Nine vie for three seats on Tribal Council

Published 3:13 am Wednesday, May 31, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians general council will head to the polls this Saturday to place their vote for three candidates out of nine running for the Tribal Council.
General council members, 18 years and older, may cast their ballot beginning at 8 a.m. at the Poarch SAIL center. Voting will continue until 7 p.m. that evening with the results to follow.
"We started a new process last year," Poarch Community Relations Director Sharon Delmar said. "We use the same type of machines that are used in the state elections. All elections are secret ballot."
The nine candidates vying for a spot on the Tribal Council are: Stephanie A. Bryan, Peggy Rolin Couch, Helen Hallman, Ronnie Jackson, "Poncho" Douglas Kelley, Keith Martin, Daniel McGhee, John Arthur McGhee and Garvis Sells.
Helen Hallman and Daniel McGhee are currently on the council and have reached the end of their three-year term.
The Tribal Council is set up with a nine-member council that is elected by the General Council for three year staggered terms.
Buford Rolin, who is also on the Tribal Council, is the acting Tribal Chairman in the wake of Chairman Fred L. McGhee's surprising death two weeks ago. McGhee was up for reelection. Absentee ballots that may have been placed for McGhee will be disregarded according to Delmar.
"Once the three new council members are elected Saturday, the council will then elect the Tribal Chairman," Delmar said.
Out of the nine-member council a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, and Secretary are the executive officers.
The Chairman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and presides over the Council meetings. The Chairman is also responsible for implementing all ordinances, resolutions and directives of the council.
The Vice-Chairman steps in at any meeting in the absence of the Chairman and in the event of the Chairman's death or resignation, where he will then serve for the remainder of the Chairman's term.
The Treasurer, who is responsible for maintaining the necessary financial records, supervises financial affairs of the Tribe. A financial report prepared by the Treasurer is provided to the Tribal Council annually.
The Secretary maintains the records and files of the Tribal Council
A few of the powers of the Tribal Council as a whole include preserving Tribal lands or other Tribal assets; engaging in business that will further the economic well being of the members of the Tribe, and acting on behalf of the tribe with federal, state, and local governments.
The Tribal Council holds meetings twice a month on the first Tuesday of the month and the third Sunday. These meetings are open to the public. A written record is kept of the council's proceedings as well and is open for inspection by all members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Saturday also marks the annual meeting of the General Council that is held on the first Saturday of June each year along with the election of the Tribal Council members.
"We have a lot planned for the day while the election is going on," Delmar said. "The American Red Cross will be conducting a blood drive from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and we will have a health fair going on as well. Information booths will also be set up during the day from each of the different departments within the Tribe."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox