Baker, Olguin bid farewell

James M. Olguin and Melvin J. Baker shake hands at their End of Term Farewell reception on Friday, Dec. 2 in the Hall of Warriors at the Leonard C. Burch building. Both Olguin and Baker’s terms were up Dec. 5.
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

At a reception on Friday, December 2 the Southern Ute Indian Tribe thanked outgoing council members James “Mike” Olguin and Melvin J. Baker for serving on Tribal Council. A small intimate crowd of approximately 40 people gathered to wish Olguin and Baker well on their new endeavors outside of Council Chambers. Being thanked by newly appointed Treasurer, Lorelei Cloud, Vice-Chairman Alex S. Cloud and the Executive Office.

“If the tribal membership needs my help, they know where I am. I will always be here for my tribe,” Baker said as he talked about how he’s grown a lot from his younger years as a young councilman working with Leonard C. Burch in the early 2000’s.

Baker started his council career in 2001 in a special election. Being on council off and on until making his most recent return in 2013. Baker joked, “I think I’m backwards, I should have been starting a farm when I was younger.” Baker said he can’t wait to enjoy nature and all his “homeland” has to offer.

Olguin started his Tribal Council tenure after being elected in 2001-2002 and returned in 2011 and was re-elected in 2013 with a vision of “Protecting the Future”. Olguin says farewell, but not good-bye.

“This is not retirement for me, I still have a lot to do,” Olguin said.

On December 16, tribal members will vote in a runoff election deciding who will fill the two vacated seats.

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