Letter To The Nation June 2007 From Tribal Chair Tracy Stanhoff
Dear Tribal Members:
Again, I am writing to you all with a heavy heart. A petition for my recall as your Tribal Chair has been delivered to our Election Board.
What this recall process means, is that the Election Board has 15 days to verify the signatures on the petition and then, if valid, the Election Board has to call for a recall hearing within 30 days from signature validation.
During this hearing a vote may be called for my removal of office, a tribal member must be present during this hearing to vote on whether I stay. The rules say that there will be no voting amongst our entire population - you must be present at the hearing to vote.
From what I understand from what is reported to me by those who have been presented the recall petition, a group lead by Badger Wahwasuck, Mamie Rupnicki and George Wahquahboshkuk want me removed from office.
I have done nothing illegal, against Tribal Council policies or against our Constitution. But, I also understand the more recent history of the Tribal Chair's position in our Tribe. The Chair has been and is under attack from some, since in recent times we have had recalls, resignations and appointments in order to staff this important role.
When I was first appointed as our Interim Chair by Tribal Council last January, I visited with a tribal group headed by Badger and Mamie the evening before my swearing in. Instead of a curious welcome from our Tribal membership there, I was treated in a manner that George felt compelled to apologize to me in a letter he wrote to me after the meeting writing in his letter, "First of all let me say, personally how ashamed I am of how you were received at the Senior Center by some of our more colorful and rude tribal members. I can assure you that there are a lot of us out here that doesn't act in such a shameful manner, as you witnessed."
The Tribal Council has had Badger and Mamie's group in a few times to discuss their questions on Tribal business as all of our members have a right to express their opinions. It has been reported to me that when this group arrived last Friday with the recall petition, some in the group were tribal members who have personally met with me to discuss and to ask for my office's assistance with solutions for a wide variety of personal situations. Although I am troubled by their actions, nevertheless, my office has always been and will always be open for all Tribal members who need assistance.
I will continue to lead our Tribal efforts to: complete a successful, faster than planned, casino transition to self-management saving the Tribe millions of dollars in fees and lost revenues; pursue the Shab-eh-nay Reservation re-jurisdiction negotiations for the historic complete reacquistion of our lost Reservation and establishment of a new gaming facility; formulate the diversifying of our Tribal businesses through the 75 highway/150th Road development and our 8(a) SBA application; and other tasks that Tribal Council is completing right now.
I am proud of the progress that we, Tribal Council, make everyday in our efforts to "move our Tribe forward". Our last 16 months in office together has brought the Tribe much success.
As a sovereign Nation, we have the right to elect our officials - we have a right to vote. It is unfortunate that we have some in the Tribe jeopardizing our sovereignty by continuing on this recall process without cause and trying reverse just election results.
We need to continue moving forward. I hope I will have your support at this upcoming recall hearing,