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Navajo Council Delegate Tsosie: Council is “bullying”
July 10, 2014 Professional Journal

NAVAJO COUNCIL NAABIK’IYATI COMMITTEE now on adopting agenda which is being read into the record by Legislative staff. But prior to committee going to adopting its agenda, there was a pretty lively debate between Delegates Lorenzo Curley and Leonard Tsosie regarding Tsosie’s continued criticism about western educated Navajos giving advice that is not in the best interest of the Navajo Nation. Chairperson Pro Temp LoRenzo Bates had to finally intervene and move the committee from Announcements to Adopting AGENDA.

DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE’S ANNOUNCEMENT
There is proposal for a referendum to increase 28 member Navajo Council to 44 so ask that Speaker Pro Temp LoRenzo Bates wait on using excess tribal funds for renovation of Council chamber to accommodate a 24-member Council.

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
Regarding Delegate Dwight Witherspoon’s amendment to move Legislation 0138-14: Relating to Budget and Finance and Naabik’iyati’; Amending GSCMY-18-10, The Plan of Operation for the Navajo Tax Commission (Sponsor: Honorable Dwight Witherspoon, Honorable Danny Simpson) to first item on Agenda.
Legislation 0138-14 is about Changing oversight from Naabi to Budget & Finance Committee and that is controversial and so committee needs to seriously think about Witherspoon is asking.

AMENDMENT TO RE-ORGANIZE AGENDA PASSES

DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
AMENDMENT 2 – add 0162-14 to agenda. (0162-14 is for acceptance of revocable permit from Hopi Tribe for preliminary work on the paving of bus route)
10 in favor, 2 opposed

DELEGATE JONATHAN HALE
AMENDMENT 3 – DELETE AGENDA ITEMS E AND U
11 in favor,

DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
0095-14:

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
is that with RDC?

DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
by legal advice, 0095-14, said that RDC has opportunity to act on it – twice and did not and so it’s before Naabi properly.

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
This is “bullying.” 0095-14 shud stay at RDC or change process and do away with all committee except Naabik’iyati Committee. So long as have committee system of 5, respect and not act as “bully” and I can “ram” this thru. For example, remember when Oil and Gas Company Charter got here to Naabi, RDC was going to have reviewed, but sponsor, Speaker Pro Temp Bates, took to Naabi. And there are some delegates that just love Navajo Housing Authority to death and will fall on sword for NHA. If vote yes on this then telling Navajo pple that we ignore our rules and there will be free for all and there will be chaos. WE took oath to uphold laws.

VOICES CAN BE HEARD FROM FLOOR FROM OTHER DELEGATES ON FLOOR TO VOTE. BUT THEN DELEGATE PHELPS CALLS, POINT OF ORDER, AND ASKS THAT CHIEF LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL LEVON HENRY PROVIDE LEGAL CLARIFICATION ON STATUS OF LEGISLATION.

CHIEF LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL HENRY
Mariana Kahn, legislative attorney, provided advice that there are legal ways for legislation to move from committee to committee. And 0162-12 was debated, which was a “kill (legislative) bill), which wasn’t approved regarding how legislative bills move from committee to committee.

DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
our colleague in calling us “bully” on “personal interest” to manipulate process and deny debate and people to benefit. so when these pple return to committee, they chastise them. but this is element that wud take care of issues that are being delayed. so allow this to move forward and take care of it once and for all. so ask colleagues to vote yes.

DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
my concern is at the committee level, how does legislation move forward and thru RDC when RDC delaying or deleted off agenda or proposed work session cuz there is no RDC report and so Delegate Mel Begay is getting bullied by RDC. There needs to be way to address both concerns – committee and sponsor of legislation. So if RDC not final committee then let’s ask Chief Legislative Counsel Henry to provide clarification and options.

DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
We addressed at Government Reform Subcommittee and Naabi agreed to remove “Kill Bill” portion of Title 2 amendments. And there are some legislation, in adopting Title 2, with final authority language and if look at legislative attorney, she shud have identified final authority over Navajo Housing Authority and who selects Tribal Designated Housing Entity. And more confusion with attorneys advising that when committees disapprove that legislation continues to move forward. So if TDHE is final authority with Naabi then it should remain there until all committee questions are addressed. And there is remedy, which is to get signatures of 13 delegates for legislation to move forward. But if Council wants to do this then we might as well “bullying” everything thru and its a “slap” to our process. I have no personal interest. NHA shud be rightfully be criticized because NHA will be losing $96 m. If u don’t want to slap NHA and love NHA…

DELEGATE MEL BEGAY
Point of Order – Tsosie is debating legislation and not amendment.

DELEGATE TSOSIE
I’ve been accused. There needs to be a work session on NHA performance. We need to rein in authority. NHA will be losing $96 m. Beyond me how delegates cud support NHA and Delegate Begay trying to push thru TDHE for organization that is not working.

DELEGATE EDMUND YAZZIE
Talk about confusion over legislative process. Look at RDC’s creation of Subcommittee on URI.

DELEGATE TSOSIE
Point of Order – there has been no approval of right of way.

DELEGATE YAZZIE
Tsosie’s tactics is to have us get under his skin. and i’m not going to do that. Delegate Begay’s legislation shud be debated. And if talk bullying, most the bullying is being done by one person.

VOTE ON AMENDMENT 4
8 in favor, 4 opposed

VOTE ON ADOPTING AGENDA
10 IN FAVOR, 1 OPPOSED
SINGLE OPPOSITION IS DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE

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