WEDNESDAY, August 1, 2012
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No show Chiefs say it all Conflicting and missing historical documents create problems in finding resolutions not only off reserve, as with the so-called negotiations over Kanonhstaton, but on reserve as well, as was exposed Saturday morning at the Old No. One School at Third Line and Mohawk Road. Another element of day to day life at Six Nations these days was also exposed in the lack of leadership shown by those who proclaim to be in charge. If you’ve read the Teka recently you will have the specific details surrounding a controversy relative to a small piece of land the Elected Council approved for the location of a communications tower. A “meeting” was arranged by the Elected Chief, Bill Montour and Confederacy Mohawk Chief Allen MacNaughton in Montour’s office last week to discuss the issue. Tower detractor Arnold Douglas emerged first from that meeting declaring to the assembled media waiting in the Band Council lobby — and therefor to the public — that there would be an open community meeting at the old school site Saturday morning at 10 am. Both Chiefs indicated to Douglas they would attend. But come Saturday, only about 20-24 area residents showed up to seek some answers from the Chiefs. The problem is, for reasons we do not know, neither of the Chiefs bothered to show up, causing those who did to wonder who is in charge here. Judging by the no-shows, no one is. A carefully drafted letter to the community was distributed to homes explaining Band Council’s stance on the issue, using partial minutes from long past Confederacy meetings to prove their point, that Band Council can do whatever it feels necessary on behalf of the people who elected them. Of course that would be less that 10% of the population. On the other hand, Chief MacNaughton had some pretty strong words to say about Band Council bullying people around when he was at the site last week. But, when given the chance to weigh in on the issue of land title on a specific parcel of land, MacNaughton was nowhere to be seen. Maybe the two decided to go golfing together instead, although we strongly doubt that to be the case. This issue of who has authority over what could have, and perhaps should have, been dealt with face to face in the presence of the community, but it wasn’t, leaving it up to those in attendance to regress into name calling and a firing up of a long simmering family feud over who did what to whom, when. Even touching on the potential health concerns of being in proximity to such towers was not dealt with or even discussed. Our calls to both Chiefs for an explanation of why they were no-shows went unanswered, so that leaves it up to the rest of us to guess. Maybe Montour figured his unchallenged summary and cherry picked partial quotes relative to the events surrounding the land in question, and who has charge over it, was enough to convince everyone, and therefor found it a waste of time to attend; and by doing so, using Canada’s “agree to disagree” escape door. Maybe MacNaughton decided the issue was something important enough to discuss in full council this Saturday at the Onondaga Longhouse before he addressed it on their behalf. Or maybe he just slept in. Who knows? But at any rate, simply not showing up to a meeting you helped arrange is bad form, to say the least, and shows bad leadership, to say it bluntly.
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SECOND CLASS MAIL - REGISTRATION NO. 0490849
Councillor’s recollection of interview is mistaken This is in response to the story “Band Council will not give KT Gas business recognition” dated July 25, 2012 First of all I did not say council made the decision not to give KT Gas a business recognition letter. What I said was council never made a decision when it came to the council table; instead, the request was deferred and is still deferred. To back up several years there is a history to this issue. Back in 1993 the council of the day was bequeathed a parcel of land from a woman named Bertha Davis. When council decided to sell this “prime” piece of land they broke the parcel into three properties. The land was then put to tender. I don’t know how many people bid on the properties but the story goes that council instead of accepting the highest three bidders decided to put all the names into a hat and the three names pulled out, no matter what their bid, would be the successful landowners. Ken Mt Pleasant who owns KT Gas was one of the names chosen. Not surprising there was much controversy over the selection process. Some people even accused council of cheating. Today the cigarette retail business boom thrusts this agreement in the forefront. Prior to the sale of the land any person submitting a tender bid had to sign what is called “Criteria for Sale of Band Land” which stipulates 10 specific conditions the persons agreed to. Condition No 4 states “The applicant agrees that the property will be used for private residential purposes only; the land will not be used for a business or information centre”. Mr. Mt Pleasant along with Joanne Sault who also owns one of the properties both signed the agreement accepting the conditions; yet 19 years later they both have commercial businesses on their property. Now I don’t begrudge Ms. Sault and Mr. Mt Pleasant from starting a business and being successful. I know they have both created employment. But at the same time as a councillor I cannot not sit back and ignore the agreement they signed or pretend that it doesn’t exist. According to the story Mr. Mt Pleasant says”…there was no reason for the stipulation when I signed that letter initially.” But whether there was reason or not he did sign the agreement and in doing so gave his word. A while back when council noticed that Ms. Sault and Mr. Mt Pleasant were starting businesses on their properties council sent them a letter reminding them of the agreement. We got a brief response from Ms. Sault but Mr. Mt Pleasant chose to ignore council and council’s concern. Continued on page 7
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