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In order to keep our tribal members informed and keep transparency with our tribal members our newsletter will focus on what the Quechan Tribal Council worked on for the week.
“Together we Progress”
During the week of September 4th
Monday was Labor Day so Tribal Administration was closed. But some Tribal Council members were busy the during weekend helping members during the storm with accommodations, food, water, rescue, and/or road maintenance. Mostly due to power outages and safety issues.
Regular monthly meeting with the Tribal Community at 7:00 p. m. went quickly. There was only one item on the agenda which was approval of Tribal Commission Gaming budget. President asked for questions any given from the floor, but there was no response so the meeting was adjourned.
Although we may not be in Chambers, we are still conducting tribal business through email and phone calls regarding business and tribal member concerns, issues, and or emergencies. If need be, we are subject to be called for an unscheduled meeting. Tribal business in general may also need a consensus. Typically, we vote on issues three to four times a day even when we are at Chambers. We comment back and forth to come up with a solution to any given situation. For example, I received four phone calls from tribal members regarding safety concerns, setting up a meeting to help develop a curriculum about our Nation, another wanted to know who to contact for her problem, and last wanting to know the date and time for an event.
We were privileged to celebrate those employees of the tribe and casino for their loyalty and serving us for 25 years and more. On Wednesday, September 6th we celebrated with dinner, gifts, and entertainment. We thanked them for their support and spoke of our appreciation for what they do and look forward to many more years to come.
Thursdays are Work Session days. During work sessions we look at a variety of business matters that are brought to our attention to read, correct, clarify, so that they may or may not be passed at a Special Meeting. This week we read through six invoices (bills that need to be paid), review of a resolution to approve a contract, another to continue a contract, and a third to approve an application for Special Diabetes Program, review of an upcoming event, two promotions from the casino for October, review of nine job descriptions, and two admin meetings. Later in the day we held a Special Meeting to vote on 8 items. During these sessions if a Resolution is warranted for the item, it must be read by the tribal secretary. It was a long day.
On Friday, we attended a training for the defibrillator that are placed in prominent locations on the reservation. The sessions were offered throughout the day by our Emergency Management Director, Dennis Boone. We also had a virtual meeting with our attorney regarding the Oro Cruz mining operation. We discussed our concerns on how the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could issue a permit without a government-to-government consultation with us, which is part of the protocol when issuing permits on federal lands.
During the week of September 11th
We listened to a presentation by ADT security alarms about “Life Alert” type necklaces and wrist bands for elders, tribal members with medical issues and handicapped members. There are four protocols used; (1) A patient presses the button to activate the situation, (2) A two-way communication is established, (3) Agents assess the situation, and (4) Deployment of a response (family or emergency person listed will be called). We are still studying this and should be able to decide soon.
The Tribal Council hosted a group of elders from the Tonto Apache Tribe for lunch at Sidewinders.
We had a Water Meeting with Frank Venegas (Quechan Water Technician) and Jay Weiner (Quechan Water Attorney). They gave us an update on projects, grants, negotiations, an upcoming meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner, along with a possible reservoir in our future. Further discussion will occur concerning that.
Tribal Council has Casino Management Meeting at least once a month depending on our schedule and any concerns Casino Management has that need to be resolved quickly. Normally, we meet bi-weekly. During these meetings we hear and either approve or disapprove of groups seeking sponsorship from the tribe, marketing lines out promotions for the coming month or months and we approve or disapprove or seek further information about a matter, an entertainment update (how negotiations are going for some artists), reports from TGO (Paradise Casino) Christina Solario and TGA (The Q) Dwayne Waters reporting what they have been doing since we last met and what is upcoming, Tribal Gaming Commissioner's report, an update from the Chief Operations Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) , and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Council members: Donald Medart Jr., Zion White, Jonathan Koteen, Gloria McGee, and Virgil Smith along with President Jordan Joaquin attended the Planning Supervisors meeting held in El Centro to protest the issuance of a permit by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM, El Centro) for Oro Cruz SMP Gold and to ask that they not issue an Imperial County permit for the same. As part of the protocol for issuing a permit on federal lands BLM must conduct a government-to-government meeting with tribes effected by the project. BLM failed to do that. The supervisors did not issue the permit, but instead tabled it for now until BLM follows proper protocol. Another meeting will be set up for the supervisors to decide whether to issue the permit or not.
A Special Meeting was held to approve or disapprove six invoices, one resolution to begin a contract with Moonshot for work related to the implementation of the Business Incubator Project, and a second resolution to extend a contract with for consultation with Natural Resources Consulting Engineers, Inc. For water-related technical services.
This week’s Work Session included the review of Meeting Minutes for the following dates: May 16th, 25th, and 31st, June 6th, and June 20th, 2023. We reviewed one invoice, a resolution permitting to enter upon tribal lands to complete a project, review of job descriptions for the following: Child Care Program Manager, Director of Education, Cemetery Grounds Manager, Cemetery Grounds Keeper, Security Manager, Security Officer, Janitor, Logistics Specialist and for Executive Assistant to the President and Vice President.
Quechan Indian Tribe
350 Picacho Rd.
Winterhaven, CA 92283