To begin the 2012-13 year, one of the major concerns voiced by tribal members was revisions to the Peoria Tribal Constitution. An ANA Grant was submitted to fund tribal member consultations, legal counsel, research, coordination, travel, and meeting expenses. The ANA Grant was not approved. Based on the analysis of the submitted grant, a subsequent application will be prepared to again seek the funding for this purpose.
Webcast of Tribal Business Committee meetings were tested during several months of this year; however, the quality of transmission was poor with our current internet services. Cable One is in the process of locating lines for internet access to the area surrounding our tribal office which will provide the quality of transmission needed. Announcement will be made on the tribe’s website, www.peoriatribe.com, when we are ready to broadcast the Business Committee meetings.
In November 2012, the Business Committee approved revisions to the Election Ordinance. Among those revisions were provisions for extended polling hours on the first Saturday in March of each year (now 7:00 a.m. to Noon), a requirement that voters provide a photo identification at each election in the form of a government issued photo identification showing their name to match the Official Voters’ List provided by the Tribal Enrollment Office; and also that any call for a run-off election by the Election Committee will be announced with a time for the poll opening and remaining open for a period of two (2) hours.
The Tribal Administrative staff continually strives to improve office operations and during the past year revisions to Accounting Procedures were approved to meet current reporting standards and efficiency.
By federal mandate, tribal nations were required to either develop laws for sex offender registrations or delegate that authority under state or federal laws. The Peoria Tribe’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act was enacted into public law in April 2012. Additionally, the provisions of this Act were incorporated into the Tribe’s Criminal Offenses Act.
In May 2012 efforts began towards negotiating a tobacco compact with the state of Oklahoma. After much delay, meetings were finally held with representatives of the governor’s staff where we were informed all compacts were in the process of review with expected changes to be announced in the future. Subsequent notice was received that Oklahoma’s tribal nation tobacco compacts would all be terminated and negotiations would be conducted on an individual tribal basis. No further consultation has been scheduled with the Peoria Tribe at this point.
The addition of a clubhouse at Peoria Ridge Golf Course has been approved and construction started. This facility will be an enhancement to the marketing of Buffalo Run Casino and Resort. The marketing staff at Buffalo Run is excited about being able to extend its efforts to increase their “destination” approach in developing new business. The exterior of the clubhouse will mimic the exteriors of the casino and hotel. The Peoria Ridge staff will be working towards growing annual memberships and increasing their services to all golf course patrons and the community with the addition of a 175 capacity banquet facility. Construction is expected to be completed by late summer.
Exterior renovations to Buffalo Run Casino took longer than expected but are now complete. It is quite an improvement over our initial “tent”. During this coming year the interior will be redesigned. It is anticipated these changes can be made with minimal disruption to casino patrons.
Upcoming projects in FY 2013-2014 include an ICDBG application joint project with the Miami Nation and the Shawnee Tribe for development and construction of a cultural center project to be located near the current Travel Center located on I-44 and the Inter-Tribal Council building. The application is currently in process for submission in March 2013.
In considering the FY 2014 Tribal Budget, the Business Committee approved two program increases. The tribal member burial program benefits will be increased from $5,000 per member to $10,000 effective April 1, 2013. Effective July 2013, the school reimbursement program benefits will be increased from $100 per student grades K-12 to $500. Policies and procedures for these increased benefits are being developed and will be provided on the website and in the tribal newsletter prior to the effective date.
Your Business Committee is dedicated to serving you, as tribal members, to the best of our ability. Your comments are always welcome and encouraged.
I wish to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts of the tribal office staff. They do a great job of serving our tribal members and represent us well in our community and business environments. They are available to assist you with our various programs.
Again, I want to thank you for allowing me to serve you as Chief. I have great respect for each tribal member and always strive to do what is best for us as a tribe with a vision to the future. Best wishes for a great year.Submitted by:
John P. Froman