Here at joint meeting of Budget and Finance Committee and Resources and Development Committee where Committees continue debating Decentralization Project Report by Division of Community Development Director Leonard Chee.
DELEGATE LORENZO CURLEY, B&F COMMITTEE MEMBER
I’m reading in report that this is an extension of Local Governance Services Centers which means central government will still control local government and that is what local governments are fighting.
So are we permanently changing the outcome of the relationship between chapters and central government.
I think we need to change the law, Title 26. We can’t continue to lead chapters down the road thinking that chapters will have local autonomy.
LORENZO BATES, B&F COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON
Our Navajo nation is a young government.It is still evolving so we ask ourselves, are we functioning in a way that allows our chapters to progress. Are our chapters progressing? Why aren’t they? When listen to chapters, they have all these great ideas on how to progress but they are unable to do so.
This initiative will have challenges and why asked Chee to go out and see if support. Will those chapters be willing to step up to plate? And i hear that some chapters fine with way operating but let’s not penalize chapters that want to move ahead.
And we know $3 million inadequate and that there might not be 16 service centers.
This will be brand new initiative. But right now chapters are asking us to do their work. That has to change. And when I go to chapter meetings, many of our educated professional young people want to return and the salary has to equal their qualifications.
Chapters recommended that signature review authority be given to local attornyes and I agree with that but some authorities must remain with central government.
And what if RDC not support?
DCD DIRECTOR CHEE
Not done deal and why stamped proposed.
Decentralization was directive from B&F to develop plan and that was done by Task Force and DCD.
In no way were we disrespectful to RDC. We gave report to RDC and Delegate Tsosie was absent. RDC voted to accept report.
At summit, opportunity for everyone make recommendations, including delegates. And Delegate Jonathan Nez made some that were very helpful.
And I agree with Delegate Tsosie that this is a small piece of government reform.
As i understood, this is starting point.
There are some chapter recommendations asking to be allowed to move forward if other chapters don’t want change.
Delegate Witherspoon’s chapters want to move forward with attorneys, accountants, etc. And challenge to hire 16 attorneys, 16 accountants, 16 planners with competitive salaries. But some young pple at Summits said that this was opportunity they were looking for to return home.
Public opinion is that we have outgrown chapter government structure.