TGB Receives Petition for Referendum Regarding Health Director Termination
By Joe Morey
A petition containing the signatures of over a required 100 tribal members was presented to the LCO Tribal Governing Board on Monday, Oct. 7, by Ramona Ingerson, a member of the LCO Elder Advisory Council. The petition asks for a referendum vote of the tribal membership to reverse the official action of the TGB to terminate the LCO Health Center Director, Sarah Cormell.
The petition was organized under the Tribal Referendum Code established by the TGB under the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Constitution, which states a referendum requires at least 100 signatures and at least 200 registered tribal members to vote in said referendum. The TGB received the petition, which now goes to the Citizenship Services Department (Enrollment) for verification of the signatures.
According to the Referendum Code, the Petition needs to be accepted by the TGB within 60 days of receipt and a Referendum vote is to take place within 90 days of receipt.
At the meeting on Monday, the TGB members who voted to terminate Cormell questioned the process of the collecting signatures citing that a program director took the petition around to the employees in that department during working hours. They stated that employees reached out to them and claimed they felt compelled to sign because the director said too, and they claimed they didn’t understand what they were signing.
The TGB wants all members to know there is a process of withdrawing a signature on a referendum petition which is established in the Referendum Code. The process is established in 5 LCOTCL § 2.304 - Procedure for Withdrawing Signatures.
A qualified voter who has signed a petition calling for a referendum may, by executing and filing with the Secretary an affidavit within ten (10) days from the day, on which the petition is presented to the Tribal Governing Board at a regular meeting of the Tribal Governing Board, withdraw his signature from the petition. Any signature so withdrawn shall not be counted in determining the validity of the petition. The affidavit shall:
(1) Be signed and sworn before a notary public;
(2) Be in the given name and surname of the affiant;
(3) State the affiant’s address, enrollment number, and serial number of the petition which he signed;
(4) Affirm the affiant’s intention to withdraw his/her signature from the petition.