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Little turnover seen in new tribal Council

Klamath Tribal Judge Suzanne Townsend swears in Allen Foreman as Tribal Council chairman for his third consecutive term at the post Thursday afternoon. Moments before, Townsend had been sworn in by Foreman as the Klamath Tribes' first judge.

Published May 28, 2004


CHILOQUIN - The Klamath Tribes on Thursday installed a new Tribal Council that includes many of the same faces as the previous one.

Allen Foreman began his third consecutive term as chairman, and all but three of the 10-member Tribal Council started new three-year terms.

"It's basically the same council we have had," Foreman said.

But the vote-by-mail election concluded April 21 didn't go without some complications.

According to documents obtained by the Herald and News, two tribal members who ran for spots on the Tribal Council submitted letters outlining claims of irregularities, and one wrote a letter asking several questions about the election process.

The Tribes' election committee responded to the letters saying there were no irregularities.

One letter was written by Gary Frost of Klamath Falls, who challenged Foreman for the chairman's post. Frost lost to Foreman 308-480.

Frost said the Tribes election committee had answered his questions, and that he will not pursue the matter any more.

"I have nothing to say. The election's (results) are out and I am on vacation," he said.

On May 15, the Tribes' General Council, which all members eligible to vote, finalized the results of the election.

"The election board determined there were no irregularities," Foreman said.

The council's three new members - Garrick Jackson, Randolph "Bobby" David and Chuck Kimbol - bring a mixture of youth and experience.

Garrick Jackson finished seventh in the voting for the six open Council spots, but moved into a seat when Corrine Hicks, a long-time member of tribal government died April 25 at age 66. Jackson is 34.

Although he is new to the Council, Jackson, a youth social worker in the Tribal Health Department, is not new to tribal government. But he said he has a lot to learn about being on the Council.

"I'm just new and here to absorb what my role is," Jackson said.

Chuck Kimbol starts yet another tour of duty with the Tribal Council. He has been chairman of the Tribal Council several times and was one of the leaders of the Tribes' effort to federal recognition in the 1970s and 1980s. The Tribes were restored in 1986.

"Chuck has been in tribal government forever," Foreman said.

He also said David has been a longtime worker for the Tribes Culture and Heritage Department, so he knows his way around the Tribes' administration building in Chiloquin.

The Council will continue to pursue establishment of a 690,000-acre reservation, working toward a possible deal with the federal government that has been the source of controversy in the Basin for a year.

Also, the Council will keep tabs on a $1 billion lawsuit against PacifiCorp for the loss of salmon in the Upper Basin.

Foreman said the issues are closely tied because they deal with resources the Tribes once had, but don't have today.

"They get equal priority," he said.

On the Net: www.klamathtribes.org



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