Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, Dec. 16

Letter to the editor: Tuba City Chapter officials say statements by council delegate unhelpful

To the editor:

The most recent published statements of Tuba City Council Delegate Joshua Lavar Butler are irresponsible and reckless. Stories have appeared in the Navajo Times and the Gallup Independent about the FBI stepping into the Tuba City chapter financial debacle left by former chapter officials and administrative staff who no longer serve.

Council Delegate Butler is unaware that we have filed the quarterly financial statements along with residual payments for two quarters of 2012 to the Navajo government ($222,648.20). The Tuba City chapter operates by calendar year with the first quarter beginning in January. On May 14, Ben Davis and Angie Williams were elected while supported by the advocacy of Council Delegate Butler to succeed the outgoing officials and on July 3, Gerald Keetso and Charlene Zahne were installed by oath of office. On August 13, 2012, Ben Davis stepped down from the Council of Naat'aanii and assumed the position of Chapter Manager.

Amid the investigation, frozen bank accounts, files turned over to the Local Government Support Center, and signature authority placed strictly with the Community Development Executive Director, reconciling financial records with LGSC assistance was successfully completed. This was achieved in the wake of former officials stepping down in the midst of utter financial ruin. It substantiates that the new leadership has worked arduously and cooperatively to clean up financial discrepancies and submit necessary reports and payments. We are working now to complete the third quarter that ended September 30.

Council Delegate Butler wants to "de-certify" the single chapter he represents. Many of his colleagues represent on average five chapters, some seven. His realm of responsibility is significantly smaller. He wants to "de-certify" a chapter, for which he singularly represents, which has worked to put finances back in order out of a pile of chaos and ruin. Where's his logic and rationale?

It's clear that Council Delegate Butler is bent on cascading blame to the successive leadership who were voted in to restore accountability. He's spent an endless amount of time on social media outlets to post his sentiments and personal slant of facts. He's even recently demanded to be given a set of keys to the chapter government offices without following protocol.

Leadership is about accepting responsibility no matter how grave circumstances may be. Responsible leadership covers and accepts blame for others and then works to correct wrongs and mistakes. It does so without boisterous claims and public statements. Making claims in local newspapers to assert blame and make insinuations is demoralizing, unbecoming and woefully less than worthy of an elected official. His lack of maturity has caused disruption at the expense of our local government. Council Delegate Butler would be well advised to instead find ways to be cooperative, less egocentric and more results oriented. If he would attend our local meetings and show involvement we would welcome his presence. His actions instead are counterproductive. This is America after all. Not a small country that adheres to tyranny.

Gerald Keetso, Angie Williams, Charlene Zahne and Ben Davis

Tuba City

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