SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Get back to the fundamentals of governing
By Randy Williams


January 07, 2007
Sunday PM

Samuel Bergeron is absolutely correct in his statements concerning Tribal Councils or Boards trying to manage the programs they hire managers to run. When I was the Chairman of KIC we passed a resolution that stated Tribal Council could not interfere with the administration of KIC and we went so far to say that if you were on the KIC Board you could not be an employee of KIC. How could a manager manage a Board member? I ask could a General Manager reprimand a board member and than lose your job, the answer to that I think is obvious, there has to be a separation. Some will say it is all right especially those who work at KIC or want to work there but I can say that generally a KIC Board member who is an employee will impose their position at some time if not all the time on any administrator. It is difficult enough to manage 100-200 people, run million dollar programs, create jobs through grants and contracts and for the more progressive Tribes create economic development without having to worry about who you are making angry and possibly losing you job on a daily basis.

Always, when the board or council interferes and insinuates themselves in the daily operation of the management of their programs, I have seen nothing but problems come from it. I am always an interested observer of KIC because I feel I played a part in it's development and it is sad to hear about all the strife and turmoil that has been occurring these past few years.

Samuel Bergeron is not someone I know and to be quite honest didn't care for a response he sent me a few years ago but now I will say if he is true to his word, he is a leader that has the right ideas and would make a good KIC Board member. This is not an endorsement for his election (although, I would vote for him) but an endorsement for his statements, all Tribes require progressive leadership. I have had occasion to work for very difficult Tribes in my career and all they needed was strong leadership to realize they are the government and not the program administrators, I think Sam has the right idea.

It is critical especially hearing about KIC's budget issues to find an individual that can help lead the Tribe back to positive self-governance and will be able to assist in the separation of powers between the Government and their Administration.

The KIC Board in my opinion needs to get back to the fundamentals of governing and let the administrators run their programs. Every Tribe I have worked for has come to realize this and passed non-interference resolutions and separated themselves from the day to day management of programs. Those Tribes that haven't taken this step, always wonder why the other Tribe s have so much more and offer so much more to their people. It is quite simple, those Tribes that let the professionals administer their programs are the ones that advance.

Although I don't know you, good luck Samuel Bergeron you have the right idea and I hope you are elected, I believe it is what KIC needs, better and progressive leadership.

Randy Williams
Omak, WA

Received January 07, 2007 - Published January 07, 2006

About: "I have worked for Tribes almost my entire career, I have owned or currently own 4 business and been the General Manager for Muckleshoot, Klamath Tribes in Washington worked for KIC as the Assistant Director and Tlingit & Haida Central Council. I am also the previous President of the Ketchikan Indian Corporation."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Basic Roles and Responsibilities in Government By Samuel Bergeron



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Ketchikan, Alaska