Council representative expresses opinion on business, policy
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Rep. Mark Randolph of the Wagoner, Rogers and Mayes District sat down with Mvskoke Media to speak on his recent re-election and the issues he wishes to tackle.
“It’s a continued challenge, so I’m happy,” Randolph said of his recent re-election.
When asked about the specific issues he would like to tackle this term, Randolph expressed the desire to keep business within the Nation.
“I’m big on recycling. I think when we talk about recycling one of the best ways to go green is financially,” he said.
He brought up different suggestions of business opportunities such as the cost of dry cleaning for linens at River Spirit Casino Resort and the opportunity to utilize Indian community businesses such as the Oklahoma City Creek Indian Community embroidery shop and Eufaula Creek Indian Community water.
Randolph said that other countries keep their money within their community and he would like to do the same within MCN.
Regarding the role of self-governance amongst the Council after seeing fellow members of the Council reprimanded, Randolph said it was an experience in itself.
“Ms. (Dode) Barnett was reprimanded. To me it kind of said ‘OK, we’re going to reprimand you because these people have rights, but you have none,’ ” he said.
Randolph said everyone should be able to face their accuser and the hearing that was held for Barnett should have been made available to the public.
“We keep asking for transparency and I also think how can you reprimand someone for things you’ve done yourself,” Randolph said.
Randolph suggested there are Council members who have disrupted the separation of powers by positioning themselves for political motives in the executive branch and privy to information not provided to the rest of the Council.
“There are a lot of meetings behind closed doors that not all the Council is involved in. I believe as a Council we need to be educated and fully informed on issues so we can make an educated decision when it comes to us,” he said.
Randolph said it is great to have a working relationship with the executive branch, but information should be disclosed to the full Council.
He questioned the motives of fellow Council members, if actions were done through personal or professional intentions.
“This isn’t a personal playground,” Randolph said.
One of the major changes Randolph aspires to accomplish during this term is to eliminate at-will termination of employees.
At one point he created legislation to dispose of the practice, but it did not pass through the Council’s Business, Finance and Justice Committee.
“I want to go back and visit this legislation,” he said.
Regarding the subject of RiverWalk, Randolph said he is undecided whether or not to sell the property because it is still in its infancy stage of business. Though he claims to not have an extensive business background, he is hopeful of the growth.
“I think there’s the potential that it will keep doing better,” he said.
When asked about the recent issue of dual enrollment, Randolph said there are kinks that need to be worked out.
“…A lot of people say well they’re double dipping…” he said. “…that seems to be the big issue there…”
His attitude towards it is of unification and working together, citing the history of MCN. He said he would rather see the tribal towns and MCN work together and flourish than to turn their backs on each other.