To All KIC Tribal Members
From Stephanie Rainwater-Sande
May 11, 2004
However, one of the accusations that Mr. Makua has leveled against me is serious. To accuse a member of an elected body of misappropriation of funds demands an immediate, earnest and forthright response. This is the reason I am writing to you today. The Dictionary defines "Misappropriation: To appropriate to a bad, incorrect, or dishonest use". The text of Mr. Makua's charge of misappropriation is:
"Despite a "no" vote by the majority of the KIC Tribal Council, the President allowed travel to Washington D.C. in March 2004. The President has authorized use of KIC funds against the Tribal Council wishes. Acting on her own initiative, the President continues to make decisions (spending money on travel, hiring attorneys, etc.) that are not approved by the full Council."
Allow me to explain. At the beginning of 2004, the Tribal Council approved a budget that included business travel for four Tribal Council members to Washington D.C. in March. Only three Council members volunteered to attend, and subsequently one of those three decided not to go, leaving only two. I then exercised my discretion as the Council President to appoint a different Council member to be the "alternate" and make the trip. Since this was a change of who originally volunteered to go, the Tribal Council Secretary conducted an "after-the-fact" telephone poll vote of the Council as a formality. By this time, not only had the airplane tickets been purchased, the alternate Council member was already on his way to represent the Tribe on crucial KIC business! The apparent reason the Tribal Council voted this way is because of petty jealousies and because two of those who voted had been censured by a vote of the Council for travel-related misconduct themselves!
As to Mr. Makua's other charges of "travel, hiring attorneys, etc.", I simply have no basis for making a response since there is nothing specific given to even understand what he is referring to. Mr. Makua is going to ask you to either speculate about what these charges mean, or he is going to verbally elaborate when he asks you to sign his petition. Obviously I cannot respond to his verbal elaborations. This is politics and I realize that people will go to extraordinary lengths to wrest power and control from others. But, are these issues so compelling as to oblige this level of turmoil -- from an objective viewpoint? I think not, and I welcome the opportunity to rebut any and all of these charges. As I mentioned, the balance of the allegations are so flimsy that they, in truth, do not deserve a defense at this time. The seriousness of alleging funding misappropriation stands by itself as a reason for this letter today.
So I ask you -- is this, the centerpiece of Mr. Makua's recall charges, worthy of costing the Tribe close to $12,000.00 in a mid-year election for a position that is already elected EVERY 12 MONTHS? Is this a "bad, incorrect or dishonest" use of funds that rises to the level of causing such shame and loss of morale for staff and membership? I submit to you that this is a political power play made by Mr. Makua because he lost the race to me for Tribal Council President less than four months ago.
Ask yourself -- as Tribal members, do you want to have elections for President every six months? Do you want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on elections every few months, or do you want to spend our time and money on hearing aids or eyeglasses or child care for our precious elders and children?
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