On November 12, 2014, Governor Eddie Paul Torres told the Council that he will hold a community meeting on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at the Isleta Resort and Casino. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 12:00 p.m.
Torres said that the purpose of the meeting is to “recap” what his administration has done. He told President Michael Allen Lente that he will give him an opportunity to address the Tribe as well.
Governor Torres explained, that the community meeting will occur at the same time as the Elderly Arts and Crafts Show. He said, that it was not planned that way; it was just coincidental.
Torres also said, I want to bring out another thing. If people try to turn this into a political rally, I will put it to an end. I will remove anyone that tries to disrupt our meeting. I will have my sheriffs and the police remove anyone that becomes disruptive because I won’t put up with that!
Council President Michael Allen Lente suggested having the community meeting in December after the election. But, Torres said that they would be busy in December.
Torres then concluded his report.
Governor Torres Gets Feisty
Secretary Verna Teller said, Excuse me Governor, you’ve haven’t been here for several weeks, you’ve been out and about. And, you missed a very important Council meeting. Can’t you give us a report on what you’ve been doing?
Governor Torres responded, are you saying that I’m not here intentionally? Because I’ve been attending meetings on behalf of the Tribe! I’m the Chairman of the All Pueblo Council of Governors!
Torres seemed very defensive. He accused Teller of getting “political” because she asked for a report.
Teller responded, I’m not getting “political,” I just want you to give us a report because you haven’t been here. And, if you’re attending meetings on behalf of the Tribe, then you should give us a report about the “specific” things you’re discussing at your meetings.
Torres, “Well, I’m not ignoring Council Meetings; I have not. I am here when I have to be here and when I can be here.”
He then explained, that one of the things that he’s been working on as Chairman is a “new agreement” with UNMH (University of New Mexico Hospital). Torres said, that UNMH is obligated to provide 100 beds to Native Americans. But, they haven’t fulfilled the contract.
Torres said, that the Governors, for all of the Pueblos, selected him to be the Chairman and that it’s an honor for him to serve as the Chairman. He told the Council, that the work benefits all of the Pueblos, not just Isleta.
Torres will Respond to Challenger Herman Lente
Governor Eddie Paul Torres then announced that he is going to release a statement in response to his opponent Herman Lente. He said, “probably tomorrow or very soon.”
Lente is the challenging Governor Eddie Paul Torres in the upcoming race for the Governor’s Office. 320 tribal member nominated Herman Lente to run against the incumbent Torres who received 433 nominations.
1,194 tribal members will get the chance to vote on November 29th. They will decide whether they want to move in a new direction by voting for Herman Lente as our new Governor. Or, they could vote to move in the same direction by retaining Torres.
The Governor explained, that he is releasing a statement to the “whole Tribal Membership.” He said, “If I don’t release a statement in response to my opponent, then people are going to think that whatever he is saying is true.” Torres said, this is a “political time for all of us. So, we have to address these things.”
Vice-President Larry Jaramillo changed topics by asking, I’ve been getting questions about the shooting by our police officer and I can’t answer them. Governor, what information can you give us?
Governor Torres said, that he couldn’t say much because the matter is still under investigation. He did say, that the shooting occurred off the reservation and that no one got hit.
President Lente requested Torres to bring in the Chief of Police to answer questions from the Council. Torres promised that he would.
Authority of Lieutenant Governors
Council Member James Abeita told Torres that the Lieutenants, “very rarely give us feedback.” I think that they need to take an active part and you need to delegate responsibility to them because one person can’t be everywhere.
Torres replied, that he has given the LTs authority and that they have just as much authority as the Governor. Especially, when I’m gone. When I’m not here, they have full authority.
Governor Torres said, that he has “taken only 3 trips during his whole administration” and that he does direct his LTs to go to meetings. Torres also agreed, that the LTs “should communicate more with the Council.”
Torres concluded by stating, “the bottom line is that we take care of business and there is always room for improvement.”