Wed Dec 24th, 2014
The Southern Ute Drum
Tribal members, fellow tribes, and community members were all in attendance for the 2014 Inauguration ceremony held for incoming council members: Clement J. Frost, Amy J. Barry and Tyson Thompson on Monday, Dec. 15 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort.
Frost will return to council after receiving 58 percent of votes for chairman in the Friday, Dec. 12 runoff election. Thompson and Barry were the two candidates to receive the highest number of votes in the runoff election. Thompson garnered 281 votes and Barry 232.
Frost brings experience to Tribal Council, having been on and off of council for the past 35 years – seven of which he was chairman.
“Thank you to all my supporters that voted for me and that have confidence in my leadership ability. I want to thank you for your trust and your respect,” Frost said during his opening remarks.
Frost made the big announcement that he would be appointing a second Executive Officer in addition to his current Executive Officer – Michelle Taylor-Cruz – sometime this coming year. Frost also reappointed Melvin Baker as his Vice Chairman.
He also touched on some accomplishments during his last six months in office.
“We’ve done a lot of positive things, the home loan program … we have a new Health Director, and the [Human Resources Director] position will be filled with the right candidate,” he said.
Frost said he wants to move forward and do positive things for the Tribe.
“Its time to put those the bad feelings aside, it’s time for us to become Southern Ute tribal members again and recognize one another and respect one another … talk to one another, that will be my road to travel once again.”
Thompson and Barry both first timers to Tribal Council bring new outlooks from a younger generation, Barry said.
“Thank you to tribal voters for letting your voices be heard.” Barry said. “The new generation has offered to step up and provide input and lead us into the next generation, and I’m humbly appreciative to be apart of that today.”
Thompson, former Wood Yard Division Head, said he looks forward to the adventure ahead of him.
“I look forward to working alongside everybody here and I will do my best,” Thompson said.
Representatives from Ute Mountain, Northern Ute and Jicarilla Apache Tribes attended the inauguration welcoming the new council members.
“There are five veteran councilman on this council and two new. They’re going to come in and learn and take it to the next generation for the young ones that are not here yet,” Manuel Heart, chairman of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe said.
Gordon Howell, Northern Ute chairman, offered some advice to the incoming council members.
“When you do something, do it from the heart,” he said. “ It’s a tough job, but we do it for the love of our people.”
Jicarilla Apache Tribe brought gifts and offered well wishes to the incoming council.
Also in attendance were La Plata County Commissioner Julie Westindorff and Durango Mayor Sweetie Marbury.