Council approves budget mods, 5 appointments

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
02/20/2019 12:30 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Fannie E. Robinson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, shakes hands with Tribal Councilors on Jan. 31 after support for her reappointment to the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission. The Tribal Council confirmed her appointment, along with several others, on Feb. 18. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – During its Feb. 18 meeting, the Tribal Council approved a pair of budget adjustments and confirmed a series of appointments.

Confirmations consisted of the reappointment of Fannie E. Robinson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, to the Cherokee Nation Tax Commission; appointment of Dr. Stephen Jones, of Tahlequah, to the CN Health Partners board; reappointment of Shaun Shepherd, of Tahlequah, to the Cherokee Nation Businesses board; reappointment of Johnnie Earp, of Jay, to the Economic Development Trust Authority board; and reappointment of Marty Matlock, of Fayetteville, to the Environmental Protection Commission.

Robinson, Shepherd and Earp will each serve a three-year term. Matlock will serve a four-year term. Jones’ term expires in August.

Councilors also authorized the donation of 85 surplus intravenous pumps from W.W. Hastings Hospital to the Northeastern Health System.

During his State of the Nation address, Principal Chief Bill John Baker mentioned plans to visit the Oklahoma Capitol for Cherokee Nation Legislative Day on Feb. 20, the groundbreaking for eight energy efficient homes for elders in Hulbert near the town’s community center and the donation of five lots, including the historic Attucks School, by Vinita Public Schools to the CN.

Baker also mentioned the launch of the CN Film Office.

“We have a lot of talented people in this part of the state,” Baker said. “We also have some of the most beautiful settings in the entire country.”

One of the approved budget items was an increase of $2.6 million in the comprehensive 2019 budget to bring the total to $750.3 million. Authorized funding increases included $207,796 to the General Fund, $4,684 to the Indirect Cost Pool and $787,013 to the Motor Vehicle Tax budget.

Legislators also approved an increase of $952,003 in the fiscal year 2019 capital budget to $280.4 million.

CNB CEO Shawn Slaton reported that CNB enjoyed a “record” January, despite the federal government shutdown. He also mentioned the opening of “Track 5,” a 1,200-square-foot live music dance floor, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa.

“Diversified businesses had a record month, and we appreciate all the hard work being put forth to make that happen,” Slaton said. “(Track 5) has been a hit for the Hard Rock and the Tulsa area.”

CN officials also honored two military veterans. Gary D. Davis, 71, of Tahlequah; and Mary A. Gregory, 61, of Hulbert, were recognized for their military service, each receiving the Medal of Patriotism.

The next Tribal Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. on March 11 in the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex.
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