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KIC Election Rules/ By-laws
By Elroy Edenshaw


January 31, 2006

This is an open letter to the newly elected KIC Tribal Council members and my opinion of  KIC election rules and opinion of current By-Laws for the KIC Health Board.

First I like to welcome the newly elected Tribal council members and our Newly elected Tribal Council President. I will be looking forward to your views and your ability to uphold your integrity to policy and policy making powers for the KIC membership during your term of Tribal Council member. And as a Tribal Council member one of the most important aspect of pubic servitude. Is the ability to hear the voices of the membership you were elected to serve. And understand that integrity applies to one's own ability to have a steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.

With that said. I would like to pose a question relating to current Health Board by-laws relating to how a vacancy on the health board is filled. Remember this rule... When, interpretation applies, and when there are two ordinances that address a specific topic.  The ordinance which has the stronger interpretation shall apply and give interpretation.
Under current by-laws for the KIC Health Board for filling a vacancy. Which were changed right before/during KIC election and no public notice of change to the KIC Health Board Make up or By-Laws was given to the membership. Why, is this important because this action resulted in changing election process to the Health Board. The only seat open was for a one year term instead of the two year term and/or no election for filling the vacant seat. What happen was that a board member that was elected for a one year term during the 2005 KIC election  then was seated as officer/board member for the Health Board for additional year (2006) with out a proper election by the membership. This is bad policy making or lack of following policy. And is a direct violation to the KIC Constitution Article III- The governing Body Sect.3 Vacancies may be filled by the Council but only pending the next meeting of the Organization (annual election), when a new member shall be elected to fill the unexpired term. Also, Article V-Powers Section 1, The council shall exercise the following powers, subject to any limitations imposed by the statutes or Constitution of the United States and subject further to all express restriction upon such powers contained in this constitution. Article V-Powers sect.1 Rule(h)  To provide for filling vacancies in office consistent with this Constitution.
What I just said... Is the current Health Board policy regarding vacancy's violates the KIC Constitution. And KIC membership was denied the right to a proper election-relating to the Health Board election 2005. I not only based this opinion on KIC Constitution but, also the Council policy that was voted during the 2005 election because interpretation is important. Council Policy-07.01 the vacancy shall be filled by a Quorum of the Council at the next "Regular meeting of the Council, but only pending the next Annual Election of the Ketchikan Indian Corporation, when a new member shall be elected by the Adult tribal membership of the tribe to fill the unexpired term.  Also, I am sure other tribes have similar policy relating to vacancies.
No matter what you think of my opinion, it does not change the fact that KIC needs to change/review there election policy/rules for future generations.  And as a government. KIC needs to address this process before next year. And the scope of proper election process implies many rules. For all parties involved "membership, employees, current board members and candidates"  All relating  to conduct and ethics and integrity to follow an election process.  As far as resolve to my question by Tribal Council- what you do is your decision.  

Thank you,

Elroy C. Edenshaw Jr.
Ketchikan, AK - USA


About: Elroy C. Edenshaw Jr. is a Ketchikan Indian Community member.



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