Council Votes to Repay Tribal Members for Cost of Lake Barryessa Homes

Chairperson Danielle Vigil-Masten, left, and Council members Marjorie Colegrove, Byron Nelson Jr., front, and Shane McCullough, right, applauded TCCC/AmeriCorps members who sang Christmas carols after the Council meeting on Friday, December 20. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council voted on Friday, December 20, to refund the costs of Lake Berryessa mobile homes purchased by Hoopa tribal members.

“The exact amount is based on whatever they paid,” said Chairperson Danielle Vigil-Masten.

Many of the second-hand mobile homes that were moved from Lake Berryessa to the Hoopa Valley were later discovered to have serious electrical, structural, and other problems. Local residents found that the costs to fix the problems far outweighed the savings from the steep discounts on the homes – even in the case of many homes that were offered for free.

On a more positive note, Vigil-Masten reported meeting with representatives of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, headquartered in Brooks, California, to work on plans for a tribal college. Just under one fourth of California’s federally-recognized tribes – 25 out of 109 – are supporting the California Tribal College Initiative.

“We went down to Sacramento two weeks ago and met with the other tribes involved with the tribal college initiative,” Vigil-Masten said, adding that talks are underway to host a satellite campus in Hoopa.

“I also met with the Tribal Court on a tribal law school, and it looks like it’s a go,” she said.

The Council also voted to approve a revised budget for the Tribal Court, a cash payout for unused annual leave for the understaffed Hoopa Tribal Police Department, and a four-year extension on the agreements between local law enforcement and the U.S. Forest Service.

Chief of Police Robert Kane said, “The U.S. Forest Service has taken over responsibility for the CAMP program. We’re working together with the Forest Service to basically combat the marijuana problem and the cartel problem on the reservation.”

A request from KIDE 91.3 FM Station Manager Joe Orozco to revise the station’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget was moved to a closed executive session.

“There was a decrease of 33 percent in our budget,” Orozco said. “It has drastic effects on us.”

The Council also heard a request from Rodney Donahue for assistance in paying for an international patent on a device that increases production of fish strips. Donahue was referred to the Office of Tribal Attorney (OTA) for research and assistance.

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January 29th, 2014

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