Hopi Tribal Council approves FY 2011 operating budget

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - After several days of deliberation, the Hopi Tribal Council approved Resolution H-022-2011 on Dec. 21 by motion and majority vote. The Fiscal Year 2011 General Fund Budget and the Expenditure Authorization and Appropriations Language in the amount of $19,875,116.00 was approved for the period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

For nearly a month, the Tribe's Budget Oversight Team reviewed and debated budget proposals submitted by villages, departments and the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches before presenting their recommendations to the Tribal Council for approval.

The Legislative Branch was awarded $1,515,339, the Executive Branch was given $2,216,833 and the Judicial Branch obtained $608,680. The combined total given to the villages was $3,575,000 and remaining funds were distributed to various departments, regulated entities, revolving accounts, attorney fees, emergency and contingency funds and capital improvements.

During the hearings, the Tribal Council also proposed a 3 percent Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) for all tribal employees and elected and appointed officials to be included in the budget. The Council did approve a 3 percent COLA for all tribal employees, effective Jan. 1 for all positions filled as of Jan. 1.

Discussion regarding a COLA for elected and appointed officials followed. A motion was made by George Mase, Interim Tribal Council Secretary to approve a 3 percent COLA for all elected officers, Hopi Tribal Council representatives and executive officers. The motion was seconded by Hopi Vice Chairman Herman Honanie.

A vote was taken with 7 in favor, 7 opposed, 0 abstained, Hopi Chairman LeRoy N. Shingoitewa presided over the hearing and did not vote. However, Chairman Shingoitewa voted in opposition to the motion and broke the tie. The chairman's vote defeated the motion to grant Council representatives and elected officials the COLA.

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