Shelly-Jim Transition Team updates GSC

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The Shelly-Jim Transition Team went before the Government Services Committee last Wednesday to update them of its efforts in securing funds for the Jan. 11 inauguration of President-elect Ben Shelly, Vice President-elect Rex Lee Jim and the 22nd Navajo Nation Council.

Deswood Tome, transition team director, said funds from Navajo Nation Executive Branch programs had been identified to help with the transition and inaugural activities. Tome went before the committee to clarify whether the identified sources in the executive branch required committee oversight approval.

"We have six weeks left and we need money for inauguration programs, media, marketing, [and] invitations," Tome said. "We would like funds at this point, so we may put it toward the transition and inauguration costs."

Two weeks earlier, Tome presented a budget of $191,870 to the Budget and Finance Committee, who recommended he work with Controller Mark Grant to identify funds for the transition and inauguration. Tome stated that Grant and Chief of Staff Patrick Sandoval had identified funds in the executive branch.

"We put together a budget two weeks ago and the Budget and Finance Committee voted 6-0 to accept the budget report," Tome said. "We vacated the notion of using the Personnel Lapse Fund and instead have pulled money from the executive branch programs."

Delegate Orlanda Smith Hodge asked whether monies pooled from various executive programs would have an impact on the delivery of services to the Navajo people. Grant stated the impacts were minimal and that the method to retrieve funds in the executive branch will help reach the goal of attaining the $190,000 transition and inauguration budget.

Delegate Ervin Keeswood informed Tome that the identified funds did not require committee oversight approval.

The committee unanimously approved the report.

Delegate Amos Johnson also issued a directive to the Office of the President and Vice President to work cooperatively and collectively in meeting the needs of the new administration because of the difficult process Tome and his team has experienced in securing funds for the transition and inauguration costs.

In an effort to help the Shelly-Jim Transition Team meet its budget goal, Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan announced a $50,000 contribution from the Office of the Speaker and Legislative Branch Transition Team to feed the crowd of Navajo people who will be present at the inauguration.

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