05/22/13

Highlights ITC Mtg. May 14, 2013

Mtg. started at 9:02 a.m.

Absent: CM Phillip Jiron & Lt. Gov. Isidor Abeita

GOVERNOR’S REPORT

COMMUNITY MEETING

Governor Eddie Paul Torres informed the Council that tribal members gave him mostly positive comments on the community meeting, which he conducted on May 11, 2013. He was pleased that the meeting went well.  For the next meeting, he promised to publish the agenda in the Tribal Newsletter.

CM James Abeita: I know we don’t divulge financial information because we don’t want the outside world to know. But, there has to be someway to let our people know how much money the Tribe is making. Perhaps we can tell them in our [native] language.

The people want to know how much money the Tribe is making, especially for the casino. We need to establish integrity in our relationship with the people.  We need to give them numbers.  We give them a lot of “rah-rah” information. But, we need to give numbers.

9:16 a.m. CM Phillip Jiron arrived.

CM Barbara Sanchez: Governor, you did a good job moderating the meeting. But, my concern is that people were using their cell phones to take pictures of our numbers displayed at the meeting. I was told people were doing this. And, I disagree with Councilman Abeita about disclosing our revenue.

FAILURE TO ATTEND COMMUNITY MEETING

The following Council members did not attend the community meeting conducted on May 11, 2013: Joseph “Cougar” Lucero, Phillip Jiron & Cynthia Jaramillo.

CM Fernando Abeita made a motion to suspend Council Members for 30 days for failing to attend the community meeting. He made this motion because in 2009 the Council suspended him for failing to attend a community meeting. So, he wanted the current Council to enforce the same policy.

CM Abeita explained that CM Cynthia Jaramillo chastised him at a prior meeting when he informed the Council that he would not attend the May 11th community meeting. He had to take a school exam on that day. According to Abeita, CM Jaramillo went on the record to criticize him and she argued that all Council members needed to attend community meetings. So, Abeita took the exam on an earlier date so he could attend the May 11th meeting.

CM Douglas Jiron: This is a new Council.  We didn’t discuss this beforehand. We need to set parameters beforehand.

VP Larry Jaramillo: We weren’t aware of those policies and we shouldn’t throw stones. My comments are along the same lines as Douglas.

CM James Abeita: I ask the old Council Members, what was the basis that caused the Council to suspend others?
 
CM Barbara Sanchez: In 2009, the Council suspended Fernando for failing to attend a community mtg. At that time, the Council felt everyone should attend the mtg b/c the issue concerned lowering the blood quantum.

CM Cynthia Jaramillo:  It is important for us to be at community mtgs. But, on May 11th, I was graduating from UNM and that was an important day for me.  So, I couldn’t attend. Otherwise, I would’ve been there. I apologize to everyone.  I hope you’ll accept my apology.

CM Fernando Abeita: I understand that situations develop.  I have no problem.  Everyone will attend the meetings when they can.

CM Verna Teller: Things come up. We never know until something happens. I can’t read the future. So, I can’t commit to attending every mtg. What happened to Fernando was cruel and unusual punishment.

CM Fernando Abeita: I’ll rescind my motion.

TRIBAL MEMBERSHIP ROLL

Chief Judge Larry Lucero requested the Council to allow the Isleta Tribal Court to have an updated tribal membership roll. Currently, the Court has a membership roll from 2008.  The Courts need the roll to verify membership of persons appearing before the court.

April Abeita, Director of the Tribal Enrollment Office, explained that the turnaround time for the court to get membership information is the same day that her office receives a request. She also said that IPD [Isleta Police Department] has a membership roll.  But, she does not know the year of that membership roll. IPD routinely requests membership information from her office.

Tribal Attorney, Pablo Padilla, stated that the Tribal Enrollment Committee unanimously agreed that the Tribal Court should not have a copy of the membership roll.

President Michael Allen Lente asked for a show of hands on whether the Council should release a membership roll to the Tribal Court.

CM’s in favor:

Michael Allen Lente
Larry Jaramillo
Verna Teller
Fernando Abeita
Josephine Padilla
James Abeita

CM’s opposed:

Barbara Sanchez
Cynthia Jaramillo
Juan Rey Abeita
Joseph “Cougar” Lucero
Phillip Jiron
Douglas Jiron

DAVID LESTER MEMORIAL

CM Joseph “Cougar” Lucero requested that the Tribe sponsor a memorial for David Lester for up to $ 7,500.

Lester was the Executive Director of the Council for Energy Resource Tribes (CERT). He died on December 26, 2012.

CM Juan Rey Abeita: I recommend that we give $ 4,000.

CM Josephine Padilla: I motion that we donate $ 1,000 to the David Lester memorial. Second by Fernando Abeita. Motion failed 5 in favor, 6 opposed and 1 abstaining.

Voting Yes:

Josephine Padilla
Fernando Abeita
Michael Allen Lente
Barbara Sanchez
Verna Teller

Voting No:

Joseph “Cougar” Lucero
Larry Jaramillo
Cynthia Jaramillo
Juan Rey Abeita
Douglas Jiron
Phillip Jiron


Abstaining:

James Abeita

CM James Abeita: I motion that we donate $ 5,000 to the David Lester memorial. Motion carried 7 in favor, 5 against and 0 abstaining.

Voting Yes:

Joseph “Cougar” Lucero
James Abeita
Douglas Jiron
Phillip Jiron
Cynthia Jaramillo
Juan Rey Abeita
Larry Jaramillo

Voting No:

Michael Allen Lente
Verna Teller
Fernando Abeita
Josephine Padilla
Barbara Sanchez.

NM INDIAN COUNCIL ON AGING

CM James Abeita, on behalf of the Isleta Elderly Advisory Committee, presented a sponsorship request for the NM Indian Council on Aging (NMICOA). The organization provides educational materials to senior citizens.

The Isleta Elderly Advisory Committee is requesting the Tribe to provide a facility and meals for a meeting set for October 24, 2013. The Council by motion unanimously approved the request and will host the meeting at the Isleta Golf Course.

HOUSING

MALCOLM TRUJILLO

Malcolm Trujillo, on behalf of his daughter, requested the Council hear his concern about a missing air conditioner (A/C) from her mobile home. She obtained the mobile home from the Tribe. At some point, someone stole the A/C. 

Trujillo said that the only thing remaining is the shell to the A/C. He wanted the Isleta Pueblo Housing Authority (IPHA) to replace the missing A/C.

According to Trujillo, Denny James, Executive Director of the IPHA, wanted to conduct an investigation.  Later, Trujillo discovered that someone was accusing him of taking the A/C. This upset Mr. Trujillo and he felt that Mr. James was not taking care of the problem.

James explained that the cost to replace the A/C will be $350.  The IPHA has insurance but the deductible is $500.  So, it does not make sense for the IPHA to make a claim under its insurance.

President Lente: Mr. James this is a small problem. These are issues the Council shouldn’t have to address. 

Secretary Verna Teller:  We shouldn’t be hearing it. But, it’s our fault. We can’t blame Mr. James.

CM Joseph “Cougar” Lucero:  We are here for our people! I’m not gonna put our people aside! Since 2011, we’ve had complaints about housing – disparate treatment of tribal members and tribal elders. I hope you are going to settle this amicably.

Mr. Trujillo: I need to come here, that’s why you are here. It’s hard to go to Housing because you [Mr. James] don’t listen.  He just walks off.

President Lente:  You’ll need to take this to the Board [IPHA].

GENEVIEVE VICENTE

The previous Council set aside $68K to make renovations to Genevieve Vicente’s home.  To pay for the renovations, the IPHA would use federal dollars from HUD (Housing & Urban Development).

Ms. Vicente, however, wanted IPHA to build her a new home. If IPHA builds Vicente a new home, the total cost would be $150K.  If IPHA builds her a new home, then IPHA would need to use tribal money not HUD money.

There was much confusion between the IPHA and the Public Works Department concerning the construction of a home for Ms. Vicente.

Mike Candelaria from Public Works explained that he was having problems because he was getting multiple housing plans.  Also, he is concerned that the plan to build a new home will require construction over existing water lines, which will cause problems.

CM Barbara Sanchez made a motion directing the IPHA to create one set of plans and for Genevieve Vicente and Denny James to sign off on the plans, to identify the cost, the source of funding for the construction and the plans to come back to the Council in one week. The motion carried unanimously.

12:31 p.m. Council breaks for lunch.

AFTERNOON SESSION STARTED AT 1:40 P.M.

PABLO PADILLA, TRIBAL ATTORNEY

Tribal Attorney, Pablo Padilla, informed the Council that the next issue required him to give legal advice to Council concerning the Tribe’s Lava Block operations.  Padilla said there is a situation arising that may require litigation involving the Lava Blocks. So, President Michael Allen Lente asked me to leave the meeting during discussion of such issue. The Council did not go into executive session.

2:18 p.m. I returned to the Council meeting.

CASINO COMPENSATION SURVEY

When I arrived, the Tribal Attorney, Pablo Padilla, was explaining that the Human Resources Director for the Casino, Patrick Streight, would be requesting approval for a compensation study at an upcoming meeting.

REGINA JOYCE ZUNI, FORMER COUNCIL MEMBER

President Michael Allen Lente informed the Council that ReGina Joyce Zuni requested a due process hearing before the Council.

The previous Council banned Zuni from attending Council meetings.  Pamela Gallegos, CEO of the Hard Rock Casino, also banned Zuni from entering upon the Casino’s properties.  She is also banned from the Tribal Services Complex.

The Council did not make a formal motion on this issue.  Instead, President Lente asked Council members to state whether the Council should afford Zuni a due process hearing.

CM James Abeita: We need to look at that to make sure it is legal and that we are open on the matter.

CM Barbara Sanchez:  This issue is moot. We already decided to uphold the decision.  When is she gonna give due process to people that she continues to hammer on her Facebook? My answer is no.

CM Joseph “Cougar” Lucero: No!

CM Phillip Jiron: No.

CM Cynthia Jaramillo: She knows why she’s banned. No.

CM Juan Rey Abeita: No.

VP Larry Jaramillo: She had a privilege and she abused it. No.

President Lente: No.

Secretary Verna Teller:  What she writes is mean spirited.  But, I have concerns about prohibiting people from attending Council meetings. I’m going to abstain.

CM Fernando Abeita: Gary stated that what she writes is protected.  I abstain. [Abeita is referring to Attorney Gary Brownell].

CM James Abeita: Abstain.

CM Josephine Padilla: Earlier we said we are here for everyone.  And then – in the next breath – we don’t allow it. I don’t know if she will change. She has no respect. No.

CM Douglas Jiron: No.

Vice-President Larry Jaramillo:  I read an article about a woman in Canada. She was doing the same thing and her activities prompted an audit by the government.  Not that we’re afraid of an audit. But, the truth can be twisted and can be damaging to the community.

We will stand on last year’s decision.

TRIBAL MEMBERSHIP REQUEST

CM Cynthia Jaramillo made a motion to enter into executive session to discuss the tribal membership request of Lorenzo Keryte’s wife.  Second by Phillip Jiron, motion carried with 9 in favor, 1 opposed and 2 abstaining.

Voting Yes:       

Cynthia Jaramillo
Phillip Jiron
Joseph “Cougar” Lucero
Barbara Sanchez
Michael Allen Lente
Verna Teller
Fernando Abeita
James Abeita
Douglas Jiron

Voting No:

Josephine Padilla  


Abstaining:

Larry Jaramillo
Juan Rey Abeita

[See blog post dated 2/26/13 concerning Keryte's membership request].

2:54 p.m. Council enters executive session to discuss the membership request. I left the meeting at this time.

I did not attend Council meetings on May 16th or May 21st.

By Christopher Abeita