The Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee didn’t take action on Legislation 0069-14, which was for the Council to remove Delegate Johnny Naize as speaker, today, March 13, because Delegate Charles Damon for some unknown reason decided to walk out of the committee meeting. And Damon’s departure resulted in the loss of a quorum.
That was about 2:50 p.m. today.
I do know that Damon is a staunch supporter of Naize, who was not at today’s Naabi meeting. Delegate Edmund Yazzie was the Speaker Pro Temp.
Damon walked out of the meeting, after Legislation 0069-13 was read into the record.
When I left off blogging today, March 13, from the Navajo Nation Council’s Naabik’iyati Committee, the Naabi Committee had voted to go behind closed doors to continue listening to a report from Delegate LoRenzo Bates about the failure of the Navajo Nation Gaming Compact to be renewed by the New Mexico State Legislature. Everyone was removed from the Council chamber, which is where the Naabi Committee was meeting. It was about noon when the committee voted to go into executive session. And it was about 2 p.m. when the committee came out of executive session.
The committee vote on Bates’ report was 8 in favor, 2 opposed.
The next item on the Naabi agenda was Legislation 0026-14, which the approval of the carryover of $512,863.96 for the 2014 Election and Operational Purposes for the Navajo Election Administration. But since the Sponsor, Delegate Walter Phelps, was absent, the committee moved onto the next agenda item, which was Legislation 0045-14: supporting the election of Theresa Becenti-Aquilar to serve as the NM Public Regulation Commissioner for District 4. The committee vote on Becenti-Aguilar was 10 in favor, 0 opposed. Delegate Mel Begay was the Sponsor.
And when there was no Sponsor for the next agenda item, Legislation 0047-14, the committee moved to Legislation 0061-14, which was to designate Delegate Joshua Lavar Butler as the Navajo Nation alternative representative to the Arizona Indian Gaming Association. The vote on Legislation 0061-13 was 10 in favor, 0 opposed.
By the way, Legislation 0047-14 is to approve the purchase of 1.32 acres in Page, Ariz., from the Southwest Silverstar Enterprise for $360,000, which would come from the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department’s Facility Improvement Project Fund. The Sponsor was Delegate Roscoe Smith.
And then the committee got to Legislation 0069-14, removing Johnny Naize as speaker of the Navajo Nation Council and Delegate Charles Damon walked out of the meeting, which resulted in the loss of the quorum for the Naabik’iyati Committee. If the Naabik’iyati Committee had taken action on Legislation 0069-14, whether it was vote approving it or disapproving it, Legislation 0069-14 would have continued onto the Council because the Council has final approval. And remember that the removal of a Council speaker requires a super-majority vote or 2/3 vote, which is 16 “yes” votes, by the Council.