christopher Akers and I'll make it very, very
Well, we have some tribal members who are waiting.
Okay. Okay. Go ahead.
We'll take you (unintelligible).
After you, sir. I want to make this a respectful
Richard Ray, #1976. I just wanted to say with the LLC
and our dump trucks and stuff a lot of you folks don't know that
Round Valley we've been dealing with our timber sales and our pole
sales because we're working them now and making the Tribe a little
money because we can do that through Round Valley. Round
Valley is not supposed to make a profit. It's tribally owned
business to do tribal stuff and I don't believe it's licensed to go
out and bid jobs. So, they cannot make a profit but where you
think they're not making money they're making through your
timber. They get part of our timber (unintelligible).
The other question was do they still have to report quarterly like
we do with the flat beds on profit/loss?
We have a (unintelligible).
Pete? We can't hear you.
I -- I know when we had the flatbed business that we had
(unintelligible) we had to report quarterly if we have a sale on
our profit/loss and what we're doing.
Pete Wakeland, Director of Development. Right now
Round Valley hasn't provided quarterly reports. The Council
(unintelligible) quarterly reports that we can
Yeah. And I -- and I don't think that was (unintelligible)
when we had the trucking business, I don't how that would work, but
there could be some improvement with Round Valley but we need them
for our timber sales if nothing else.
Thank you, Richard. Kathy?
Richard, I -- Richard? Ritchie, I don't think that -- it's
hard for me to call you Richard -- I don't think that anybody is
against Round Valley or have any bad feelings but I do believe it
was supposed to make money. We just don't start businesses
just to throw money into it and not make some kind of revenue --
some kind of a revenue. That was my understanding when it
started that we were going to be ready to go and be able to bid
some of these jobs that were right here on our own reservation and
that never happened. And the audit that, uh, Andy is
referring to talks about some of that stuff in there that there
isn't -- people skilled or qualified to do that. So, given
before -- before when it first got going and started that was the
goal of having a lot of money in there to actually do, uh, what you
said, our goals and our roads and that kind of stuff and that --
that is being done. However, when you have a significant
finding in an audit you have to address it and it's the people that
are responsible for those significant findings in the audit you
have to correct those and that's what that's about is correcting
those so that doesn't happen anymore. Does that make
Well, that -- that's kind of but Council is -- if you want the LLC,
Round Valley, to make a profit then we need to license them as such
and we need to get it --
That was supposed to happen two years ago. That hasn't
And we also needed somebody, nothing wrong with the people that you
have there, but they're not educated to go out and make bids on
land control and underground and sort of have a policy and --
And they were supposed to within the two years to do that.
Betty Bly, #3544. I would like to know whether or not
this was a confidential audit.
The -- no, the audits are -- are -- you can come in and read
It was an audit done by an outside agency. You have to have
outside agencies come in. It's not an internal audit.
It is an outside agency, just like what we do for all of other
programs, they come in and -- it was through Moss Adams. So,
those are open.
So, it was an open audit for -- to do by anyone?
We have annual audits. That's correct.
So, uh, the work that -- that was done, Reyn, how much did it cost
For -- for my work?
$78 and some odd cents.
So, would you only pay for the cost of the equipment during the
job? You didn't pay for the operator?
I guess so. That -- they gave me the bill and I paid
It seems like in -- it seems to me that -- like it's, uh, making a
mountain out of a mole hill. I understand that -- that Tribal
Council people shouldn't take advantage of the system but then
again it seems like what I said that making a mountain out of a
mole hill and from appearances, from outside looking in, it looks
like the start of a fairly nasty campaign period and I hate to see
this coming. Reyn is up for election and Kathy is up for
election and Wink is up for election and, I don't know, maybe Andy
is running for Council again. (Laughter) But --
I don't know either.
It gives me the impression that, yes, that somebody is going on a
witch hunt and I don't like it. It -- it isn't a good
thing. Thank you.
Yeah. And I've just to -- I really didn't question the
billing because a lot of people know Dale Langley. When Dale
actually did a lot of the work on my road when I put it in out
there and basically he charged me $50 an hour for both him and --
and his Cat. So -- and he had a -- he's got a caterpillar and
he spread all the rock and stuff. So, he was charging me $50
for his Cat and his operating. So, I didn't really
question. The job was -- I didn't even know if it took an
hour. I wasn't there when they did it. So, it -- they
said an hour or an hour and a half on the deal. So, I ain't
got a problem with it.
Christopher Akers, (Non-Tribal). I would just like to
thank the Council for giving this moment. I will keep
it very short. My name is Christopher Akers and I am non-
tribal but I associate with very many Tribal members. Like
I'm very proud of the Native American people for their stewardship
of the land and their warm heart and I wish I was a native but I'm
not. So, with that said and I can tell you this, I've been to
many casinos, more than I care to admit, and -- and I know with the
economy and -- and the Council, you guys are under a tremendous
amount of pressure to make the right decisions, you will never keep
anybody happy, but I can certainly tell you this from my own
experience, that I've been to many casinos and I have
(unintelligible) better service than us and I know because I am
associated with many people at the casino that -- that the morale
so low and in the service industry it has to be better and if you
want to remain number one and I hope you do, I mean something in it
for me, I mean, and -- and I've watched it remain number one but I
-- but I think it has to get better down there for the people out
on the floor. Thank you.
You're welcome. Steve?
Yeah. Oh, six months ago, maybe in August -- July and August,
uh, the casino put together these task groups or focus groups, I
guess it was, for (unintelligible) that was looking into this exact
thing, the morale issue with everybody on the floor and the people
actually down there doing the leg work and they -- in September
they had this nice little presentation and they all come up there,
it was all real polite and they had this real pretty Power Point
representation talking about food in the -- in the employee dining
room and I -- I got up -- and Rodney was there and I'm sure he
remembers it, uh, and I said, you know, you guys did a real nice
job putting this altogether but this is what it's about. It's
when people stop me down here and I'm sure they could stop
everybody who's on the Board and on the Council and has gripes
about everybody down there, mostly upstairs, and I said they use
some pretty colorful language when they're talking to me and they
tell me and folks talk about food in -- in the employee dining room
and I told the -- the directors and -- and Rodney and the executive
team down there that I'm just one of them old worked in the mud all
my life blow-hard type of people and I told them I got my training
in the rice paddies of Southeast Asia and leadership is basically
pretty simple needs to understand. You are the first one on
the battlefield and you're the last to leave. And since your
people -- your people come first and you come last and that -- that
was my point is that they -- the morale was so bad down there and
they put these little crews together and they came up with this
little fancy nice little Power Point, which really wasn't even what
they was talking about, they wanted to be respected by people on --
on the top floor. They want them to come down here and work
side by side with them or -- or anything or let them
know that they're appreciated and that's really what it was all
about. Not food in the employee dining room and I was hoping
that -- that that was going to kind of come into effect, but
apparently from what I'm hearing right now they're not going
(unintelligible) it hasn't happened yet. So, I hope, again,
once again, it sends a message to our people at the upper levels
that they need to work with the people on the floor who are -- work
day-to-day with the customers that come in there. I went to
-- to Vegas to a conference down there in November and one of the
-- one of the things that (unintelligible) in HR and they said that
all casinos, Native American casinos, are the same. You have
the same thing. You have the buffet, you have the sports bar,
you've got family, they're all the same. The only difference
that you are going to make is the customer service and the people
you have working there. That's the only place you're going to
make any difference. So, we have to have our people who need
their morale and obviously we're going to have to still work on
that once again. So, I hope that, you know, I -- you know,
luckily Rodney's here and he hears -- he hears the message and I'm
hoping that that starts being what comes down. So, that's
Certainly, you know, everybody, as I mentioned earlier, tries to
appease and make everybody happy but you're never going to have 100
percent happiness on the floor. There's certain factors that
we can do in the house better. There's also factors outside
the casino that affects morale and I think sometimes we forget
that. Sometimes there is personal things going in a folk's
life at home. A member of the family may have lost their job
and they bring that into work. All we're trying to do is when
-- treat our employees with respect, understanding what the issues
are, and do a better job each day. And certainly the survey
we've done was to get a pulse rate in terms of what the issues are,
have those employees who actually identify those issues, work out a
plan with management in terms of how you can help them improve
their morale, improve communication, improve what their certain
needs are, whatever is going on at the property. So, we try
everyday to work on those issues. It has not just died.
We actually put out a couple newsletters in terms of the action
plan from the various areas throughout the casino. So, it's
an ongoing thing. We're going to do a little survey this
spring to see if those issues have -- they surfaced last year and
have been addressed. Whether they improved or they got worse
or whether they're still the same. But it's a constant thing
to -- to work on? Like I said it's not always what's going on
from a manager's standpoint, it's also some issues that are brought
in on a daily basis by employees outside of work.
Can I just respond to that?
We know that there's a dynamic down there and a lot of that is
because there's Tribal members and non-tribal members and that
causes one heck of an issue down there daily. So, we're well
aware that -- that some of that morale issue is based on -- on some
of the issues that come out of that. I understand that.
So, I hope that that's (unintelligible).
Yes. I was at the same meeting where Steve was at in
September at (unintelligible). I seem to recall that a lot of
managers understood what was being told them is what I remember was
that, and you can correct me if I'm wrong Rodney, there was a sense
of an us -- us versus them mentality some times with lower level of
employees and upper management. I think management got
that. I think that Rodney and a lot of managers are doing
what they can to help accommodate employees. As a Council
member, 95 percent of the time that I'm contacted by a Tribal
member employee, whether it's by phone or email or they want to
meet with me they're usually having issues down there. Very
rarely does a Tribal member/employee come to me and say I -- I just
want to have lunch with you and let you know what a great place
this is to work and I have no complaints. So, that never
happens. So, I hear of a lot of these employees but I can't
-- I can't make broad assumption on employee morale but mostly what
I'm hearing are -- are from employees that have problems whose
experience is negative there. I think every work place is not
100 percent the employees are going to be happy. I've worked
at the casino three different times and I worked the cage and
sometimes that's a stressful environment. You get customers
who have lost a lot of money. They come to you and they take
it out on employees, they're really pissy, and I'm sure they get
(unintelligible) for that too. So -- so sometimes it is hard
to maintain a good attitude because people don't like to lose a lot
of money and it trickles down to employees. But I think that
they're doing what they can to help people out over there and
Rodney is right, there are a lot of issues going on that probably
are affecting employees. We are in a recession. The
(unintelligible) in the country is very divided. So, the
Council and managers there I feel are doing what they can to help
address these issues.
Okay. I'm going to leave that as it is. I'm glad to
hear Steve address it that -- the meeting that he did have. I
know that (unintelligible) what he was looking for so he is looking
to clarify some of those issues and it sounds like Chris is on
board. So, I'm going to leave it at that. I -- I hope
that you will continue to try to figure out ways to make it
better. I hope to see more positive feedback for me on
Facebook and I'm going to go on to the second question and that is,
uh, there's a rumor about this chief-of-staff position. Is
there going to be a chief-of-staff position or not? Is that
something that is being set up and if so what exactly does that
position entail? What would be the job duties of that
We -- we could make the job description available. It is --
was approved in the budget. There have been some of the
Tribal Council who have expressed strong disagreement with
that. One of the commitments that I have made when the budget
was passed that each of the new projects and in this case it would
be a new position, uh, that they would be discussed again.
So, uh, we can make a job description available and there is no
final decision as -- as of this meeting about that --
Whether we'll fill that position. Jack?
Yeah, I -- I will -- I voted for the budget because there's a -- an
ordinance that says we have to have an approved budget by the end
of the year. But that is one of the elements of the budget
that I disagree with. For one I think, uh, you know, if we
could have a chief-of-staff that -- we would be able to -- Council
has by ordinance given all authority to the general manager.
So, you're going to hire a $150,000 chief-of-staff or in that area
of (unintelligible) somewhere, I guess, to manage the -- the
receptionist and the Tribal Council secretary. You know, the
-- I think before you hire a chief-of-staff there's -- there's a
lot of issues you've got to overcome.
Well, I guess -- I guess some of the misunderstanding is the
chief-of-staff position that -- that I heard about was going to be
over here at the Governance Center and basically what they were
going to do is be a direct assistant to Council. That was
what -- this is what I heard and other people have heard is that
this was going to be a first person who was going to be directly
responsible for appointments, travelling, uh, keeping Council up to
date. That will be their -- their -- that would be basically
their job description and so I guess that's what I'm
wondering. I -- this is the first I've heard that you're
thinking of the casino. My understanding was that they would
be in direct communication with Council. That would be their
job to be like an aide.
Well, there would be no, uh -- they wouldn't be over at the casino
or -- they will be working -- the proposal is to work with Tribal
Council. It would be there -- they would be the supervisor of
-- of the staff. I can't remember off the top of my head all
of the job duties that are in there but, yeah, it would be
coordinating any of the Council activities and -- the debate before
was, oh, well, you're adding a new staff. Well, uh, no we
aren't adding a new staff. We will be utilizing a piece of
the revenue that -- an employee who left. We'll be using that
salary and coupling it with the additional dollars that were
identified in the -- in the budget. I don't remember off the
top of my head how much that was but, again, yeah, there -- there
is no final decision. We have yet to go ahead and renew that
job description and to take action.
And is that -- is it pretty accurate that job will pay $150,000 a
year? That -- because that's the --
No. No, that's not true. I think the starting salary
was around $90 some thousand up to whatever, you know, grade that
that would be.
Okay. Some of the concern is the fact that if that is -- is
indeed what that -- that job would be is -- is an aide to Council,
Council already has a second team that they pay and so why would we
create another position and pay that much money, not to mention
that we've been told that Council starting pay is $72,000 a year,
why would an aide to Council make more than a Council member and
why would we add an aide when we have an executive team? Is
that -- that's -- I thought that's what we were paying them
for. So, these are questions that are coming up that, you
I think those are all good questions, Lelani, and, again, the final
decision is not made. When we talked of the job and the needs
that the Council had, uh, our HR director came in and listened to
those discussions and went back and came up with a job description
and through his market, I guess, research said these are the
suggested rates for that position. So --
Okay. Well, I just hope you consider it really hard because
as we said we're trying to make cuts, we're not -- we shouldn't,
you know, we don't need a person for that.
Start Diskette 3
We have people to do that. I would hope we wouldn't waste
that money to without (unintelligible). Thank you.
Thank you. Perri?
Perri McDaniel, #2524. Hi. I've worked for the
casino over the last four years and I brought this up down there,
tried to go through the right channels and ensured that, you know,
I tried to get these concerns addressed and -- and going through
the right channels and one of my concerns is -- and -- and I know
this will probably sound fake to a lot of you but it's an issue I'm
very concerned with and then I -- and then I heard that we stopped
providing bottled water here at the Tribe to -- to cut costs and I
applaud you for that. Thank you, very much. And -- and
I've (unintelligible) down there at the casino because I used to
work in the purchasing department and -- and I thought that would
be one way that we could cut costs but I think we have some of the
best public water around, we've got Grand Ronde water here, and
it's really good water. So, I don't see the necessity of
incurring that expense. We have down there at the casino, the
big five gallon bottled water from H2O and we also somehow got a
deal with Pepsi to provide individual single serving bottled water
to -- by the case, to different departments down there.
And I just think that's such an unnecessary expense.
But my bigger concern with it is the fact of public water.
All across America your water, our water, everybody's water supply
is getting stolen -- stolen by Coca Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Nestle
among other companies. They get it free and then bottle it
and sell it back to us. And those bottled waters, those empty
bottles, end up in the Pacific guttery, called plastic soup, in the
middle of the ocean a hundred miles off the coast of
(unintelligible) and we contribute to that. And I just want
to say shame on us as stewards, you know, that that's an
unnecessary expense and most of those bottles go un-recycled down
there and I know that we don't pay for recycling, those are picked
up for free, but we do pay to have garbage hauled off. And so
we can get -- if we're going to use them at least recycle
them. And -- and I see the same thing here too. Down
there at the purchasing department they just
(unintelligible). So, I'm going to (unintelligible). I
see right here we've got a trash can there, there's one for
recycling only, and it's full of trash. And there's a pop can
right here and -- they used to call me recycle cop because I just
bug them and ask them, you guys know the policy down here, who
threw this away, and -- and tell them come on let's -- let's all
get on the same page with recycling. And it's just a very
important issue. Another issue that deserves -- or a concern
with that issue is the use of the oil and -- and I don't know if
everybody knows, this should be common knowledge by now, a few
years ago when I was in college or I was learning about reaching --
we're reaching depletion of our oil and I hope everybody realizes
how significant that is. That was 20 years ago they were
telling us, well, we have another 20, 30, 40 years worth of oil on
planet Earth and after that it's all gone. Most of our
economy was built on petroleum. Our food supplies are
dependent on petroleum. Without petroleum we don't have
tractors to go in there and plant seeds, tractors to go in there
and harvest the product, truck to delivery it from the green belt
to the east coast. And so that whole thing could collapse the
food industry, which means we need to localize our food
production. This is one of the reasons I've been up here for
the last three or four years. Maybe we'll start growing our
own food. Let's get on that before it's too late. I
just feel a real sense of urgency that we need to be growing our
own food. And if there is no collapse, if they find an
alternative source of energy, uh, what's the harm in it?
What's the harm in being self-sufficient and growing our own
food. Knowing where our own food comes from. Knowing
we're eating fresh organic produce and not seeds multiplied by
(unintelligible). I'm not opposed at all to looking at
that. There's a video out there called Collapse that talks
about the collapse of the oil industry and how that's going to
affect our economic system. And then there's another video
out called TAPS that talks about our water supply and how our
public water supply is getting stolen and sold back to us.
And that's all I have to say. Thank you.
Thank you, Perri. I agree. Hope?
Hope Lafferty, #2340. Hi. I just want to thank
the Education Committee for renewing my scholarship. I'm not
sure at the moment but -- something for the Tribe. I won't go
into that and I'll be graduating with a Bachelor's Degree this
June. So thank you, again and I appreciate it.
Hope, didn't you study Political Science and Public
Yeah. Public Policy.
All right. You should have some work there.
Betty Bly, #3544. I just wanted to mention something
about the C Store. It's been quite some time ago that I --
well, I stop there all the time but when I stop there I always stop
at the full service side so I don't have to get out and pump my own
gas because in Wyoming you couldn't really find a full service
place. Everything was self-service and you had to get out in
freezing weather and you had to pump your own gas and I hated
that. So, I was so happy when we moved to Oregon because it
was full service and you had people to pump your own gas.
Well, I guess I come from a generation where full service means
full service. They wash your windows. They'll check
your oil. They'll check your tires. All of these
things. So, I pull up to the pump, they fill my car with gas
and I say, well, would you wash my windows? The guy goes
what? And I said, please, would you wash my windows?
And he acted like it was a big pain in the -- to wash my
windows. You know, there are people that come from other
places that know that full service means full service where if you
ask them to check your oil they will actually check your oil.
I didn't ask the guy to do that. I knew that he wouldn't know
how to do that. But, you know, if they're not going to do
full service just say we'll pump your gas for you. But -- I
just wanted to mention that if it says full service that's all
they're going to do is pump your gas. So, you don't have to
beg them for -- for them to come clean the windows. Thank
Betty? I also use full service because I don't want to have
to go and get gas smell on me. But full service no matter
where you stop anymore is not full service. You have to ask
them to do the windows. You have to ask them to check the
oil. How much (unintelligible) did we used to get -- get for
-- just as the thing to do because it isn't any more and you're
right, some of those people probably don't even know how to check
your oil. They don't even know where to look for the dip
stick anywhere. So, I don't think that -- I think kind of
full service is a kind a thing of the past and I think you're
right, it should be just told we'll wash -- we should wash your
windows and I ask them to wash my window but it should be said we
wash windows and we pump gas.
Duane? Congratulations, Duane. New Elder
Duane Wheeler, #5374. Well, I'm going to have to set
up my whole plan again. (Laughter)
One addition any how. I've got a question on -- asking on
this Indian Preference thing. Just like at Round Valley, it's
run by a non-tribal member. Why don't we have a tribal member
running it? I believe we might some licensed contractors that
could run that. We've been all talking about Indian
Preference and I always tell people Indian preference has been
around for years but it's not working. We had one gal in the
past who was trying to bring in TERO. And I think that was
right because more recognized Indian preference. I see here
on this Tribe here they're working by who you are, relation,
son-in-laws, wives, daughter-in-laws, son-in-laws got new
jobs. What about our people? I think all under the
table of doing it but not giving them a chance to do it.
We've got people over here in the casino that could be following
this employee around here and learning his job. We should
have Tribal members being in there to create a living. It
sounds to me like we're all just scared to get our feet wet and get
up there and do it. All you Council, you sit back there with
some (unintelligible), you just look at it, I don't know if you
think it or not. We had one good gal in there last meeting
and she kind of told you what she thought. She didn't vote
for any of you guys. I was glad to hear that. I
probably didn't either. Because to me you voted some back in
that's not even doing their job. We've got a few up there
that want to make a good pastor and Jack you make a good
coach. I was hoping for you to get voted back in because I
like you, Jack. I like all you guys. But like people
are saying let's give the people a chance. We want a binding
vote. Not a vote that just raise your hand. It don't
mean nothin'. We voted you people in and we asked and you
said, yes, we're for the people. Every one of you. Who
in the heck has got down here and said I'll take the proposals,
let's give the voice to the people so they've got a binding
vote. Are you guys scared of it or what? We want to
help you guys run this too. You always say us members.
The Council. We sure would like to help you guys too.
You guys don't want to let us in there. I approached
Jack. I asked him to come down here and get on the podium
down here and talk to you guys, make that proposal to you guys,
let's give that voice to the people. Let em help us.
No. Nobody wants to do it. Kathy, you said money didn't
mean nothing to you guys up there. Are you guys willing to
take a cut?
I would, yes.
Well, make that proposal to your Council. Tell them let's
take a cut. Let's get down on the ground like the people
are. Mercier. You, Reyn. You say I want to make a
change to that constitution. I don't know what it was but I
don't see no issued yet.
Do you -- do you want to hear it?
If you look at the specific language in the constitution regarding
referendum and initiative I want to make the numbers more realistic
because I don't think it's realistic to try and get 1200 to 1300
signatures for people to push an issue forward. I would like
to reduce that number. I was planning on proposing it to
Council later on this month. I even spoke privately to
several Council members and asked what they thought about it, that
I had a specific issue in mind when I campaigned on it and improve
on it. (Applause)
Well, that doesn't (unintelligible). You're not telling us
You got me there.
Okay. That's what we want to hear.
I'm not willing to take a cut. Why should I take a cut?
I work hard for my money. I travel. I travel on
weekends. I travel on -- on holidays. You know, I was
here 30 years ago on Council during restoration and I worked all my
Council years for nothing. I paid all my own expenses and put
money in so we could keep the electricity and everything else
going. I didn't see anybody here but I was here and I was
working for nothing. I'm not willing to take a cut.
Well, when you ran for Council you knew what -- what your status
was going to be. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day the doors
are open. You knew that. Right?
Yes. I -- I --
Yes. And still want money. Right. We all want
I mean I just don't want to take a cut.
We'd all like to have some money.
I've always worked for my money. I've owned my own company
but I've worked for my money and I think people what they would
do. I am due what I make. That's what I'm trying to
Well, I'll tell you, I worked all my life too. Everything I
have I've bought and I've paid for. Everything I've got now
is paid for because I paid for it. Not the Tribe. I am
really thankful for what the Tribe gives me. I'm not asking
for more. I'm just asking you guys to invite us. You
guys don't ask. You vote it. We want a voice.
Nobody else is going to speak up and say yes we want to be able to
vote too. We want a binding vote.
Duane, your time is up.
I know my times up. Thank you.
Well, just -- you can go ahead and -- if you care to stand up
that's okay too but I'll respond. The question that was asked
earlier by Mr. Ray was can there be an advisory vote and, of
course, our constitution was -- came into effect when the members
of the Tribe, eligible voters back in 1980 -- well, in '83 or '84,
uh, chose to develop the constitution and the voting members of the
Tribe voted and I believe it was probably almost the whole majority
of the general membership voted on it and in the constitution,
which is the law of our people, it says that there are three powers
that the general membership has. Again, we call it petition
referendum. And there were certain, uh, factors that are in
the Constitution that lays out exactly what you and Chris are
talking about and the number of people it takes in order to put
forward a petition or -- or a referendum and -- or for a recall and
there is a pretty steep number. It's, I don't know, 1200 or
1300 of our voting membership right now and many feel that that's
impractical but the reason and -- and just this week, uh, said here
-- I think Margaret is still here. I can't see her but --
Margaret is here.
Oh, she's here. When that constitution came about and I, for
one, I was here and was working -- helping you work on development
and all of that, Margaret was involved. But all of that came
about because of the people and the language that should go in
those -- the constitution and what we should abide by it was
overwhelmingly voted in. I believe there were only 14 who
voted no. So, that's an overwhelming majority of -- of the
members who said this is how we want business to be taken care
of. So, when we sit here and we make decisions it's because
what the people want and said we want you to -- to do business like
this. So, as when Mr. Ray asked well can we do an advisory
vote, of course, you know, I said we will look into what those
costs and what the most practical way of doing that. There is
nothing binding as far as our law that would say, okay you voted,
now you must do this. We still would deliberate. But it
really requires a constitutional change and getting there in the
method that Chris has articulated would be one way of getting
there. I don't think that anyone of us are here to say that
we know well. We have all the answers. We've got the
magic bullet for the Tribe. We're going to -- but I think
every one of us is open to hearing and I appreciate the comments
that have come forward today and -- and the discussion that needs
to take place. I appreciate that, Duane, and I understand
that part of it, so -- Reyn?
Yeah. And (unintelligible), Duane, and kind of along with
what Cheryle said. I think we have to recognize the change in
when we were first set up as opposed to where we are today.
Our Wednesday night Council meetings consisted of nobody or one or
two people. Now they consist of 40 or 50 people and at one
time we only had that back part for meetings at General Council
meetings. Now we had to do this expansion. So, the
members get more involved. I -- I guess -- I believe they've
got to have input. One of the biggest concerns I've got and I
really honestly believe we need to change the piece about our
endowments because I can tell you when them endowments were set up
I can honestly say them people probably never foreseen how much
money we would have in them endowments and now not -- and to put
them in the hands of nine people and I'm one of them I just don't
think that's right. I think the membership needs input into
that of what's going to be done with them endowments. I -- I
honestly do. I -- I think it's a very dangerous situation we
currently have and I -- I -- if we don't change anything at all we
definitely need to change that because I just don't believe people
when they set them up foreseen the amount of money that was going
to be in there and this is all of our money. I think
everybody should have input into it.
Well, my concern with a lot of it too is a lot of this stuff comes
out during election time and you guys use that issue to run
on. We've got 45 percent per capita but we know that's never
going to happen either. That was brought up when Kathy first
came in she was going to push it forward. I mean that -- we
just don't -- enrollment is (unintelligible), you know and it just
-- we're not getting a chance to say how we want to change
it. You guys sit up there and fight amongst each other about
how you want to do it. Wink wants to help everybody.
The other side wants to go ahead and put it through. I don't
see why we don't just go back to the old (unintelligible).
Just get it done with. If people don't like it well fine, you
know, it's just -- it's not going to save us any money either
way. We're not going to get any richer. That was the
issue on that. They were told, you know, if they close
enrollment, fixed it, well we'll getting more money. Are you
going to lose your money? Hell, we already lost money
anyhow. We're not getting it. I'm done. Thank
Thank you, Duane.
Richard Ray, #1976. I -- I almost forgot what I came
up here for. Rodney? And I -- I had suggested this to
Tribal Council quite a few years ago so I'll suggest it to Tribal
Council again and to Rodney. I speak a lot with the employees
and I spend a lot of time out there. I know a lot of them
personally and those folks are not going come to you and complain
because they're afraid of losing their jobs. They're not
going to go to their supervisors because they can fine them and get
bumped right out the doors. I know that for a fact
because my sister was bumped out for calling in sick. They
told her it would be an unexcused absence so she came to work and
she went off the floor in an ambulance and she's still got an
excused -- an excused deal. I think if we had a small board,
like all our committees, of Tribal members, those folks that you
meet with once a month, folks that they're not afraid of that can
come to Council with their concerns and come to you it would be
much better deal. I think that's something that we need to
think about because our employees are not happy and your surveys
don't work because they lie. They're afraid to say it.
It's just a suggestion. You might try it.
Denise Harvey, #1874. I just wanted to make some
comments on the -- some of the statements that Duane had
made. You know, Dwayne, you just got on the Elder Committee
and you might be careful because I fought for Tribal
preference. I fought for TERO. I brought more money
into this Tribe than my programs cost me. I brought more jobs
to this community, training programs, everything else, and I -- a
lot of those programs got ripped away from me and the only choice
that I have to go to work for a department that they knew that I
have worked for and I -- I had an option because
if I took -- if I accepted that option I would be donating a
(unintelligible) and I opted to be here. So, even though we
fight for our Tribal people and we fight for what's best for this
community it doesn't always work out to the best for you. And
talk about getting a cut in salary. I took a cut in my gaming
commission position and I -- Wink, I agree with you, I did a damn
good job there. I didn't deserve -- I deserved the money that
I made but there's some other Council, not everybody, some of
Council gave -- they seen how -- what we were making, even though
we're one of the top commissions in the entire country, out of 256
commissions, we were recognized as one of the best, one of the most
efficient and one of the most effective, but I still had to take a
cut in pay and nor was that ever given back to me and I was the
only person in the Tribe, of any position of the casino or the
Tribe, that took that cut in pay. So, sometimes no matter how
damn good a job you do it doesn't always work out in your
Denise, I have a question for you. Is that because you
weren't doing a good job or was that because it was
I'm not real -- I know it wasn't because I wasn't doing a good job
because I know I'm doing a good job and I know -- I mean, you guys
What was the reason?
I have no idea.
I do a good job.
Yeah. Yes, you do.
Do we have any Other Business? Is there a motion to
All in favor say aye.
Aye. (In Unison)
Opposed? Abstentions? All right. Thank you.