I would like to encourage the Cherokee National councilors to recognize what a gross amount of money they are about to review in regards to the suggested pay increases for elected officials by the Cherokee Nation Citizens Compensation Committee’s report ("Cherokee chief could see 84% raise to $350,000 barring Tribal Council action on recommended pay increases," July 5).
I am asking the councilors consider voting no on the percentage increase and in doing so take into consideration what the Cherokee citizens are also paying our employees of the tribe too.
If our elected officials are that far behind in the living wage, as this increase suggests, what does that mean for our employees running daily operations of our tribe? Have we performed or hired a third party to deem where we’re shortchanging our own people?
I hope the processes that determined this insanely high increase will be transparent and councilors might do their due diligence in looking it over as well as sharing that openly with the public during their meeting.
Unless we’re providing services to all who need them and are successful in that — none of our Cherokee people are doing without basic needs and accommodations — I don’t see where this is fair and just. I’m not against a raise, I know most councilors work around the clock, but let’s be reasonable.
I’m a citizen, and, like the elected officials, have a vested interest in our nation. This is an extreme ill use of tribal funding.
Use it to tell citizens "yes," rather than line pockets for those essentially being paid to say yes.
Jami Murphy, Tahlequah
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Mayor G.T. Bynum speaks during the 1921 Mass Graves Public Oversight Meeting.