LAWRENCE, Kan.—“Haskell Indian Nations University hopes to beef up enrollment while keeping the student body slim.
program is underway to provide Haskell with training and equipment to
allow potential students on reservations and in cities to take classes
online and at home instead of coming to campus and overcrowding it.
The idea is called IDE@, and it is
funded in part by the nearby Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. The
training and equipment are used by the Distance Education program, part
of Haskell's new Institute of Distance Education, which also houses two
other campus programs: Tribal Student Technology and Extension.
"Whether this will work or not, we'll see," said Smokey McKinney,
director of IDE@ and acting vice president of academic affairs. "We are
in the experimental stage." The program has been in place for more than
McKinney, who created the IDE@ logo,
said the funds from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation will create two
computer classrooms for long-distance learning: one is at Haskell and
the other at the Prairie Band Potawatomi reservation in Mayetta, Kan.,
about 35 miles to the northwest.
The classrooms, costing about
$50,000 each, will be furnished with computers, cameras, monitors,
microphones and lecterns. McKinney said Haskell and local communities
will benefit from long-distance education. Universities can increase
enrollment without overpopulation, and students who are wary of leaving
home and their way of life can "stay connected to their culture" and
receive a quality education, he said.”
"It is very easy to judge the hearts of Rey, Nabbie and Ryan, because they don't come to work and yet take all the perks and money afforded by their position. What conclusion can we draw about their ethics? Like I said in the council meeting, if I didn't go to work and do my job I would be fired, why should the standards be any different for the Tribal Council, find me a job that pays you for NOT coming to work. Oops, I guess we found it PBPN tribal council person.
I noticed in your first article that you mentioned you are from the Shabbona area? Maybe you are the journalist that Badger mentioned in his previous comments. The journalist who he threatens have print mine and, my dead mother's letter, that was sent to the PBPN newspaper many years ago. "If this continues to generate mud slinging I would be more than happy to release the two afore mentioned letters to a journalist in the Shabonna area." Badger. This kind of threat just shows what kind of people Badger and Mamie really are. Maybe you are just working for Badger and Mamie. Why else would a self-proclaimed "member of the other America" get involved in tribal business?"
"I do not speak irresponsibly. The minimum prevailing wage in Illinois for a janitor with 6 years of experience is $19.72 per hour. Source: http://www.state.il.us/agency/idol/rates/other/jan/sdupage.htm Without overtime that is $41,000+ for full time work ($19.72 x 2080 hours, 52 weeks times 40 hours). It does not take a lot of overtime at the rate of $29.58 oer hour to get to the $60,000 level and that salary level is not uncommon for supervisors in the government sector. Janitors in the private sector earn considerably less. Non-union private sector even less. I do not like high government salaries and the article I linked to as a sample shows that the county administrator in my county earns $131,000+, got a 26% raise and will get a starting retirement pension of $111,000 per year. I do not think a county administrator has the value par with that of a nation, but that is my opinion, and that is why I believe the tribal council salaries are responsible. I do research before making statements.
There are four people named and accused of less than satisfactory performance. I do not know if those accusations have merit. May I assume that those not named are doing their jobs? Would a unilateral cut, because of the four named, be fair to those who are performing? I think it more fair to deal with those who do not perform or are corrupt than to punish those who serve well because its easier. But, ahhh, yes! Those who serve the people should do so from the goodness in their heart. I think those who judge another's heart should be careful and respectful."
"While I am glad that you have had a pleasant experience working with Rey, Ryan, Nabbie and Junior the reality is that they have abandoned their commitment to the tribe in favor of their own selfish needs. Whether it is caused by that heady feeling of power or a misguided attempt to do what they believe is right or even worse perhaps incompetence we will never truly know. What needs to happen is accountability to the people and true commitment to serving the people. Becoming a council member should be considered a calling and not a means to get rich. When Rey, Ryan, Nabbie and Junior do not show up for work, abuse the use of their p-cards and tribal vehicles they are demonstrating to the people that they are not looking out for us and only thinking of themselves. It is true we have a recall process that is reserved for those in government who are corrupt, however in the case of the Tracy it has been abused by a small group of people led by Badger and Mamie. There should be an investigation into the recall itself so we can finally get the truth revealed about how they tricked tribal members into signing their petition and how they were allowed to unconstitutionally fix and re-work their petition after it was submitted and deemed invalid. No one is going to want to run for tribal government with the constant threat led by Badger and Mamie, that they will be recalled because they are not liked by them.
I did some research about your claim that janitors make $60,000 per year, however I found no janitor in the country that makes that much. The highest paid janitor position I could find was an annual salary of approximately $39,000 but the average was between $20,000-$25,000. You can check that out at jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov. I also checked the salaries of other councilpeople around the country, for example a Las Vegas councilperson makes $37,000 a year, Kansas City councilpeople make $50,604 a year to serve a population of 444,387. (you can check this out at seattletimes.nwsource.com there is a chart with the list of the highest paid city council salaries)
Our tribal council makes exponentially more than any other city government in the country, serving a population of less than 5,000. Running for tribal council should be motivated by a true sense of wanting to help people. One of the first steps to helping our people is to show respect to the position that they were elected to: show up for work everyday and not abuse the perks they are generously given. To determine if potential candidates are truly motivated by a sense of duty and service we need to eliminate the lure of high salaries and perks. An accountability program is the first step to insuring the integrity of the tribal council."
"The motivation of this article is solely for the purpose of helping friends. The scope of the word “friends” is inclusive of the Prairie Band people. If I fail to reach my stated objective I hope there are those who will understand that this effort is genuine and in the spirit of friendship.
I publish an online newspaper, of sorts, in DeKalb County, Illinois, once home for Shobney, his wife Pkuknequah (sp) and extended family. I’ve been known to take a rather harsh view of government especially as it relates to compensation and spending (see article).
I consider myself to be personal friends with several members of the PBPN, some of whom I’ve met in person, and some who I’ve conversed with only via Internet. Some of these friends of mine do not appear to be friendly with each other right now, at least from the words I’ve been reading on Larry’s blog, which I think has been serving the need for independent coverage of tribal affairs quite well. But never in any of my experiences or communications with Badger or Tracy ; Thomas or Rey; Jim, Ryan, and Jackie have I ever got an impression that any of them did not have the best interest of the PBPN in mind and as motivation for their actions. But as genuine as my intentions are I’ve often failed to get the job done and I bet that’s true for most of us. So we shouldn’t take it personal if our performance is questioned nor should we question the motivation of others.
As a member of that other America , I applaud and envy the recall effort. It speaks well of your Constitution forefathers. I have a feeling a lot of us American citizens wish we had the ability to recall certain leaders and, through that process, hold them accountable for their performance – nothing personal. So I see your constitutional right for the recall process as the ultimate Tribal Council Accountability Program. But my gal and partner, Gracie, disagrees. She thinks some people are being mean.
The U.S. government, some state governments and a few local units pay some of their janitors more than $60,000 per year. It’s more than I make but if you want the best of your people to serve on your council, perform to the best of their ability and take the grief they’re going to get then I wouldn’t unilaterally cut their pay. That’s punishing the system because, allegedly, a few members are not performing their duties to your satisfaction. Your system addresses that through recall and elections. Use it.
I do think government salaries should be based on the success of the people they represent, however.
There are 9-million tribal dollars invested in Shabbona and unfinished business of historic proportions. There is the historic transition to self determination of your primary revenue stream in Kansas and the looming challenge of state sponsored competition. There are extensive recent capital improvement investments on the reservation that were designed and I’m sure contributing to addressing social, health and education challenges. While it sounds like progress has been made in those areas it does not appear to be finished business.
Where then is there time for perpetuating a house divided?"
PS: I don’t know if this qualifies for Larry’s $5 an article program. If so, Larry, take the $5 and put in a slot machine nearest you. One pull, five bucks. If it’s a grand prize winner, deduct your $5 and send me the change.
I read Leslie's article and I totally agreed with bringing up the motion 'A Tribal Council Accountability Program' at the next General Council Meeting in October! And I agree with the comment left by Mark too, I too would send some money to Leslie to cover her travel expenses to come to that meeting ...! I put up a poll in my right side bar and it is called 'Should there be a motion by the general council to make the tribal council come to work?' I will have that poll up for a couple of weeks. You get only one vote while the poll is up!
*I have been getting some vicious emails about my poll, if you want to defend people that make $60,000 a year and never show up for work, then put it in the comment section so everyone can see your reasons...!