PCI, county finalize meeting

Published 11:15am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A much-anticipated meeting between Poarch Creek and Escambia County officials has been officially scheduled in hopes the two governing bodies can come to an agreement on the issue of whether or not tribal lands held in trust are subject to local taxes.

Escambia County Commissioner Brandon Smith said Tuesday the meeting will take place Tuesday, July 24 around 6 p.m. Although no official venue has been chosen for the sit down, Smith said the meeting would take place “on this end of the county.”

The official roster for the meeting, which has been heavily debated between the two groups, has been determined and will include Smith, Commissioner David Quarker, whose district includes Wind Creek Casino and Hotel, and members of the PCI Tribal Council.

Following the announcement from commission Chairman David Stokes that a meeting would be sought, Stokes announced he intended to attend the meeting along side Quarker and without any other members of the commission. PCI officials quickly responded, requesting

Smith and Quarker represent the commission alone.

Smith said, while he does not expect the meeting to yield immediate answers to the taxation issue, he is hopeful it will be the first step in coming to an agreement with PCI officials.

“This going to be a sort of talk-it-out type thing,” Smith said. “What I’ll do is I’ll just carry to them the wishes of the commissioners. I’ll let them know what each commissioner would like to see and they’ll let us know what they want to happen and we’ll just go from there.”
Smith, who has fought the commission’s probes into tribal affairs since their inception, said he is encouraged by the meeting finally becoming a reality, but expressed frustration that a sit down was not offered to PCI prior to any action being taken by commissioners.
“You know, before all of this you could just go in there and talk to (PCI officials), Smith said. “Now it seems like there’s some bad blood and you have to go through all of this. It’s a shame.”

PCI officials could not be reached for comment following the meeting’s announcement, but Tribal Councilman Robert McGhee said last week he and the Tribal Council were looking forward to finalizing a date to meet with Smith and Quarker.

  • Redman

    I saw where Stoke’s was quoted as saying ” The PCI window to meet is closing…”The pig gets fat, but the hog gets slaughtered”.I saw this recently in an Montgomery article.I thought this to me seemed arragant…as if this guy is so sure of himself and his position.This type of attitude makes tribal members not want to give anything.He must strongly feel he has the Tribe “over a barrel”.The article went on to say that a computer glitch had occured and the payment to the Escambia Commission had not been sent since January so the Tribe sent a back payment check that That the commission was not going to cash until after this meeting.Now I think the Tribe should put a “stop payment” on the check….give to the Tribal Members.Why can’t this guy be thankful for what the Tribe is doing as are the Elmore County officials which houses the Wetumpka Casino.In the real world when something is given as a donation people are Thankful..but if the donation is not appreciated then no more should be given.

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