Chief Hicks calls Special Tribal Council to straighten out issue
By Scott McKie B.P.
One Feather staff
The Tribal ABC Commission (TABCC) has been the topic of discussion lately in Tribal Council. A protest filed by Big Cove Rep. Teresa McCoy, in the form of Resolution #22, against Resolutions #1031 and #1032 which deal with the Tribal ABC Commission (TABCC), was upheld during the regular session of Tribal Council on Thursday, Nov. 4.
Following this act, Principal Chief Michell Hicks called a Special Session of Council on Monday, Nov. 9 to deal with the issue. The TABCC submitted a modified budget in the form of Resolution #65 which would rescind Resolution #22 passed a few days earlier. Tribal Council passed Resolution #65 during the Special Session on Monday.
“My goal was to get this whole process back on track,” Chief Hicks told Council on Monday. “Everyone knows what my public stance was on alcohol.”
He added that the Tribe has continued to progress due to strategic decisions made on key issues such as the alcohol issue. “I believe that we need an ABC Commission. We need that structure.”
TABCC’s Resolution #65 states, “Resolution No. 22 (2009) has not yet been ratified and should be rescinded by Tribal Council as it contains inflammatory and erroneous statements pertaining to the funding and function of the Tribal Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (TABCC)…”
It further states, “The TABCC has revised its FY 2010 budget and reduced its expenses by nearly 41% from the FY 2010 budget it presented to Tribal Council in Resolution No. 1031…”
According to the modified budget, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will only give an advance of $50,000 as opposed to $100,000 which was originally asked for.
Rep. McCoy said on Monday, “I do have some concerns about this. I am glad that they brought in an amended budget. It needs to be discussed more and we need to have more answers.”
Painttown Rep. Terri Henry stated, “First of all, I’m not a proponent of the Alcohol Commission.” She suggested splitting the function and duties of the Alcohol Commission between the existing TCGE (Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise) and the TGC (Tribal Gaming Commission) and allowing the TGC to be the regulatory agent.
Vice Chairman B. Ensley said that many of the same debates occurred when the casino first came on board. “I don’t see why we would want to put more workload on the TGC or the TCGE Board.” He made the move to pass Res. #65.