Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Sept. 27

Tuba City networking meeting deemed successful

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Coconino County District 5 Supervisor Lena Fowler coordinated a Tuba City networking meeting on Monday, June 14. The purpose of the meeting was to create better communication and coordination of strategies to accomplish the common aims of the Tuba City community among the various organizations, tribal programs, churches and local businesses.

The meeting brought together over 20 people at the Tuba City Boarding School cafeteria to discuss community issues and share information about their respective organizations and offices. Each individual provided updates on current programs and services as well as plans for the future. The impact of the fragile economy and subsequent budget cuts was a recurring theme among all reports.

The current state of the economy is one of the primary reasons why Supervisor Fowler is coordinating these community meetings. She states, "It is more important than ever to partner and network to maximize services and minimize costs." Unfortunately, it has become evident that several grant-funded programs are facing termination due to limited dollars and resources.

Not only did each representative share information about services offered and programs in place, they also presented key community concerns from their own perspectives. Some of the topics mentioned were: strengthening our local economy; lack of housing; funding for youth programs; public health and public safety; sustainability of the local transfer-refuse station/waste management; water supply; care for the elderly and Main Street's abandoned buildings, among many others.

Job announcements for teachers, counselors and support staff were also shared by representatives from the Navajo Nation Head Start and Behavioral Health Programs.

Each update and announcement was well-appreciated. Furthermore, the pressing community issues brought to the forefront of the discussion captured the attention of everyone in attendance. Many were surprised to learn about the dire financial situation faced by the local fire department. Lt. Travis Becenti provided a compelling overview of the obstacles encountered by his staff. The department's limited funding means only two firefighters are paid and the others must serve on a voluntary basis.

Becenti explained that his team of five firefighters is expected to provide service within a 64 mile radius. Noting the urgency and the potential threat to public safety, a decision was made to incorporate fundraising efforts for the fire department during community events planned for July 3-4. The department and volunteers will be hosting a "Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser" on July 3 at the high school pavilion. Many other family events, including a fireworks display are scheduled to take place at the Tuba City High School football field.

The meeting concluded with several individuals expressing gratitude to Supervisor Fowler for taking the initiative to bring everyone together. All agreed that regular meetings and similar calls to action are needed to make Tuba City an even stronger community. Supervisor Fowler looks forward to another successful turnout at the next meeting and extends her appreciation to the public for their time and participation.

The next Tuba City networking meeting has not yet been scheduled, but information will be advertised through the local media as soon as possible. The next Independence Day events planning meeting will be held on June 24 at 9 a.m. (DST) at the Tuba City Boarding School cafeteria. Meeting minutes and a contact listing for the June 14 meeting are available upon request. All Navajo Nation programs, organizations, schools, churches and businesses are invited to both meetings. Please bring information about your organization and upcoming events.

For more information, call (928) 283-4518 or send an e-mail to lscott@coconino.az.gov.

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