GTC supports Milwaukee Oneidas

By Dawn Walschinski 


The General Tribal Council (GTC) supported Milwaukee area Oneidas at a special GTC meeting held Sunday, October 27 at the Radisson Hotel.  

A petition presented by Brian Doxtator was moved to the top of the agenda. The petition asked for information concerning the processes that were followed in pursuing a new building for the South Eastern Oneida Tribal Services (SEOTS) program in Milwaukee. While the petition allowed for the possibility of amending or overturning at 7-31-04 GTC decision directing the Oneida Business Committee (OBC) to provide assistance in locating a long term facility, Doxtator stated it was not his intent to close the SEOTS offices.  

“This is not about closing down, it’s about the process the Business Committee did not follow during the CIP Capital Improvement Process,” said Doxtator.  

The GTC passed a motion to continue with the 2004 directive to continue with the SEOTS facility. The vote opens the way for the purchase of a new building to house SEOTS that had been put on hold due to the petition.  

The GTC heard a petition brought forth by Carole Liggins asking for the dissolution of the second polling site for tri-annual elections. Liggins argued that the second site, located at the SEOTS office in Milwaukee, is too costly for the number of voters it attracts. 

“I don’t understand if we’re in cost containment … how we can consider spending several thousand dollars at a Milwaukee polling site,” said Liggins.  

According to Liggins presentation materials, turnout for the 2011 general election in Milwaukee was 200 voters, about 12 percent of the eligible voter population.  

“When this resolution was passed by the Business Committee in 2002, it was anticipated that providing a polling site there would allow as many people could in Milwaukee to go and vote,” said Liggins. “It hasn’t done that. It hasn’t done what the original resolution’s purpose was.”  

SEOTS Director Mark Powless argued that the $2900 cost of the off reservation polling site was minimal.  

“The polling site cost occurs only every three years,” said Powless. “I understand that money’s important, but is taking away the voice of our tribal membership worth $2900 every … three years?” he asked.  

Discussion turned to allowing absentee voting, which would require amending Oneida’s Constitution which requires qualified voters to “present themselves in person at the polls on the day of election.” OBC members reminded the assembly that the issue wasn’t supported at an August 21, 2010 GTC meeting concerning Constitutional amendments. 

The GTC passed a motion supporting the polling site to continue. 

After approving the Oneida 2013 semi-annual report, the GTC moved on to two referendum questions concerning employees. The first referendum asked “Should all salaried employees punch in or out to prevent fraudulent claims of work hours?”  

OBC Chairman Ed Delgado argued that upper management should deal with this issue. 

“This is a management issue. A blanket policy will be very harmful,” he said. The referendum question failed. 

The second asked “Should all managers work under performance contracts, including supervisors, managers, directors, assistant managers/directors, senior management?”  

The OBC informed the GTC that Councilwoman Melinda Danforth was working on addressing employment issues. The second referendum question failed as well. 

Chairman Delgado attempted to defer a petition from Cathy L. Metoxen asking that all supervisory, management, entry-level jobs be employed by enrolled Oneidas, but the GTC moved to delete the item from the agenda.  


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