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Poarch swears in new Tribal council, chairman

By By Janet Little Cooper
Following three separate three-way ties, a coin toss determined who would be the next vice chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians during the Tribal Council meeting held Monday.
After newly elected Tribal Council members Stephanie A. Bryan, Keith Martin and re-elected member Daniel McGhee, were sworn in, nominations were made among the nine-member council for the vacant positions on the executive board.
Daniel McGhee was nominated and re-elected as the Tribal Council Secretary while Buford Rolin, acting chairman since the sudden death of Fred L. McGhee three weeks ago, was elected to serve officially as chairman.
"I am honored that the Tribal Council chose me and I appreciate their unanimous decision," Rolin said. "That in itself was an honor. The Tribe is involved in a lot of activities as I step into this position, not only with all of the federal programs and grants, but with economic development as well. Our goal is to employ as many Tribal members and community members as possible. We hope to continue our relationship with Atmore and the surrounding area as well as we move forward."
With Rolin's appointment as chairman, his previous position as vice-chairman had to be filled as well.
Tribal Council member Patricia Hodges nominated council member Robbie McGhee while incumbent Keith Martin nominated newly elected Stephanie A. Bryan for the position.
After the two tied in a secret ballot vote on three different votes, Brenda Faircloth, chairman of the Election Board committee conducted a coin toss to determine the winner.
"I had no idea when I went into this," Bryan said. "It totally took me by surprise. My plans remain the same, I plan to be there to serve my people in the best capacity that I can. A lot of knowledge comes with this position and I am willing to learn. I'm not employed by the Tribe, so it is like I am an outsider looking in. The General Council was supportive of my election for the council. They wanted a different viewpoint. My decisions will be totally based on the benefit of the entire General Council. I look forward to seeing increased unity in the tribe and plan to focus on education and healthcare and economic development. "
The Tribal Council is set up with a nine-member council that is elected by the General Council for three year staggered terms.
Bryan, Martin and McGhee join Buford Rolin, Rodney Exum, Patricia Hodges, Eddie Tullis, Arthur Mothershed and Robbie McGhee on 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.