By JONAH LOSSIAH
ONE FEATHER STAFF
After review, Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed has vetoed a memorandum of agreement between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Kituwah, LLC due to a $2 million oversight. Tribal Council upheld his veto during its regular session on Thursday, Aug. 6.
Exhibit A of Res. 198 (2020), which was unanimously passed by Tribal Council on July 2, states that upon approval and execution of the Memorandum of Agreement and Understanding, the Tribe will make a deposit payment to the Kituwah, LLC in the amount of $2 million.
“The veto letter is pretty self-explanatory,” Chief Sneed said during the regular session of Tribal Council on Aug. 6. “It was brought to my attention by the Vice Chairman the Tuesday following the Tribal Council session. He said, ‘are you aware that the exhibit that was passed actually has a two-million-dollar appropriation?’ I said no I was not, and he showed it to me, and I said that was not supposed to be in there.”
He said that he then contacted Kituwah, LLC CEO Mark Hubble for an explanation. Hubble said that that piece of the MOA was from the original draft and did not need to be in the resolution presented in July council.
The other areas of that MOA stated that the Tribe would cover the cost of acquiring land for the Kituwah, LLC, as well as the cost of placing model homes on those properties.
“The reason that was in there, if Tribal Council remembers, Council had previously passed a resolution authorizing funding in support of the Cardinal Homes project,” said Chief Sneed. “So, with that, the $2 million appropriation did not need to be in there. However, it was included as Exhibit A, and subsequently passed by Council. So, that was the reason for the veto. It’s not that it wasn’t supportive of what the Kituwah LLC is trying to accomplish, it’s just that the language of the MOA, because it did pass, is approving a $2 million appropriation.”
Following the quick explanation by Chief Sneed, Vice Chair David Wolfe made a motion to uphold the veto. After a second by Yellowhill Rep. Tom Wahnetah, Tribal Council voted unanimously to uphold the veto.