by Cheryl L. Dodson
May 11, 2004
I was astonished to read the viewpoints Open Letter: Response to Recall Petition Request by Stephanie Rainwater-Sande today. I moved from Ketchikan last year and I read the articles from Sitnews daily.
Shame on you, Norman, Elmer, David, and Carrie. This is the typical "crab in the bucket" theory that non Indians say about us! How can you change your alliances so quickly? Why can't you all work together and lead the KIC membership on to positive changes instead of pulling one another back into that bottomless bucket? I know all of you, and consider each one a friend. Some of you stood with me when I was going though the hardships I encountered several years ago when KIC was under the regime of Charlie White.
Now we have a sober, educated, assertive leader in Stephanie who has gone out of her way to guide KIC into more productive times and this recall is looming over all of your heads, but more importantly over the heads of our 4,000 + members. Shame on you!
Ask yourselves what does Stephanie gain from taking on the responsibility of leading our tribe? Is it money? Popularity? Peace? Tranquility? No! It is a thankless job!! One that takes hours upon hours of her own personal time to do with no compensation whatsoever.
The majority of you were around when our last President nearly destroyed the credibility of our tribe. Seventeen tribal members either quit or were fired because of his attitude, his lack of consideration for the people and his inability to present himself on the national level as a true leader. KIC is still reeling from this kind of leadership.
Talk to your elders and community members about the positive changes that have taken place since Stephanie's time as President. When have any of us had the opportunity to speak and be heard at Council meetings? When have we ever had so many community input meetings and celebrations? When was the last time we had a leader that was recognized and respected in Washington, DC? When was the last time that community members were encouraged to sit on our boards and committees?
Please work together for a strong KIC. Don't allow petty differences to take away from the important job that all of you committed to when running for the council. Support your leaders and continue to move forward in making the difference in our people's lives.
Stephanie, You did a good job in your response to the allegations made against you. I know it must be very difficult for you to be objective about the entire matter but remember that you are dealing with folks that are envious of what you have accomplished during your tenure at KIC as the President. Nobody else would have been able to tackle all that you have and still be able to have the compassion you hold for the tribe and its people. You have done a wonderful job. Anybody can look at the financial books and see that everything you have done is on the up and up and within the realm of your duties as the president. But, it may also show where folks like Elmer and David have not been honest and forthright. This could be their downfall but it can also be your ammunition against them. The best though is for everybody to put their personal vendettas aside and do what is best for the tribe. The bottom line here is the tribe and the people it is serving and making sure that we have the best candidates elected in the council positions. Hawaa to Merle, Rob and Sam for supporting Stephanie and looking at the wishes of the tribal members.
My best wishes to you always and remember to hold your head up and be proud of what it is you have accomplished for the people. We are blessed to have folks like you in a position that you hold.
Thank you for all that you have done.
Cheryl L. Dodson
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