SHONTO— President Kelsey A. Begaye recently signed a $160,000 check to Shonto Chapter.
Shonto Chapter is the first and only chapter to receive governance-certification. Pursuant to the Fiscal Year 2001 Operating Budget, the first three chapters that attain local governance-certification status will receive the $160,000 appropriation.
“We see this appropriation as an investment in our future,” said Delegate Lorenzo Bedonie, (Hardrock) Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Navajo Nation. “The (Shonto) Chapter has come a long way in terms of the capacity to handle local matters locally, and with this investment, it can go even further.”
Mr. Bedonie said, “This appropriation benefits us all because Shonto is pushing new ground and its activity can be easily replicated by other chapters as they become governance-certified.”
Some of the local matters Mr. Bedonie thought could be handled locally include administering programs such as Head Start, Early Childhood Development, veterans and elders Programs. He also said that historically planning and administration was done at the local level, and with the LGA, governance-certified chapters will once again plan and administer the way it used to.
Joe Holgate Jr., President of the Shonto Chapter, was appreciative of the grant, thanking Mr. Bedonie, the Speaker, the President, Mark Maryboy and Lawrence Morgan of the Transportation and Community Development Committee, and the Commission and Office of Navajo Government Development for
assisting it in getting a level of funding with which it could take its chapter forward. He said his chapter has a budget for how it will spend the $160,000, most of which is for personnel to implement the provisions of the Local Governance Act.
Navajo Nation President Kelsey A. Begaye committed to further assist the governance-certified chapters by prioritizing the Local Governance Act during the budget process and by assigning a Deputy Director to the Division of Community Development. “The prayers and dedications are paying off for the Shonto Chapter. I am really happy about that,” he said.