Tribal Council speaker, deputy speaker sworn in
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Garrett swears in Dist. 2 Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd, right, assisted by his daughter Candice Byrd, as Tribal Council speaker at the Aug. 15 Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Garrett swears in Dist. 11 Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez, center, as the Tribal Council’s deputy speaker at the Aug. 15 Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Holding the Bible for Vazquez is Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Supreme Court Chief Justice John Garrett swore in Dist. 2 Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd and Dist. 11 Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez as the legislative body’s speaker and deputy speaker, respectively, during the Aug. 15 Tribal Council meeting at the W. W. Keeler Complex.
The Tribal Council re-elected the two legislators earlier in the day at a special Rules Committee meeting to serve in the positions.
“I am humbled by the confidence my fellow councilors place in me by voting for me to serve a second term as speaker of the Tribal Council,” Byrd said. “I believe we are on a positive trajectory in accomplishing great things for our people and look forward to working diligently to continue on that path.”
Vazquez said it was an “an honor and a privilege to serve as deputy speaker.”
“I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the Cherokee Nation citizens, who should be at the heart and soul of everything we do as a Tribal Council. We are a strong Nation, and I look forward to seeing what the coming years hold for us,” she said.
During the special Rules Committee meeting, legislators also selected chairs and co-chairs for each Tribal Council committee as well as Tribal Council secretary.
Byrd was reappointed speaker by a 15-2 vote, while Vazquez was unanimously re-elected as deputy speaker.
Councilor Frankie Hargis was unanimously reappointed as secretary.
Byrd was also selected as Rules Committee chairman while Councilor Bryan Warner was chosen as co-chairman. Councilor Janees Taylor was reappointed chair as Executive and Finance Committee chairwoman with Councilor Keith Austin as her co-chairman. Councilor Dick Lay kept his position as chairman of the Community Service Committee with Councilor Harley Buzzard as co-chairman. Vazquez and Byrd also retained their positions as chairwoman and co-chairman of the Culture Committee. Councilor David Walkingstick was reappointed as chairman of the Education Committee with Warner as co-chairman. The Health Committee will have Councilor Mary Baker Shaw as its chairwoman and Councilor Dr. Mike Dobbins as co-chairman. Councilor Rex Jordan is the new chairman of the Resource Committee with Councilor E.O. Smith as co-chairman.
In other business, legislators:
• Unanimously passed two resolutions appointing Janice Purcell and Tina Glory Jordan to as commissioners on the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission,
• Increased the comprehensive capital budget for fiscal year 2017 by $79,956 for a total capital budget authority of $279.1 million,
• Increased the FY 2017 comprehensive operating budget by $1.3 million to $705.2 million, and
• Awarded Cherokee Warrior Veterans Medals of Patriotism to Darin McCarty, Jack Shamblin and Wayne Kellehan for their service in the U.S. military.