Speaker discusses thoughts on economic development, MCN finances

Speaker discusses thoughts on economic development, MCN finances
(Photo by: Amanda Rutland/Media Specialist) Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Rep. Lucian Tiger was sworn in Jan. 2 as the 19th Session Council speaker during the 2016 MCN Inauguration Ceremony at the Mvskoke Dome in Okmulgee, Okla.

Jessica McBride/Media Coordinator

Council releases special appropriation amounts for FY 2015

OKMULGEE, Okla. — During his first term in office, Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Tulsa District Rep. Lucian Tiger was elected as speaker during the 2016 MCN Inauguration Ceremony Jan. 2 at the Mvskoke Dome in Okmulgee.

Tiger attributed his ability to make tough decisions to his background of being self-employed and owning various businesses, stating that this quality may have led to him being elected speaker.

“But it’s definitely an honor to be elected speaker by my fellow representatives,” he said. “It’s definitely something that is a lot of work, which I enjoy.”

Tiger said he started a transport company in 1996 that he still owns. He has also owned and operated a dump truck business and liquor store, and has sold both of those businesses.

Tiger explained that he felt overwhelmed his first week in office, but that it has settled down since.

“I think all the news wore off of everything and everyone is more relaxed and understands what they expect of me and I expect of them,” he said. “I believe the transition is going very well.”

The ‘Muscogee Nation News’ requested a financial report from the Council, showing the special appropriations for fiscal year 2015.

The Council legislated $14.128 million in FY 2015 for special appropriations. These appropriations do not include any monies for MCN programs and departments.

Click on the photo posted by ‘MNN’ below in the comment section to view a breakdown of this figure.

The funds for payment were derived from various MCN accounts. Each individual piece of legislation will show the exact account funds were paid out of.

The special appropriations include monies given to citizens for educational and extra-curricular purposes, funds given to MCN communities and donations to political candidates and organizations such as the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative.

The total figure includes a $11.6 million appropriation to the MCN-owned Onefire Holding Company LLC, $658,052 for the purchase of a property in Morris and renovations to make it ADA compliant and $177,408 to purchase a new marquee for the MCN Tribal Complex.

“With the special appropriations, last year there were a couple of large investments for the Nation as a whole that were considered special appropriations that are not going to be there on an annual basis,” Tiger said.

NCA 16-009 will be considered by the Council Jan. 30, and would amend the requirements for special appropriations by the Council for education and extra-curricular activities.

“Also, the appropriations as a whole, yes, we are definitely looking at those because the last session, I believe we all did really well with trying to cut back on the appropriations,” Tiger said.

“Especially the larger appropriations… so yes, we are definitely looking at those and trying to save money as much as possible.”

Tiger also discussed the FY 2016 budget approval process. He said that the Council is waiting to see exactly where the Nation is financially.

In the FY 2016 budget, Tiger said the Council has cut their travel expenses line item from $50,000 to $35,000.

“And the $35,000 still seems like a large dollar amount, but when you have 16 representatives traveling on that, you know, it’s not that significant of an amount,” Tiger said. “So we’re all trying to work in many different areas to cut back on our spending.”

The Council’s Business Finance and Justice Committee will meet Jan. 28 at the Mound Building in Okmulgee, to discuss the FY 2016 budget.

The BFJ Committee met Jan. 21 at the Mound Building in Okmulgee, and the agenda included reports from the MCN Gaming Operations Authority Board, Muscogee Nation Business Enterprise, Muscogee International and Onefire.

“We went into executive session… and the reason we did that is because those deal with the Nation’s financials,” Tiger said. “And that’s definitely something that we don’t want out to everyone, but if you’re a Creek citizen, you’re more than welcome to stay.”

Mvskoke Media cannot report information discussed during Council executive sessions.

Reports from the Nation’s economic development and gaming entities are given to the BFJ committee on a quarterly basis.

Meeting agendas often containing drafts of the full legislation addressed when downloaded, are posted to the Council’s website at: www.mcnnc.com.

Tiger also discussed bringing money back to the Nation through economic development.

“It’s extremely important that our citizens and employees understand that changes cannot be made over night… it takes a long time to get the revenue coming in that you’re expecting,” he said.

Tiger said he would like to see the economic development entities publish reports for citizens, as long as the published information is not detrimental to their business.

JESSICA MCBRIDE Media Coordinator 918.732.7762 | JMcBride@mcn-nsn.gov Jessica graduated from Tarleton State University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in communication with minors in technical writing and business administration. She has worked for Mvskoke Media since 2013.  She enjoys a good cup of coffee, likes the color teal and has an infatuation with miniature dachshunds.

JESSICA MCBRIDE
Media Coordinator
918.732.7762 | JMcBride@MvskokeMedia.com
Jessica graduated from Tarleton State University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in communication with minors in technical writing and business administration. She has worked for Mvskoke Media since 2013. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, likes the color teal and has an infatuation with miniature dachshunds.

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