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Open Letter: Response To Recall Petition Request
by Stephanie Rainwater-Sande


May 11, 2004

In response to this recall petition application from Elmer Makua, I welcome the opportunity to disprove all allegations and exaggerations that have been leveled at me. I understand that my opportunity for input to the Council and to the membership on this subject will occur only after the petition language is found to have merit. That has not happened yet. For the time being, I am simply interested in limiting the damage and loss of respectability that THIS TRIBE will face, if it is viewed by organizations, such as Indian Health Services, BIA, the Congressional Delegation and other tribes throughout the COUNTRY that we have not progressed far enough along in self-governance to prevent collapsing upon ourselves even when we are blessed with fabulous resources and capable staff! We need to refute those who are saying that there are some KIC's Tribal Council members that are acting like spoiled children! And above all, we need to make sure that our elders and our children are being provided for, and that our precious resources are not being depleted so that some of the Tribal Council egos, agendas and personal gain can rule the day! Those things are WRONG!!!

From a personal standpoint, I think that a midyear election (which is what this would be) is fruitless, harmful, and costly. This will cost KIC tribal members $10,000. And don't forget that the person facing a recall vote has the opportunity for a public meeting to tell the world their side of the story - and this is not a forum for debate of the issue ­ this will be MY response to Elmer Makua's allegations of misappropriations of KIC funds. I do not take this lightly and I will not tolerate your trumped up charges. Elmer, this is not my first or second year on council this is my eighth year of service, plus two years of volunteer work at KIC with a total of ten years of service to our people with my goals and objectives being to elevate KIC to the highest position politically, financially and self-supporting within the shortest time possible. Recalls cause embarrassment for our tribe and there are other issues to factor instead of doing a recall:

1. An attempted recall brings morale down with staff and membership
2. Business for KIC can not be completed in a timely manner
3. CEO hands are tied and it is difficult to conduct daily business
4. Trust becomes an issue between staff and the governing board
5. The tribe becomes divided (which the federal government will view KIC as a weak tribe and KIC will not have leverage in negotiations - staffers in Washington D.C. read the Ketchikan Daily News and Sitnews.)

The following issues have prompted me to respond to this attempted recall. KIC needs to be able to work with the staff not against the staff. Some Tribal Council members need to show the respect to staff and one another that they always talk about during our monthly meetings. This being said I believe that we as a tribe need to have qualified Tribal Council members that are committed to working on KIC funding and business knowingly that there power and authority is at the board room table not working individually.

Stephanie Rainwater-Sande
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Note: Stephanie Rainwater-Sande is President of the KIC Tribal Council. This written statement was first read publicly by Rainwater-Sande at the KIC Tribal Council Meeting Monday evening, May 10, 2004, in response to a recall petition application from Elmer Makua.



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