Shonto sponsors economic development work session
SHONTO -- On July 30 and 31, Shonto Community Governance sponsored the Shonto Community and Economic Development Strategic Work Session at the Shonto Preparatory School boardroom. Facilitating the work session was Anson Arviso of ABC Inc. Shonto Governance invited various state, tribal and federal agencies to participate in the two-day work session and included individuals such as Peter MacDonald, former Navajo Tribal Chairman; Raphael Tapia, Arizona Department of Commerce; Dolly Lane, Navajo Regional Business Development Office; and Shonto Chapter officials.
Discussions included the possible attractions and businesses the Shonto Community can build and how different governmental agencies might assist. The fact that the Shonto Community is not a destination community was brought up by Robert Black Jr., Shonto Chapter Secretary/Treasure. Black posed the question during his Saturday evening closing remarks of how the Shonto Community would develop areas such as the Cross Road area located northwest of Shonto on Arizona Highway 98.
Anson "Commitment" Arviso, after each presentation, asked how each governmental office would help the Shonto Community and what commitments would be made. Many officials agreed to help the Shonto Community, but were slow to make any verbal commitments to the group. Arviso, being very upfront with government officials, would ask them if they were or were not stating commitments to Shonto. A few stated commitments, as others only nodded giving no verbal confirmation.
Jonathan Nez, Shonto Chapter Vice-President had much to say about the legalities and policies the chapter would endure as it promote economic development in Shonto. Nez, who is working towards fund raising for community projects, has been working towards a strong intergovernmental relationship with the Navajo Nation and the State of Arizona.
Nez also stated the importance of community action and the need for community members to take initiative towards their self-governance, while maintaining a good working relationship with other governmental entities.