"The Prairie Band Potawatomi have elected Steve Ortiz to be the new
Chair of the Tribal Council in a special election brought on by the
resignation of Tracy Stanhoff. Ortiz, who has served on the Tribal
Council since 1998, was elected from a field of ten candidates.
Ortiz received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Washburn University of Topeka, KS. He served in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army Reserves and is a life member of We-Ta-Se (for PBPN Veterans) and served on Color and Honor Guard services. He has eight years experience (1998-2006) as Secretary for the PBPN.
Stanhoff resigned from the council, reportedly, because she felt she had accomplished what she set out to do. There was a recall petition, led by former tribal chairs, that appeared to call into question policies and decisions made in the purchase of the 128-acres Ward farm in Shabbona. The PBP bought the land, that is within the boundaries of the 1,280 acres of "land reserved for Chief Shabehnay and his band" as outlined in the 1829 Treaty of Prairie du Chein. Under Stanhoff's direction the PBP paid more than $60,000 per acre in cash.
According to the campaign page of Steve Ortiz, published on Larry Mitchell's "Native Blog," short term goals of the new chair is to increase the PBPN tribal government cash reserves and increase the casino cash reserves from the Mayetta-based PBPN Casino that were depleted by transition costs and purchase of the Shabbona land. He pledged that he would maintain a working and positive relationship with the DeKalb County Board."