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2018 Semi-Annual GTC meeting convened

Nearly 1,800 Oneida Nation citizens convened on July 10 at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center for the 2018 Semi-Annual General Tribal Council (GTC) meeting. The formal agenda was accepted by 6:30 p.m. with a single amendment of limiting each individual to three minutes of speaking per topic.

The first order of business to be taken up was for the council to approve the meeting minutes from the Jan. 16, 2018, and Jan. 28, 2018, GTC meetings. Several minutes into discussions on the topic GTC member Dylan Benton motioned to approve the minutes as presented, however further discussion ensued which led to two disruptions on the GTC floor. These disturbances led Chairman Tehassi Hill to call for a recess until the situations could be resolved.

The first disturbance involved GTC member Madelyn Genskow who has a history of disrupting GTC proceedings. Genskow began yelling and ignoring repeated requests to step away from the microphones because she had not been recognized by Chairman Hill to speak. This situation took several minutes to resolve as she continuously refused repeated requests to move from the microphones and be seated. Genskow was finally removed from the meeting room in a wheelchair by security and the Oneida Police Department (OPD).

The second disruption involved a male who was witnessed video recording the Oneida Business Committee (OBC) personnel with his cell phone. The GTC was verbally informed by Chairman Hill multiple times that these council meetings are closed gatherings and are not to be recorded due to the confidential nature of the proceedings. Chairman Hill asked the male to stop recording the OBC with his cell phone, and the male lowered his phone but then raised an electronic tablet to create the impression he was still recording. Chairman Hill then requested the male be removed from the meeting as well, and he departed under his own power.

With both disturbances finally resolved after 15 minutes, the meeting resumed at 7:01 p.m. and Benton’s motion to approve both meeting minutes passed by show of hands.

The next agenda items addressed were the 2018 Semi-annual reports. These agenda items were also hot topics of discussion because of the 50 areas that report regularly or are required to provide reporting to GTC, seven reports were not submitted in a timely fashion for the meeting. Those areas included Gaming’s Ticket and Merchandise, Organizational Development Specialist, Anna John Residential Centered Care Community Board, Oneida Library Board, Oneida Personnel Commission, Southeastern Oneida Tribal Services Advisory Committee, and the Oneida Airport Hotel Corporation.

Due to these seven area’s not providing their reports, GTC member Tina Danforth motioned to defer the remainder of the semi-annual reports agenda items until all reports have been received and can be presented to the GTC. This motion passed by show of hands.

GTC also voted on an amendment by GTC member Nancy Barton that when these reports come back that they include a comprehensive report regarding the Disability-Handicap Fund, the Burial /OLIPP Fund, voiding unlawful membership rule, the Per Capita endowments, and the budget of the Sustain Oneida Initiative for five years. The motion carried by show of hands.

The next agenda item addressed was GTC member Yvonne Metivier’s Fiscal Year 2019 Wage Increase petition. However, Metivier was not present at the meeting and requested that another GTC member, Ed Delgado, present her petition to the GTC. The GTC declined this request and voted to defer this item until Metivier could be available to present this item to the council.

The final item discussed was the Oneida Land Commission Housing Development Plan. Oneida Land Commission Chairwoman Rae Skenandore provided the report to GTC after which council member Dylan Benton motioned to accept the report and recommend that the appropriate legal, financial, and general business analyses be completed. The motion carried by show of hands and the meeting was adjourned at 8:39 p.m.