Fri Oct 23rd, 2020
Categories: Top Stories
SOUTHERN UTE SPECIAL ELECTION
Friday, October 30, 2020, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Corliss M. Taylor
Mique’ puoum / Greetings Fellow Tribal Members,
First of all, I would like to extend my well wishes during these uncertain times to you and family as we adapt and practice measures to stay healthy and safe. Secondly as a candidate for the upcoming “Special Election” sharing some of my reasons for running in this one year term remaining. My knowledge and experience come from serving on our tribal council from December 1997 to December 2000 which I greatly appreciate to be given the opportunity to know what the position entails.
During this time the Amoco statement was completed with funds to establish the tribe’s financial plan which provided the membership with financial stability when the per capita was depleted and replaced by dividends. Construction and Development of the Southern Ute Academy, SunUte Recreation Center to name a few projects. Financial improvements were implemented to the Education Scholarship Program and Minors Trust Fund. Since this will be for 12 months it’s my position to see what policies and procedures are truly working for our membership with assistance from tribal membership input. Technically nothing is written in stone and changes, amendments, removal and edits are possible with all the necessary data and a concerted tribal council.
On a realistic note, I am not going to giving any false hopes to the membership but abide by our Constitution of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation which is an important valid document. Being familiar with the “Chain of Command” in the tribal organization is crucial when being an advocate for tribal member concern as not to jeopardize their situation. Also, like to “pay it forward” to newly elected council members on what it means to be a council member as was mentored to me from previous members during my term.
Living on the Southern Ute Reservation, most know where I reside and welcome any questions or input. Appreciate your vote on Friday, October 30, 2020.
Corliss M. Taylor,
Southern Ute Tribal Member
Vanessa P. Torres
Maiku Pino Nuuchi
My name is Vanessa Pinnecoose Torres. I am seeking the seat for the Special Election for Southern Ute Tribal Council on October 30, 2020. My parents are Georgia Watts McKinley and the late Sammy E. Pinnecoose. My maternal grandparents are Dolly Black Watts and George Watts. My paternal grandparents are Sarah Russell and Fred Pinnecoose. I am married to Mark Torres and have a daughter, Raelynn Torres. I enjoy hunting, fishing, and participating in our traditional dances and cultural activities. My current occupation is the Senior Probation Officer/Wellness Case Manager for the Southern Ute Tribal Court. I have been working in the Judicial system for the past eleven years. I have worked for the Sky Ute Lodge and Casino since 1993 until 2009. I have had various jobs within the casino and leaving my position as Senior Property Shift Manager. I have also served on the Southern Ute Gaming Committee from 2015-2018.
I’m running for Tribal Council because over the years there seems to be a lack of communication between our council with our tribal members. We need to make sure that all tribal members are aware of changes and have input in a timely matter, not after the fact when decisions have been finalized without the memberships’ knowledge. We need to make sure that we are abiding by and following our tribal procedures. I would like to push our Tribal Council to be more informative and bring back general meetings. Within the one-year term I would like to address these three topics: mental health, employment, and housing.
There is a need for mental health resources within our tribe. The resources that we do have are limited or are non-existing for certain mental conditions. There is a need for our tribe/community for a Treatment Center to house Sober Living, a support system with counseling and testing. Instead of having scattered support systems there should be one central area which would house all the components. There currently is a Drug Task Force working on solutions to these issues.
We are spending large amounts of funds on Tribal members to attend treatment centers off the reservations. Why not invest in a treatment center of our own? We have Tribal Members struggling with alcohol and drugs, which effects not only their well-being but also families, this also includes suicide, depression and trauma that is affecting our community. This would be one of main priorities to address and move forward to accomplish a center for our Tribal members.
Employment is crucial for our people, we need to encourage our young adults to obtain a job, a trade or higher education which in turn helps them learn life skills, job skills and financial responsibility. We need to hire our tribal members and do more internships for them to meet the minimum qualifications of the job. Our tribal policies and procedure must be enforced in all departments to ensure accountability, there have been far too many departments not following policy and procedures. Everybody should be treated equal and to be held accountable for all tribal employees. During this pandemic it would be a good time to review the departments staffing/positions to see what is needed in the operations of the core values of the tribe.
There have always been issues regarding housing for tribal members. The question is, do Tribal Members need homes or apartments? There needs to be protocols in place in order to rent these apartments or buy these homes. If this issue could ever be resolved, these apartments and houses would be built in an affordable range to meet the tribal members’ need.
The decisions we make echo through our generation and generations to come. I will try my best to make positive decisions for our membership. We need to come together as a tribe and be successful. I humbly ask for your vote on October 30, 2020.
Vanessa P. Torres
The following candidate running for Tribal Council did not submit a Candidate’s Statement to The Southern Ute Drum: