The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
General Council Meeting, February 6, 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.
Toby McClary (TM); Chris Mercier (CM); Valorie Sheker (VS);
Wink Soderberg (WS)
Soderberg, Tribal Council Member/Elder
Unidentified Voice: (UV)
Council Member(s): (MEMB)
Cultural Presentation/New Business
Announcements/Notices: (See Minutes)
Door Prizes/Raffle Drawings (See Minutes)
Other Business: (See Minutes)
Transcript of Proceeding
Start Digital Disk #1
Cheryle A. Kennedy, Tribal Council Chairwoman. Good
morning everyone. We'll call the meeting to order.
Today is Sunday, February 6th. Thank you all for
coming out. I will go ahead and before we do the -- just to
let you know that on our cultural presentation we're moving that up
and having Eirik Thorsgard make his presentation after the -- after
we get through with our invocation, which will be done by Wink
(WINK SODERBERG PROVIDED INVOCATION)
Thank you, Wink. We will go ahead and call upon Eirik
Thorsgard, which was originally (unintelligible) was to make the
Tribal Historic Preservation office report. Good morning,
Eirik. Good to see you.
Eirik Thorsgard, Cultural Relations Coordinator. Good
morning. For those of you who don't know, my name is Eirik
Thorsgard. I am the Cultural Relations Coordinator and now
the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. On June 2009,
Tribal Council passed a resolution requesting Cultural Resources to
start looking for the creation of a Tribal Historic Preservation
Officer. We just got approval. As a matter of fact on
Friday the MOA was signed by Council and it's now been sent back to
the National Parks Service for it to be countersigned and then
we'll be open and ready to go. What the Tribal Historic
Preservation Office is literally going to do is it's going to
remove the ability of the State as far as a preservation officer in
Salem, because they take what we do on our Tribal lands in regards
to cultural resources. So, it's giving us a final overview on
the determination of effect on litigation and what we want to do in
regards to identifying and protecting our cultural resources here
on the reservation and specifically around archeological and
historic buildings. So, it doesn't necessarily pertain to
other things and it doesn't give us the authority, extra authority,
outside of the reservation itself, which would be
problematic. But it does give us a little bit of
funding. So, we're going to have a little over $27,000 to
help the Tribe work on identifying any archeological or heritage
resources on a reservation within our -- our trust lands and we
feel a little more proactive and then we can start making our own
determinations rather than waiting for 30 to sometimes 60 day
concurrence from SHPO, we'll be able to get it rather soon.
The other piece of this is we're going to be looking to create an
advisory board and it's going to be advisory board that's going to
sit with the THPO and once a month or once every two months they'll
come together and when a determination or an archeological site is
found they will all vote and make determination on whether or not
it meets the eligibility under federal guidelines or under Tribal
guidelines if they differ. So, we're going to have our letter
going out in the Smoke Signals here soon requesting some folks to
come forward to be on the advisory board. So, if any of you
are interested please feel free to come up to Cultural Resources
and talk to me or any of the staff in the Site Protection
Program. So, if anyone's got any questions?
Eirik, does this put us in line for more funds from state and
A little bit. It's what the -- it only gives us a little over
$27,000 and there's actually a program used to determine how much
each tribe is going to get in terms of how much reservation land it
has. So, obviously we're on the smaller end of that to some
degree but out of 565, you know, federally recognized tribes
there's less than 200 actually at THPO. It's right
around 130. So, we're kind of at the upper -- upper echelon
with that. The benefit it gives us really is when federal
agencies look for contact in regards to archeology or heritage
resources they always look for the THPO tribes first. So,
it's going to raise our visibility to federal and state agencies
and allow us better access to information and quicker
Other questions? All right. Thanks, Eirik.
Thank you, everyone. (Applause)
We -- we have roll call inserted on the agenda and it is not
appropriate for this meeting because this is the meeting for the
general members not for Tribal Council. All the Tribal
Council count as members but there -- it's not made of the
majority. You have to meet a majority of members if -- I
always forget what number that is but it's about 43?
Thirty three I think it is.
Thirty three general members to make quorum for a General
Council. So, again, we'll just -- we'll need to have that
removed from this agenda. I believe it was just printed off
of our Regular Tribal Council meeting agenda. Okay. At
this time I'll entertain a motion or accept a motion to approve or
amend the January 9, 2011, General Council meeting
A motion's been made and seconded to approve. All in favor
Aye. (In Unison)
Opposed? Abstentions? Minutes are approved. We --
we already took care of our new business, which was with the THPO
office. So, we will go ahead and -- and move forward to
announcements. The next General Council meeting is scheduled
for March 6, 2011. The location will be determined. As
you might remember we generally have a meeting in Eugene and
Portland. So, we have yet to determine where that General
Council meeting will be at. Another announcement not listed
but many of you drove past the United Lutheran Church down here on
Grand Ronde Road. They're having their 100th
Anniversary and I think it's -- their celebration starts, I think,
at 11:30 is what I heard but be aware of that. And Jack
Giffen wants to talk to the membership here a little.
Yes. Back on the table there there's a form for each Tribal
member -- actually each person that's here to read and determine if
they would like to support the DEQ clear water and bringing the
fish consumption up to 175 grams per day. Cheryle and myself
and others from on Council have been working on this increase in
fish consumption level for quite a few years and this is -- you
know, not the increase we -- we were looking for but it's -- it's a
substantial increase and the fish consumption directly correlates
to the clean water. So, if -- if you could read this it's
back there on the table. Fill it out and if you're supportive
of it and turn it back into the back table I'll get it to the
appropriate people for supporting it. Thank you.
Thank you, Jack. Wink?
I just got back from ATNI and it was really great down there and I
-- I tried an experiment. I got a recorder and I recorded
everything. I had to listen to it to see how it is and I'm
supposed to be able to -- to transfer it over to my computer and if
I can do that and Chris will help me do that then I'll create an
article about some of the highlights of that. But the
resolution -- there's going to be some resolutions in our
conference room. I think there were about 30. You can
come over there any time you want to and -- and see
(unintelligible) and you have access to those and make a copy of it
if you want to. Thank you.
Thank you, Wink. Any other announcements? Okay.
We will go ahead and move on into the door prizes.
Lauri? Lauri Smith is our assistant who conducts that part of
our agenda. There are three door prizes at -- at $50 and one
Lauri Smith, Council Senior Administrative Assistant.
For our first $50 I'll read the last four numbers on the
ticket. 9518. (Applause)
My name is Nancy Coleman. Thank you.
For our second $50, 9526. (Applause)
For our third $50? 9531.
Who was the second winner?
Dwayne Coulson. And for our $100. 9517. What is
Qahira Lorraine Barton.
Qahira Lorraine Barton is our winner of our $100.
Nancy, look what I have.
Well, thank you to -- thanks and congratulations to all of the
winners that are here today. Do we have any other -- I don't
know if the elders are doing any door prizes or -- or anything like
I can't hear you.
Are there -- is the elders doing any -- okay. All right.
Gladys Hobbs, Tribal Elder, #626. Hi. My name is
Gladys Hobbs. Anybody -- and I apologize to those -- anybody
who bought a red card is going to have to come out and see us
because the red ticket -- the red cards are pinochle cards.
So, there's going to be two of everything and -- (Laughter)
And this is (unintelligible). So, Shirley had to get new
cards and as soon as she gets back and exchanges the cards we'll be
ready to (unintelligible). (Laughter)
Okay. Then we'll move forward to -- to doing that. So,
we are through with New Business so I will go ahead and open the
floor for Other Business. In doing so please come to the open
mic, present yourself with your name, your enrollment number and
the -- the issue that you have and please be respectful of one
another (unintelligible) and we do have a timer here. So,
that will be running as well. That button is for five
minutes. So, I will go ahead and open the meeting.
Ron Rife, #2124. I have a couple three items
here. First one, where do I need to go to get copies of the
policies and/or regulations on the security at the casino?
Could I get that information?
Is Rodney here? Do you want to respond to where -- where he
can get those, Rodney?
Rodney Ferguson, SMC Chief Executive Officer.
And Reyn probably knows too. He's got
I hope my timer is not running while we're waiting.
Go ahead, Rodney.
Yes. Policies as well as any security reports are deemed
properties of the casino and with respect to house rules, all house
rules are posted throughout the casino. If they're specific
each of the questions regarding a violation of policy or a specific
question regarding what part of the policy is. And so we
address those and then one of our security personnel at the casino
would do that as well.
Well, I've asked the security personnel there and they refused to
give me the policy or even parts of it at the time. I cannot
get no information but I do see the sign that they refused to give
me the policies or regulations and I'm just curious don't we fall
under the Freedom of Information Act and that stuff that is
available to you as Tribal members.
We don't. Do you want to offer comment about that Rob?
Rob Greene, Tribal Attorney. Sure.
The reasons why we don't.
Well, I'd sure like to look over the policy and procedures because
-- thank you, Rodney.
Yes. The Tribe -- is this something that you're getting
(unintelligible). The Tribe does not fall under the Freedom
of Information Act. The Tribe has a public records
ordinance. That public records ordinance applies to the
Tribal government not the casino.
Okay. Thank you. Now I come forward here -- I come
before Tribal Council with a grave problem. I do this in fear
of retaliation and personal vindictiveness within our own
Tribe. What I am about ready to testify to started over a
survey which the individual was asked to fill out and turn
in. The individual was honest during the survey and went, uh
-- fuller in the response by putting their name and roll number on
the survey. From that time the individual has been under
constant surveillance and has been harassed on different
occasions. The individual was given a warning. The
warning was a sticker type that was placed on the driver's side
window and placed where it blocked the driver's view. If this
occurred during the evening hours it could have lead to a major
accident or loss of life. Due to the driver -- due to driver
would not have seen this sticker warning that was placed on the
vehicle the individual has received an exclusion notice for an
infraction that occurred this month. However, I would like to
point out to you, Council, that the first infraction was with a
four-wheeled vehicle and when the inclusion notice was given to the
individual, the individual was on a two-wheeled vehicle. I
also wanted to point out that this department was in such a hurry
to cite the individual they placed the wrong date from the original
letter to said individual. Also because of the time frame of
the seven times that his -- that his department has cited in the
first letter, case of all said infractions and over how many
years. Not only has this department went after this
individual with a vengeance they have done so with inconsistence --
inconsistence with their own policies. As per attached
(unintelligible) and I would like to show at this time Council
pictures that we're talking about. These pictures were taken
on the same day that individual was cited with the exclusion
notice. I have made contact with the operator of the
motorcycles and they are willing to testify that at no time were
they ever approached about parking in a no parking area. I
come with this quite an injustice to show that anybody who is
charged -- in charge of that department that's involved in a -- the
harassment of an individual and the CEO -- COO and CEO has turned a
blind eye to allow this to continue. The individual that's
been so harassed from this department is a Tribal member, disabled,
decorated, wounded in battle veteran is in the process of a battle
with cancer. I hope you ask the Tribal Council to investigate
this matter further and to see that all people are treated
equally. Also I have here statements today and it can be
explained to Council where the individual was parked when he was
excluded from the property. At no time where he is parked is
there a sign, a yellow stripe on the curb, and the distance in this
area, two cars could sit (unintelligible) fact, is -- I measured
it, it's a little over 14 feet wide in that area and I'd like to
show this to Council also.
Ron, your time is up too.
Les McKnight, #510. Okay. Then I'm next and he
can take my --
If Council would like I have the documents also from the original
letter and the exclusion notice and you can see directly that
the date of the memo by this -- by what they wrote here is a
violation has not occurred. So, you know, what I'm trying to
say here and since I can't get the policies and procedures of the
casino, the -- you know, the -- I feel that we've got some
Gestapo tactics that is going on and not played out on the part of
hearing and that's why I request things to be put in -- in
writing. And when even a supervisor says no, we will not put
it in writing, we need to put a stop to this. Yeah. The
policies can change as they change in shifts. As you can see
in the pictures, you know, there's people out there are illegally
parked but the individual was singled out. So, Rodney, would
you like to explain that to us or get to the bottom of it. We
-- we'd be glad to meet with you and Council and to the individuals
that is in there, security --
Rodney, why don't we go ahead and set up that meeting at the
earliest convenience with Ron and Steve. If we can get the
time tomorrow morning at 9:30 on Mondays we do scheduling, Ron, and
we can get these items scheduled where that meeting can occur as
quick as possible.
Well, yeah, I would appreciate that, Cheryle, because I sure as
heck don't want to go take this to higher and I am willing to do
that. I want to keep it internal if possible. Thank
That you, Ron.
The first thing I've got to ask is why is the Tribe letting people
on the property that's signing people up for Direct TV and then
when they sign up for it they're promised one thing and then when
they get the first bill it's way different than what they say and
it's all direct (unintelligible) company set it up. I mean I
know it's -- they should try the -- the problem because it's
happening in elder housing, it's happening in regular housing and
it's happened in our Tribal lands and it's (unintelligible) it
should be Tribal, by Tribal lands letting them get away with
this. And I was wondering if anybody wanted to hear
We can -- that's not covered at all under our telephone switching
lines or anything like. What's the name of the
Direct TV but the company that was signing them up was called Clear
and there's no place on the Internet or anything where you can find
All right. We will. Thank you, Les.
Okay. Now here we go with the other one. I see
how -- we've got -- we've got a budget to go by here for the
Council and stuff. Why don't they have a budget down at the
casino? I mean, you've got over $33 million going out in
advertising and you don't have -- how close am I?
Twenty-seven, I believe.
It was reduced to 27 this year, I believe.
Twenty-seven? Okay. You take $10 million of that off,
that gives you $17 million and that cuts down your health care in
half. You know, why not cut that? I know what you're
saying we've got to spend money to make money but all we've been
doing is spending money to lose money.
I -- I can respond and Rodney is here as well. The -- the
matter of the marketing budget has been under review for -- for a
long time. I would say -- I will say this that in fairness to
the casino they have cut their marketing budget by about $10
million, which is a staggering amount when we hear those
numbers. Now in order to keep up the revenue stream that
we've had in the past with patrons coming here to Grand Ronde, the
marketing department is tasked with finding innovative ways to
attract and to keep the customers coming through the door because
what we do know is that while customers are continuing to come they
spend much less than they used to. And so the idea is to keep
the loyal customer coming and to try to recruit new customers so
that they will spend at these rates. I don't know how much a
commercial costs that everyone sees about the casino with, you
know, coming for an enjoyable evening at Spirit Mountain but I'm
sure it's probably at least a million or more. I know it's
very costly to buy time during the prime time on TV. But
anyhow that's -- that's really the emphasis of what they're
attempting to do is to -- to keep the spending rate up so that
revenues will incur but I will defer to board members who are here
about what their plan is for marketing but overall that's what
they're trying to do, Les, and I'll go ahead and let Steve, who is
on the board, respond.
Steve Bobb, Sr., TCM. Yeah. The Marketing
Department has been under fire for what seems like the last year
but without the marketing department we'd be in big time trouble
and it's something that's -- I just brought this with me, it's one
of the things that we get at Council everyday about what's going on
down at the casino, and in the month of January what was budgeted
(unintelligible) the year started out really good. We're
going to probably be $200,000 over what was budgeted. That's
what was (unintelligible) just -- we get this every day, and this
is Tuesday, February 1st. Tuesday's, not being typically the
most busiest days, but this day started out what was budgeted was
$413,662 and actual was $456,064. That's over -- that's over
what we budgeted and at the bottom they give all the -- all the
stats from Slots, Table, Food & Beverage, Legends, Mt. View,
Deli and Lodge. Everyone of them was over budget what they
predicted they would get. They made more than
what they predicted they was going to get. The only thing --
the only part that was down was table games. Now, what that
tells me is that people at the casino are doing their job and that
reflects on each and every one of you. So, marketing is a big
part of what goes on and right now they're doing a heck of a job
Okay. I was wondering also does it -- does it --
Let -- let's let Val --
I know about those boxes at the Rose Garden for their high uppity
Say the question again, Les?
I -- does the casino still have its box at the Rose Garden for the
Blazer games? I know they had it for awhile?
I don't -- I don't know. Rodney, do we?
Yes, we do.
Yes. He said yes.
Yes, we do.
Yeah. But why -- why do we need that? I mean how many
normal people are they going to invite? I don't get
invited. Do you? I mean why couldn't we get to
I can comment.
Go ahead and comment, Rodney.
Rodney Ferguson, SMC Chief Executive Officer.
Yes. The box we have at the Rose Garden, we have set aside
marketing dollars to take care of those guests that spend quite a
bit of money at the casino. When I say quite a bit they may
come down two or three times a week and spend four, five, six
thousand dollars each time they come down and to have a box at the
casino that's just a small -- those folks we actually put those
boxes they could buy season tickets any time they want to.
All we're doing is rewarding them for their patronage at the
So, you're telling me it's the same group of people that's always
Not exactly. We -- we have quite a few folks who go multiple
times. The majority of our players we have, you know,
thousands and thousands of players that are in different categories
throughout the casino from a play standpoint. So, what we're
trying to do is to reward those players who basically reward us by
coming to the casino on a regular basis.
Okay. I don't know if my time's up.
Val Sheker, TCM. Les, the -- the casino marketing
budget has been something that I've been paying really close
attention to for the last couple a years and Councilwoman Tom and I
asked for a readout of everything that was sponsored through
marketing dollars at the casino for '09 through the end of '010, I
think it was, and what I had found on there is that we're giving
money to the University of Oregon, to Portland State, we are still
funding the Blazers, the Rose Festival and I understand that
marketing dollars need to be spent. I understand that.
But in this day and time they need to be spent at the extent when
we're promoting the casino at like Blazer games does it have to be
a $3 million endorsement? I don't think so. And another
thing kind of concerned me through that marketing budget is where
are all the marketing dollars for the convention center? That
place sits empty? Where's the conventions? Who is
marketing that? I mean aren't we supposed to -- we've built a
bigger hotel, a huge convention center and we really don't see much
in the way of any businesses or corporations coming here to use
it. And, you know, that really concerns me. So,
marketing dollars I understand need to be spent but to this extent,
I think, that -- I think it could be a little bit more
conservative. I think we get a bigger crowd when we give
everybody a $25 free play. They come in and play that and
spend more and -- you know, I'm not a marketing major but I think
we could be a little bit more frugal and a little bit more
aggressive when marketing our convention center.
Okay. I'll let somebody else take it and I'll be
Yeah. I'd just like to track onto what Steve said. When
he said that we -- it was up in January over $200,000. I
think another piece of that was last January we were at negative
almost 28 percent. We were almost down a $1.8 million in
January of last year. We also in December met budget.
So, you know, I -- I'm not saying the marketing is doing it, I
don't know whether the economy is doing it, but in the last two
months we've had very good months and very positive for starting
out the new year. We've got a new marketing person and one of
the conversations when he came in is we need that enthusiasm to the
floor. I think -- I don't know whether it's him or the whole
department but I think you can see that enthusiasm starting to
work. If you were down there on New Year's Eve there was a
lot of things being done and they were fairly cheap things being
done but people were really entertained by them and we had one of
the best New Year's we've ever had. So, in reduce -- and we
reduced the marketing budget by about $5 or $6 million dollars from
last year. So everybody, I think, is trying and I just want
to let people know we are off to a good start for '011. We --
we're on the positive side. It was the negative side last
year. So, hopefully it'll continue. So --
Adrianne Llaneza, #1715. I didn't get a chance to
congratulate the newly elected Council people.
Congratulations, Chris, Steve. And, Jack, it's really good to
see you back on Council where I know you belong. And also the
conduct of the -- or the conduct of the participants in last year's
election was commendable. There was no defacing of
signage. They didn't slam one another. They didn't make
accusations. There -- there was no mean-spiritedness and
that's good. They were elected based on honest
campaigning. They showed good character, it showed their
honesty and willingness to do the right thing. And it showed
me a lot of integrity. I was hoping their example would
re-define how a campaign could be and should be conducted in Grand
Ronde. This -- that is as good an example of how -- how a
campaign should be run. This year once again an accusation
was thrown in the air. There was no documentation or any
proof or disproof -- or disapproved of the accusation to accuse
anyone of theft or misusing Grand Ronde services for their own
personal benefit or use is to me a very serious charge. And I
tried to find information pertaining to this accusation but I
couldn't find any. All I could hear was just embellishment
innuendo. It was very speculatory. It was
sketchy. Therein lies the problem of just throwing out an
accusation with no proof. If I was to (unintelligible) always
have documentation to prove what I'm saying. I never -- and I
never mentioned anybody's name. But in this instance I had no
choice but to just ask and I mean this in all due respect to
Council and Reyn Leno. Reyn should be entitled to due process
and I believe in all fairness that the accusation was put out there
and maybe Reyn even at the next General Council meeting you could
bring documentation to prove your innocence because I think when
you throw an accusation out there and these are all members not
knowing if it's true or if it's not. So, Reyn, maybe at the
next Council meeting you could bring documentation. I
understand that you were -- there was an accusation about your
Yeah. I -- I was actually hoping Andy would have been here
today, that is Andy Jenness, because in these accusations and
actually I have all the documentation but I couldn't get in the
building over there to get it, but he made an accusation that there
was a significant finding in the audit for Round Valley. That
is a false statement. It was a simple note one of the audit
and the issue was not against me, it was an issue of the Council
for the owners of Round Valley and if Trudy was here because she
sent an email to Council saying there was no significant
finding. That it was what it said, a simple note that says if
you do any work for any Tribal Council, not Reyn Leno, but any
Council member, it needs to be noted in the books that you've done
work for the owners of the company. So, there was none and it
wasn't on Page 7. It's actually on Page 12. And the
only thing that I can see and I've done everything I can do that's
available on this thing and I'll give it to anybody, was the
bill. The only thing I can see and he emailed Jack the other
day and he wanted to know what size flatbed, what size truck, what
size excavator, uh, so obviously this whole thing was started on
the idea and he was asked why he was doing this, why are you doing
this, Andy, and it was -- I believe he stated that he wanted to
help out the business. Well, I think he's kind of gone away
from helping the business when he starts wanting to know what size
trailer, what size truck and everything else about this whole
issue. I don't believe he's questioning -- we've got four
Councilman who live in housing. Is he asking do they get a
benefit? Do they get an extra pep? Does he ask it about
down at the casino for all nine of us? Does he ask at the gas
station? Why is he dwelling into this one so much? And
it was a simple approach and brush out of a ditch and I don't know
which truck they used because I wasn't home when they did it.
The only thing I can see that I possibly could have been billed for
and I don't know how they bill, is -- I measured it actually this
morning and it's 1.2 miles from the highway that they came down on
the east side of the reservation on Willamina Creek and it's 1.2
miles from my house. So, if owe anything at all I owe for 2.4
gallons of gas and whatever for the use of that truck and
trailer. So, if I owe that I owe that because I paid the
other part of it and I'm -- I'm pretty much done with the whole
thing. I think that Mr. Jenness feels, I think, and if he
feels he has to go any further than this then he needs to quit
using the (unintelligible) -- the board or some of the Council to
sit up here and quit using Tribal people to do his work. If
he thinks he's got something you bring it because I would love to
take this before a hearings officer because I am done with
I have put everything forward. I've gotten nothing to
hide. If they want to charge me for my 2.4 miles so be
it. I'll pay it.
Well, I want to thank you for clearing that up and the reason I
brought it up and not any disrespect to you, Reyn, but as I said
when you throw an accusation out there when you don't have a
definite yes or no or yes -- or did you or didn't he then it leaves
a dark cloud over Reyn from that and I can -- and I then ask the
questions in with all -- all respect to you.
Yeah. And I've got all the -- I've got the facts and I've got
the emails from Trudy. I've got the bill. The --
everything anybody wants to look at then you just let me know and
I'll make you a copy of it.
This shows me that once again this is an individual who is trying
to shore up their own political weaknesses. They're jerking
facts to support their own conclusions and they're supposed to be
unadulterated by politics and once again we're being dominated by
them. So, let's stop this nonsense right now and have a good
clean, not a mean spirited, election. Win because you are a
good character. Win because you maintain a good campaign and
win because you have integrity, not because of dishonesty, lies or
deceit. Thank you. (Applause)
Thank you, Adrianne. Joe?
Joe Brisboes, #871. I had a couple questions about our
front line staff at the casino. They're getting their hours
cut again and why do we do nothing to middle management, cutting
some of their jobs, so the front line staff is who our customers
are (unintelligible) and they should be happy when they were there
instead of just a lot of them are -- are unhappy at work because
they're getting their hours always cut and that's the
(unintelligible) middle management to -- .
-- get rid of them?
For one, management personnel are exempt personnel. I mean
they're salaried. So, regardless of how many hours they work
they get paid for that's (unintelligible).
That's what I'm talking about is middle management will -- middle
management we could exclude -- just totally get rid of them and
stay with the front line staff.
Well, unfortunately there is a structure -- an over-structure
that's been in place that's been modified over the years which
makes the running of the operation as smooth as possible. Now
with respect to frontline personnel right now the extra volume has
gone up. At any given point in time we have about 20 open
positions and most of those employees who haven't left without --
because they either retire or they have (unintelligible) but at the
same time most employees actually are getting more than part-time
hours. So, with respect to the folks getting their hours cut
I'm not really sure which particular area you're referring
to. If you're talking about table games it could be some
dealers because the volume isn't there. We're simply going to
run the casino as a business and if the business isn't there we're
certainly going to have to cut back more hours. We're
certainly not going to have employees essentially standing around
doing -- doing nothing. For the most part business, as Reyn
had said earlier, that's picked up over the last three
Well, if it's picked up then why are we cutting the beverage
server's times and then we hear the poker room is going to be cut
too but --
Again, that's up to the specific manager. Every department is
different. Certain areas throughout the casino have more
volume than others. If the poker room has less volume in the
course of over the week it certainly is going to have those
employees early on. That's -- any business is like that,
Okay. Then I have another question for you. What
do you -- what's your say on what non-Tribal members if they had a
discrimination against Native Americans or the Hispanics?
I'm not really sure what you're referring to there. I'm a
non-tribal member. I don't have any discrimination at
So, if you're being specific about (unintelligible).
Well, in the -- in the (unintelligible) Native Americans or the
Hispanics or the Asians or the Black people that work there what's
your standing on them? Are you saying that you let them or
Well, no I -- I'm completely against the discrimination of any race
or ethnic background. I certainly won't tolerate it at the
casino. If it's something I'm aware of, I'll address it
immediately but I'm not aware of any violations like that. I
mean that's something that's (unintelligible) violation. It's
the (unintelligible) the environment.
It was -- it had been (unintelligible) and stuff but I don't know
if it was dealt with but I do (unintelligible) never again and I
know other people that had issues I know about is with the
Well, I certainly want to make sure that nothing is wiped under the
table or (unintelligible) anywhere. Again, if I know about
I'll address it immediately.
Joe? Would you present what you had and send it to Rodney so
he can review it and know that it was dealt with
Thank you. Les?
Les McKnight, #510. One of the things I -- I asked
about is this casino down here and the hotel, they sent out these
flyers for people that belonged to the Coyote Club and stuff and
they said it was like $59 bucks a night because they're a member,
they're club members. Well, what kills me is you get there
and if you're a non-smoker and they don't have no rooms for you
because they won't let you have rooms that are redone unless you
pay another $20 bucks a night. And I think when we post it
out there for $69 -- $59 that you should get any room. You
shouldn't have to get one of the old rooms. Yeah. I --
I don't think you should have to take an old room, especially if
they're a non-smoker.
Well, the unfortunate part is we didn't get to renovate all 254
rooms. We were able to renovate 149 rooms. So, there
are some folks who basically if, depending upon the time of your
reservation, you want to be put into one of the older rooms.
That's the unfortunate part.
Well, my sister told me that you guys told her -- they told her at
the hotel if she wanted to one of the other rooms that was
non-smoking that it would cost her $20 more a night and that was
it. I mean why pay $20 bucks more when it -- you're a club
member and you should be able to get it for that price you
Well, the -- the charge that you're referring is the charge for a
person smoking in a non-smoking room. The unfortunate part is
when someone does smoke in a non-smoking room it basically almost
destroys the room. Over time there's a build-up into the
drapery, into the bedding, into the carpets and
Dang. My sister wanted a non-smoking room because she don't
smoke and you guys said that -- down there they told her that it
would cost an extra $20 bucks a night to stay in that
Well, one, it -- it doesn't sound right. If a non-smoking
room is available and she doesn't smoke and one of the new rooms
are available then she can have that room. However, if those
rooms aren't available then she has to stay in one of the old
Well, she -- it was available if she wanted to pay the other $20
Well, I -- I can follow -- certainly follow-up on the issue.
Since you brought it to my attention I can follow-up as to why she
wasn't allowed any room.
Okay. And the other thing that I have to complain about is
having this flyer that you guys put out where the members of --
certain members that were belong to the Coyote Club card and they
were supposed to get an $8 free play and down at the bottom it said
-- it ended up where you're supposed to get a $50 replay.
Okay. It was posted down by the employees' locker or wherever
their room is, for two weeks ahead of time and the day that it came
due they be there, do it, get it fixed, you know. Everybody
down here at the Coyote Club and stuff said, no, that was a typo
because we didn't know about it and I know people that sat down
there for over two hours trying to wait for this and before I
(unintelligible) and a new deal (unintelligible) that they sent out
saying that they weren't responsible for typos. Like if
you've got a magnifying glass you might be able to read because
it's in such small fine print you can't see it hardly.
Okay. That's my problem.
Steve? We have a response to that. Steve, do you want
Well, I'm not totally sure about the coupon thing but I know
that -- that day that they actually made money on that. Isn't
that right, Rodney?
Yes. We made over -- actually over $200,000 and we did -- you
know, to the error there was -- was a mistake on the print form as
well as on a lack of verification in the marketing
department. But we also sent out another mailer to all those
folks who didn't get the entire $50. If they only received
$8, the different between the $8 and the $50 we actually sent them
that offer and they're all saying come on in and get your -- your
balance. Those (unintelligible) they received instead of
$50.00 showed up -- showed up on our -- our mistake.
Yeah. If I wanted to take care of -- if I wasn't taking care
of the (unintelligible), if I had to wait until the day that it --
it was due. Like you don't have anybody proof-reading these
things or --
Well, I was -- the point I just made it was a mistake and it was
corrected. Unfortunately someone didn't follow procedure who
was supposed to. That happens and --
Well, why didn't they just put them on the cards instead of having
to wait in line for two hours?
Well, I'll say this, I personally addressed the issue that
day. It was actually a month ago.
And I was there in the morning and I told them exactly what to
do. Anybody that came up was to get $50. Anyone who
came up with (unintelligible) if they didn't give the money to them
was told the follow up and make sure they got those funds. If
they were in the casino then they received them that day. If
they left and went home they received something in the mail saying
here are your coupons, you can come back to the casino and spend
your balance of $50.
Okay. I mean, I just wanted to mention why did you have to
use such fine print and it there's a mistake that you're not
responsible? I mean why can't you put it in bigger
print? I mean is something a secret? And you look at
the advertisement of how little it is.
Well, I didn't think it was fine print and actually I proofed it
before it actually went out myself. So -- you know,
it's all relative.
Ron Rife, #2124. Another point who is in charge of the
shuttle buses and where do I go to see or get copies of the
policies and/or regulations on that?
The same issue as before, it's security, and the same policy
applies to all of our property too.
The reason I bring this up or would you like to discuss this after
this meeting that we've had?
I'll be glad to discuss at the meeting. Get all your specific
issues all at one time.
Well, this issue it should be brought up right now and that is, uh,
I happened to be over at the service station and trying to find a
place to park. There was a shuttle that was blocking the
walkway and parking areas in front of the station. I asked
the driver why he was there and he says I'm dropping off a
person. He sat there. Then I asked him again who is
this person? Is it an employee or is it a customer? He
told me it was a cust -- or an employee. The individual come
out of the store and climbed onto the bus, one individual, of an
employee that works at the casino was taken to the Muk Muk House
and back. The employees of the Muk Muk House seen what was
happening and asked me what was going on. I responded and
they said we have called for the shuttle to pick up elders over
here to take them back over to the casino, they were told that they
do not pick up at the Muk Muk House.
Adrianne Lleneza, #1715. In 2009, I think it was -- at
the end of 2009, the beginning of 2010, I asked Council to find a
way to give our elders some kind of assistance. They have
survived now 11 years, 11 years without any relief. It was
the -- the excuse was we couldn't afford it and there was no policy
written for it. And at that time I asked Council to write a
policy for them. They are the only group of people in this
Tribe that have gone without a COLA in the past 11 years. Do
you honestly think that in three, four or five more years $1,000
will be adequate in the (unintelligible) now honestly and this is a
sad commentary for our Tribe. If we can't afford a three
percent cost of living for the elders how can we afford to hire a
chief of staff and pay them $150,000 a year or the cost to obtain
and maintain artifacts? We can't -- we're not even taking
care of the artifacts we have and they're called elders. It
is because of our elder's suffering we in this room share
success. As I've stated many times in the past too much money
is paid out to administration. I think it's something like a
half or a third of our budget. There is no way any one in
this organization should draw $150,000. There is no way in
this organization anyone should draw that kind of money unless
there is no poverty in our Tribe and there's poverty in our
Tribe. So, I challenge Council to put these two issues on a
ballot and present them to the membership for approval. I
remember somebody getting up here and then they were saying you
need to forget about the BIA, about what they've done in the
past. Well, a little sleep, a little slumber, a little
(unintelligible) and look where we are now. So, now I'm
assuming that we can build a casino downtown Portland? I know
we can't. In all seriousness I was wondering if we could be
involved in off shore gambling because there's billion of dollars
in off shore gambling. Some people like to sit home and
gamble on their TV, you know, over the internet. In
conclusion, in the last analysis, we can work together. We
can work together because we are a passionate people.
Council, don't let us feel that when we come up to this podium that
we are just doing lip service. Let us know that there's a
degree of inevitability and action will be taken. Management
is doing things right and leadership is doing their own
thing. Thank you.
Thank you, Adrianne. (Applause) Steve?
Steve Rife, #1480. I know for a fact that upper
management over at the casino gave themselves a raise when they
were laying off Tribal members and other people that could work and
do services down on the floor to be taken care of with customers
coming in and out. Also, I know for a fact and I was asked to
present this before Tribal Council that Mr. Ferguson told an
individual right to their face that they would rather have 20,000
people coming and spend $1 than have one person come in and spend
$20,000 in one day. That's all I need to say right now.
Gladys Hobbs, #626. Just to set the record straight
and I don't know who Mr. Rife was talking to but I have been picked
up several times at the Muk Muk House to go over to the
casino. I just got off the phone with the Shuttle Service
and, yes, you can get picked up at the Muk Muk House to be taken
over to the casino. When it -- if you can't find a parking
place over there sometimes you can find one at the Muk Muk House
and the shuttle will come and pick you up. Thank you.
Debbie Anderson, #3264. I would like to express my
gratitude to the Tribe for the classes that we have in our Portland
office. Everything has been going really well since the first
of the year and I really appreciate the opportunity to go and
invite anyone who would like to join us on Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursdays for culture, Wawa and (unintelligible) classes.
Also, I would like to inquire we've been in our Portland office for
over a year now. I believe the official date is coming up for
a year of -- it was open to the Tribe and we have never had a grand
opening or an open house for a please come and see us and join us
and I was curious as to if there's something scheduled for our
first anniversary or if that is ever going to happen. It's --
it's kind of an embarrassment to me as a Tribal member that a lot
of people that live in our area have never been to the new
offices. They're beautiful. We have a great program
going for individuals and families. A lot of people don't
even know where we are yet. So, I was just curious if there's
something planned and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
I appreciate everybody's efforts to cut back. And it -- it
pains me that there's so much arguing and unhappiness among our
Tribal members so I just want to say thank you for what we have in
Portland. I'm very grateful.
Thank you, Debbie. (Applause)
Siobhan Taylor, Public Affairs Director. First of all,
Debbie, I just want to thank you and your son, Eric, for assisting
at the Arch Bridge Event in Oregon City and at the Gathering of
Nations celebration last Saturday in Salem and (unintelligible) and
I appreciate that. On the subject of the Portland office it's
funny you should ask, if you hadn't noticed there are now flag
poles installed out towards the road in front of the
building. We will proudly be displaying the Grand Ronde
Tribal Flag, it will fly there, along with the United States flag
and the State of Oregon flag. In this (unintelligible), God
willing, a little drive we'll be having a grand opening
celebration. I'm actually looking for volunteers. So,
Debbie, I'm going to put both of you on the list. I'm hoping
to have a -- a grand opening where we invite -- two grand openings
where we will invite all our Tribal membership and elders and
another grand opening where we invite all the leadership and the
City of Portland, Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas
County to witness our flag raising and then to partake in a Tribal
invocation and the celebration will be (unintelligible). One
of the ideas that (unintelligible) is also doing a Tribal member
art show for that day for all the (unintelligible).
Thank you. Is there a date, Siobhan?
The date is not yet set. We're looking at May.
Bryan Mercier, #1357. I was just curious. The
budget that you'all have for last year and this year is that going
to be coming out to the membership some time for us to view that
because I -- I never did see it?
What is -- I -- I think that was put together. Siobhan,
what date is that scheduled and --
Rick Andersen, Acting Finance Officer. It went to the
printers on Friday and it should be mailed out Monday, I
assume. Monday or Tuesday of this week.
So, sometime this week?
Do we -- could -- could -- I know we were budgeting about $6 or $7
million deficit that you'll have the physical task of trying to see
who cut programs or -- or finding the funding somewhere. Can
you briefly describe how you'all met that $7 million
Well, I'll go ahead and refer you to -- to Rick but, yes, we did
achieve the goal.
Yeah. We -- with the assistance of the executive office and
staff, we went back and we went through a thorough review of the
budgets that were submitted and asked the staff to dig a little
deeper in their pockets and make some adjustments on things that
would not directly affect Tribal members. And that was -- it
proved successful exercising it early December. We also
talked to the casino to see if there's some adjustments that they
could make in their operations and yet not effect the -- effect
some processes within the casino operations. In other words
they were able to do that by making some adjustments to equipment
they needed to buy and some cut backs to projects that they wanted
to do in 2011. Most of the (unintelligible) will be moved to
2012? And those are the major adjustments that we made and --
and were very successful. There will be on -- I believe it's
Page 10, in the Tilxam Wawa there will be a complete list, a
detailed list of investments that were made to kind of shore up and
-- it really wasn't a short fall. It was just that we had to
do a little different strategy being that members spoke out clearly
and stated they didn't -- not want to use funding sources from
endowments in the word that the -- we -- we used on
Thank you. And I -- I'd appreciate Tribal Council not going
that route if they (unintelligible) if it is being -- if it is in
the interest on the endowments. You usually need that for a
rainy day and especially (unintelligible) in the next few years but
that was, you know, that's a (unintelligible) and the one right now
should we reserve that power for the date. So, it sounds like
some of the staff and the programs is kind of a second look at
their budgets and they seem to be able to find some savings there
and we may pass the savings from the casino as well. I wonder
if all Tribal members that they chipped in too and I think we're
receiving a reduced per capita now and I think that we all deserve
credit for being a part of that. We're helping to fund our
Tribe by foregoing a little extra of the money ourselves. I
-- I want to disagree slightly with Adrianne's request for the
Tribal elders because the Tribal elders that I speak to actually
are willing to forego an increase in these tough times and they
would rather see that increase in their -- their pension should go
to our Tribal children for their scholarships, for some of the
programs that are for our teachers and so I -- I respectfully
disagree that all Tribal elders are -- are wanting or demanding or
really need an increase in their -- in their pension but at the
same point her -- her point is valid in that the request and the
challenge I think she has for Tribal Council was what you'all are
doing to chip in? You know many of you are tribal
elders. You have a very good salary. You know, you'all
get travel, you get per diem, you know, you guys live pretty
well. And so -- so are there things that you'all could be
doing to also chip in with the Tribe because we're all chipping in
with the reduced per capita. Program staff are chipping or
reducing their budgets. What -- what are you'all doing to
help? I think that's the -- the question that the
(unintelligible) would ask.
Kathleen Tom, TCM. We have reduced our budget,
Bryan. And you'll get to see that when the Tilxam Wawa comes
out. So, the Tribal Council has done their share. We
also, as Tribal members too, we had a cut in per capita too but the
Tribal Council is very serious about cutting budget and -- and we
did that, so --
Look forward to seeing that.
Yeah. I guess, I -- I kind of question that because the
government budget was a part of the Council's budget that was
reduced. Council's budget is actually up four percent.
Four to five. Correct? Yes. So, it -- it's not a
full true statement when you say Council reduced its budget.
Council reduced the budget that Council lays within but the actual
budget of Council to travel, the things that are around Council,
the Coun -- that go right to Council was actually increased by four
or five percent as well.
That -- that's kind of shocking.
I'm -- of lot of it's been confusing ever since the budget was
approved because some said it would reduce it. Well, the
government (unintelligible) was reduced because of the reduction in
private gaming, the off-reservation fees that were (unintelligible)
but actually Council's budget is up.
So, the -- the government as a whole is reduced but within that
whole -- the whole government, Council's portions has actually
Okay. Was that an increase in travel expenses or what -- what
was that increased by revenue? Did you guys get -- take a
raise this year I bet?
So was that travel budget then increased overall?
Well, I guess we'll see the details.
I'll have a lot more questions in March when -- when we have the --
the board will have a conversation, I guess.
It actually did away with some things and some things were added in
like sponsor -- not a sponsorship but, uh, when we have to go sign
in for ANTI and things like that.
Well, thanks for catching that, Reyn. All I'm saying is that
I think you'all need to be aware that we're all chipping in
together during these tough times and that you have to be prepared
for the worst. I mean we hope for the best and fear for the
worst and the worst is potentially a Cowlitz casino opening in five
years and then we have to cut $30 million out of our budget and
what do we do then? So, we need to prepare for what's
coming. Let's all chip in now. It's a good thing
because we're going to get asked to chip in more later.
Well, one of the things that I would say just in terms of
forecasting whether the casinos that are proposed will actually,
you know, be developed. It's really the strategies that we
have been working on will continue to step up and look at all of
the other options that we do have. I -- I agree. I
think that the budget situation -- I mean everyone has heard and
yet we argue over things like, well, what happened with the
children's school budget that was actually cut. Well, it
wasn't cut. It was -- it was reserved. What happens
with the foster care money? That was asked a few times.
That there was a cut. It looks like a cut but actually
there's another column that looks to the state where those dollars
will be added back in to those efforts. But overall for me
the big question is this, what services must be retained here at
Grand Ronde in order to operate under one government but the
services that are important to the Tribe and, you know, there --
there's a split opinion about should we be putting all of these
dollars into per capita or should we be continuing to support the
programs that are here at Grand Ronde and have annual
increases. That's really -- that's really the question.
And should we be providing services that the State presently
provides for our members and should we be doing a better job at
capturing those dollars and or referring our members to those
existing State programs or should we -- should we continue to
operate those dollars here. So, those -- those programs
here. So, that's really -- that's really the question for
us. You know, routinely I will say this that every
survey shows that the Tribe is down, to all the members. The
question that's on there, do we build services here at Grand
Ronde? This is our home land. Do we build the services
here? And unanimously it's been answered, yes, build the
services here. So, that -- that's the real heart of the
Perri McDaniel, #2524. I come before you today in
thanks for allowing me the opportunity to serve and promote the
Eugene area. And that's why I come to you today in
(unintelligible) request, to request that, uh, regarding the budget
that Bryan spoke of there's some other cuts. It was brought
to my attention by members in the Eugene area that because it's a
college town many of the members we serve down there are college
students and they've been told that the stipend that they get for
housing may be cut and they're very concerned with that and asked
me to come before you and ask that you not cut that stipend because
-- and this is what they presented to me and wanted me to convey to
you is that they feel like they are our future and that this is how
they are working toward our overall mission of being
self-sufficient and that one day they will be self-sufficient and
that this is a contribution that helps them out today and also they
wanted me to convey the message that without housing many of them
wouldn't be able to be full-time students attending school and they
just wanted to identify that and don't cut the housing
section. Thank you.
Joani, do you -- are -- are those plans in place to cut the
student's benefit housing (unintelligible)?
Joani Dugger, Executive Assistant, Grand Ronde Tribal Housing
She -- she said, no, Perri.
We have made some changes to our program, which is our student
rental assistance program, but it has not resulted in cuts.
It's only resulted in changing (unintelligible) and they could be
(unintelligible) policies. So, if you want our policy to be
clarify that the Tribal housing, yes. For the attendance
there's three-quarter time, half-time (unintelligible) and
full-time. And none of those -- none of those
(unintelligible) will be impacted.
Joani? You might -- I asked John yesterday when the next
housing meeting was and I understood they moved it. So,
you might want to let people know that who might be expecting it
That is correct. We've moved it to February 23rd
at 5:00 p.m. at the Housing Authority and that is a Wednesday at 3
o'clock. We are accommodating a couple of -- one member's
request because they couldn't attend at the regular time.
That will be February 23rd and that is posted on the
(unintelligible) in that area.
Thank you. Jolanda?
Jolanda Catabay, #3424. I thought I'd just kind of
bring this up real quick before we go to lunch and people will be
asking. We have a new employee. I was wondering if
Council had made (unintelligible) could introduce the new Economic
Yes. We will do that. I would like to invite Titu
now. I -- I apologize, I don't remember your last name but I
know that Titu is an abbreviated name but this is our new Economic
Development Director. He comes from work -- employment in
California with very high credentials and services that he's
provided for other tribes and I will invite you, Titu, to introduce
yourself to these people of Grand Ronde.
Titu Asghar, Economic Development Director. Thank you,
Madame. My name is Titu Asghar. I came from employment
with a casino-operated tribe, San Manuel Band of Mission
Indians. I served there for about approximately six years and
I'm looking forward to serving this tribe as well. So,
if you guys have any questions for me I'd be more than happy to
Thank you, Titu. (Applause) Cheri?
Cheri Butler, #607. Yes. We would like to do the
(unintelligible) so I don't mess up any more things.
(Laughter) We'll go ahead and start with the blue card.
Take out your blue card.
Lauri Smith, Council Senior Administrative Assistant.
This is the 50/50 drawing?
The Jack of Clubs. (Applause) Penny
I have another one.
Who is our winner?
It's Qahira Barton.
Who won the 50/50. It's the Ace of Hearts. And that's
teal -- teal blue. The one that replaced -- okay. Back
there. Dave Tovey. (Applause) And I'd like to
thank all of you. That was a (unintelligible) card
vendor. I'm sorry I messed up on that first. I didn't
know we had pinochle cards.
Thank you, Cheri. (Applause) Well, it's time to
eat. Chris indicated that he had something to say before we
do that. So, I turn the floor to you, Chris?
Chris Mercier, TCM. This is -- is April Campbell
present by any chance?
Okay. Can you come up here, April? This is -- this is
going to look really staged because my brother got up and said
something that was kind to what I'm about to do here but the
check's dated several weeks ago. I was going to do this about
three weeks ago. People coming up here, I think, and talking
about the budget difficulties we've been facing and whether or not
Tribal Council would take a cut and I think that -- I just want to
defend Council saying that I think all of us work very hard and we
deserve what we get paid and (unintelligible).
I do. I believe that. I really do. And I do
believe though that we should share but I think that should be up
to individual Council members how to do that. But I thought
about what I could do to contribute back to the Tribe and as a lot
of you know I used to be the Tribal Librarian and the Tribal
Library is undergoing an expansion and so they're going to be new
folks and I wanted to donate the equivalent of one of my paychecks
to the Tribal Library and I was going to hand that off to April
Thank you, very much. (Applause)
Thank you, Chris. Gosh.
I'm going to use that to sort of buy my way out of leaving a
Council meeting early, so -- (Laughter) Today is Super Bowl
Sunday if you don't know.
Super Bowl. Before we go ahead and adjourn, I just -- I want
to ask before we would adjourn here and eat and then everyone can
go enjoy the game if there are any other comments.
I have one.
Adrianne has one.
Adrianne Llaneza, #1714. Real quickly. We in
Portland get the Smoke Signal but some of the issues that are in
there -- things about that have already happened or else the next
day. It's like -- it's like getting a GP -- having a GPS that
says your exit was way back there. (Laughter) Is there
any way to make it more current so that we can be involved in some
of the things and events that are down here?
Go ahead, Siobhan.
Siobhan Taylor, Public Affairs Director. The Smoke
Signal is sent out on a third class mailing because of our budget
cuts. So, there is -- it's a way to save the Tribe over
$150,000 by going and not sending it first class mail
anymore. If you want to see it more immediately you can look
at it on line and then the launch of the new website next month you
will be -- actually this month, you will be able to access articles
as they are written directly on line. So, that will
(unintelligible) on the internet.
Thank you, Siobhan.
Violet Folden, #625. And the elders have a
raffle. They want -- they'd like to get done before we
adjourn. Would you like that after lunch or before lunch?
Okay. We'll do that. Sounds good to me.
All right. Thank you. So, we will ask for a motion to
A motion's made and seconded. All in favor say aye.
Aye. (In Unison)