Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council extends chief judge's contract

05.01.2019 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Tribal Council extended the contract with David Shaw to serve as Tribal Court chief judge through the end of June at its Wednesday, May 1, meeting.

Shaw, who has been serving as Tribal Court chief judge since February 2015, saw his contract expire at the end of March, but Tribal Council previously extended it through the end of April at its March 20 meeting.

Tribal Council Chief of Staff Stacia Hernandez said at the Tuesday, April 30, Legislative Action Committee meeting that interviews for Tribal Court chief judge applicants will be held on Monday, May 13.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved applying for a maximum $15,000 grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board for supplies, materials and contracts to restore 15 acres of the Chahalpam 2 property southeast of Salem. The Tribe acquired the 91-acre property in 2014 through the Bonneville Power Administration’s Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program;
  • Approved applying for a three-grant package offered to Tribes by the Environmental Protection Agency. The grants total $232,000 annually and would be used to fund environmental stewardship under the Clean Water Act;
  • Approved the 2019 Right of Way logging unit proposal presented by the Natural Resources Department that is estimated to bring the Tribe more than $16,000 in revenue. It also would provide an access road to a planned timber harvest and two temporary log landing areas;
  • Approved two easement agreements with the U.S. Forest Service that will allow the Tribe legal access to 55 acres at the southwest corner of the Reservation to harvest high-value timber and perform land management activities. The Tribe has been working on obtaining the easements for seven years, said Natural Resources Department Manager Michael Wilson;
  • And approved the enrollment of one infant and one noninfant into the Tribe because they meet the requirements outlined in the Enrollment Ordinance and Tribal Constitution.

Also included in the May 1 Tribal Council packet were two approved authorizations to proceed that would transfer $25 million from the Gaming Dividend Fund to start a Business Interruption Fund to safeguard against potential catastrophic events and to send a support letter to the Metro regional government regarding a potential bond measure for natural areas.

According to the authorization, the Finance Department has recommended maintaining a minimum $25 million balance in the Gaming Dividend Fund for that purpose and the authorization formalizes that concept by creating a separate fund.

In addition, there was a failed authorization to proceed that would have re-introduced the split siblings constitutional amendment and start the process of having another election. The authorization received four yes votes from Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy, Vice Chair Chris Mercier, Secretary Jon A. George and Denise Harvey, while Steve Bobb Sr. and Jack Giffen Jr. voted no. Kathleen George, Michael Langley and Lisa Leno did not vote.

Tribal voters favored resolving the split-sibling issue 601-345 during a March 22 election, but the 63.5 percent in favor failed to meet the Tribal Constitution’s two-thirds approval requirement for an amendment to be adopted.

The entire meeting can be viewed on the Tribal government’s website at by clicking on the News tab and then Video.