Tribal Government & News

Winter storm forces postponement of General Council until Jan. 15

01.12.2017 Dean Rhodes General Council

In reaction to the forecast of a winter storm hitting the Willamette Valley beginning on Saturday, Jan. 7, Tribal Council postponed the scheduled Sunday, Jan. 8, General Council meeting until Jan. 15.

The forecast called for snowfall to begin midday on Saturday and then freezing rain and ice to begin falling overnight on Saturday into Sunday morning with a thaw not beginning until Sunday afternoon.

Tribal Council Chief of Staff Stacia Martin sent out a message at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, alerting everyone that the General Council meeting had been rescheduled and the Tribe’s Reader Board on Grand Ronde Road and social media and Internet sites were updated to reflect the new meeting date.

Tribal Facilities Manager Tyson Mercier said the Tribal campus experienced the same weather conditions as the rest of the region – snow, freezing rain and then rain.

Snow and ice removal started at 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 9, and continued all day.

“Facilities always makes the clinic patron entrances and Education access a high priority for snow and ice removal and then working our way out to the other properties as soon as we can,” Mercier said.

“The Facilities crews have had a lot of practice this winter dealing with the extreme conditions. The Facilities team has been doing an outstanding job working hard to make the Tribal campus as safe as possible for all community members.”

It is the second consecutive January General Council meeting to be affected by inclement weather. In 2016, the meeting was canceled when less than 30 Tribal members – a necessary quorum -- attended because of rain falling in western Oregon over a cold air mass that created icy road conditions from Portland to Salem.

The agenda for the Jan. 15 General Council meeting, which will be held at 11 a.m. in the Tribal Community Center, will include a presentation by Health Services Executive Director Kelly Rowe and the announcement of Elders Committee election results.

The Jan. 15 weather forecast is much more inviting with rain and highs in the mid-40s and low temperatures staying above freezing.

Conditions in Grand Ronde on Monday, Jan. 9, were still cold with snow covering the ground and slush covering the roadways. A Willamina School District bus slid off Highway 18 just east of Spirit Mountain Casino in the pre-sunrise hours. However, no children were injured.

The next General Council meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Monarch Hotel and Conference Center near Clackamas Town Center off of Interstate 205.

General Council will return to Grand Ronde in March and then hit the road for Eugene in April before concluding in May in Grand Ronde.