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Amendment addressing candidates holding more than one office postponed

Amendment addressing candidates holding more than one office postponed
(MNN File Photo) The Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council held an extraordinary session Sept. 7 at the Mound Building in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

Jessica McBride/Managing Editor

Legislation passed changing Tribal Construction engineer to director

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council held an extraordinary session Sept. 7 at the Mound Building in Okmulgee.

The following legislation was addressed during the session, and the description is according to the legislation obtained from the Council office.

Any legislation that passed will go to the MCN principal chief for signature, and will not be addressed in the Sept. 30 regular session.

Audio of the session is available at the Council’s website.

TR 17-134 Authorizing the principal chief to execute a pharmacy services agreement and addendums with Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma Inc., for each MCN Department of Health pharmacy. Rep. Joyce Deere sponsored the resolution, which passed 13-0.

MCNDH wishes to utilize Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma for services.

NCA 17-135 Amending MCN Code Annotated Title 28, Sections 7-101, 7-102, 7-103 and 7-104, titled, ‘Tribal Construction Engineer.’ Rep. Del Beaver sponsored the amendment, which passed 13-0.

The amendment changes the position name from Tribal Construction engineer to director. It also adds oversight authority to the position such as serving as general contractor, authority to complete construction work under $500,000 and to oversee the demolition of buildings.

NCA 17-171 Amending MCNCA Title 19, Section 5-104, titled, ‘Candidate may file for only one office.’ Del Beaver sponsored the amendment, which was postponed indefinitely with a vote of 13-0.

Language in the amendment would have stated that a candidate would only be allowed to file for one office during candidate filing, and that at the time of filing, the candidate could not hold any other local, state, federal or tribal office, with the exception of those holding MCN Council seats, second chief or principal chief.

“To us there’s a great concern of such a situation that were to rise if someone in an office at one of these entities, government agencies also being on the Council or chief or second chief,” MCN Attorney General Kevin Dellinger said during the session. “You all are aware as Council, chief or second chief the information one is privy to, confidential information that one is privy to and there’s just concerns of an individual receiving that information here and sharing it elsewhere outside of the tribe.”

Dellinger said it was not an issue of dual enrollment, but of holding offices at MCN and another entity.

Rep. Mark Randolph said he was concerned because of the timing of the bill and that it might be an abuse of the Council’s power to affect the outcome of the Sept. 16 primary election.

Rep. David Hill agreed with Randolph.

Dellinger responded, “I think the biggest concern is that this conflict exists.”

At the time of the session, MCN Election Office Manager Nelson Harjo said 335 absentee ballots had already been received for the primary election.

Rep. Lucian Tiger expressed concerns about an individual being elected as Council representative, principal chief or second chief, and afterwards is elected as an official of another government.

NCA 17-172 Authorizing a $1,250 appropriation to Fishpond Ceremonial Ground. Rep. Randall Hicks sponsored the amendment, which passed 13-0.

The ceremonial ground is requesting funds to help host their last dance and Little and Big Brother (East vs. West) stickball game. The funds will be used to purchase food, beverages and paper goods.

A motion was made by Rep. Adam Jones to reduce the original amount from $2,500 to $1,250, which was seconded by Rep. Mitch Jack. The motion passed 13-0.

The funding source was not discussed during the session and does not appear on the copies of the legislation obtained from the Council office.

NCA 17-174 Authorizing a $250,000 supplemental appropriation to the Tribal Driveways Program Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Hicks sponsored the amendment, which passed 13-0.

The program is requesting supplemental funds for 50 Muscogee (Creek) applicants at an estimated of $5,000 per driveway.

During the session, a program representative said the funding for these projects was reduced during budget cuts and that the program currently has 42 applications awaiting a response.

The funding source will be the interest on the Permanent Fund.

NCA 17-175 Amending NCA 17-147 (a law of the MCN authorizing a special appropriation to a Muscogee (Creek) citizen with purchasing a handicap accessible van.) Tiger and Robert Hufft sponsored the amendment, which passed 13-0.

The family of Alyssa San-ge-ne Spencer found a van from a different vender that better fits their needs and is a lower price. The funding was reduced from $28,000 to $25,900.

NCA 17-176 Authorizing a $3,499.99 special appropriation to Springfield United Methodist Church. Hicks sponsored the amendment, which passed 13-0.

The church is requesting funds to assist in purchasing a lawn mower.

The funding source will be the interest on the Permanent Fund.

Reps. Dode Barnett and Rufus Scott were excused.

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