Petitions available for vacant tribal council seat
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 9:24 AM MST
Joan M. Travis
Members of the Colorado River Indian Tribes who are interested in running for a vacated seat because of a recall can pick up petitions at the Tribal Enrollment Office. Deadline to turn in petitions is Feb. 3 by 5 p.m.
Absentee ballots are due Feb. 12, by 5 p.m. The special election will be held March 5.
Tribal Treasurer Dennis Welsh Jr. was removed from office Dec. 31, losing by 35 votes. In the recall election 407 votes were for "yes" to recall and 372 votes were for "no" or to not recall.
Welsh was the first tribal councilman to make public the financial picture of the Tribe. Tribal members had given many complaints to the previous council wanting to know if the Tribe was solvent.
Former Treasurer Daphne Hill-Poolaw was recalled Dec. 13, 2008. It was the third recall attempt on council member. Hill Poolaw lost by 420 votes.
The two other recalls were by a grassroots organization call the CRIT Coalition. In the summer of 2007 the organization attempted to recall all nine members of the tribal council.
The second attempt was focused on Hill-Poolaw but that was concluded as "null and void" when one of the organization members tried to retrieve the recall petitions from the Enrollment Office.
Bonita Fernandez was arrested of theft of tribal property and spent a night in jail.
In December 2008 all incumbents were ousted except for Valerie Welsh-Tahbo.
Welsh told the Pioneer he plans to run for his seat again.
Welsh and the council were able to keep finances in the black and tribal employees had a five percent cost of living allowance, which had not been granted since 2002.