Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs moving Elders' payments to first of month

04.21.2016 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council

It’s official.

Starting in June, Tribal Elders will start receiving their retirement payments on the first of the month instead of the 10th.

The new payment date was approved by Tribal Council during its Wednesday, April 20, meeting as part of amendments to the Elders’ Retirement Program & SSI Program Ordinance.

The primary purpose of changing the payment date is to avoid the administrative burden of having Elders’ payments conflict with quarterly per capita payments. In addition, the earlier payment date should help Elders who use the money to pay bills, such as rent, that are due on the first of the month.

Tribal Senior Staff Attorney Deneen Aubertin Keller said during the Tuesday, April 19, Legislative Action Committee meeting that there were no comments received from the membership regarding the amendments.

Tribal Council also approved creating a new bank account with Wells Fargo through which the Tribe’s Finance Department will start processing Elders’ payments in-house starting on June 1.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved the agenda for the Sunday, May 1, General Council meeting to be held at 11 a.m. in the Tribal Community Center. The program report will be from the Food Access Community Team;

  • Adopted an amended and restated 401(k) retirement plan for the Tribe;

  • Amended the Hotel Occupancy Tax Ordinance to increase the tax from 8 percent to 10 percent for occupation of rooms at Spirit Mountain Lodge;

  • Approved a transportation program agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs that will bring the Tribe approximately $1.086 million in funding for transportation projects and activities;

  • Approved a contract with MacKenzie, a firm with offices in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, for land use planning assistance at the 31-acre Multnomah Greyhound Park site in Wood Village purchased by the Tribe in 2015;

  • And approved the enrollment of two infants into the Tribe because they meet the criteria established in the Tribal Constitution and the Enrollment Ordinance.

Also included in the April 20 Tribal Council packet was a summary of directives that, among other actions, appointed Tribal Council Vice Chair Jack Giffen Jr. to the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust Board, approved the addition of another optometrist position at the Health & Wellness Center and approved additional funds for the burial benefit meal service for Tribal Elder Richard “Mushy” Ray.

Tribal Culture Department members Bobby Mercier and Travis Stewart and Tribal youth Nokoa Mercier performed the cultural drumming and singing to open the meeting.

Yamhill Community Action Partnership Executive Director Jeff Sargent also presented Tribal Council members with artisan-made wooden bowls in appreciation for the Grand Ronde Tribe’s longtime support for the charitable organization.

To watch the meeting in its entirety, visit the Tribal website at, click on the News tab and then Video.