Posted: Dec 11, 2012 8:50 AM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
CROW AGENCY - The Crow Tribe's new administration didn't exactly receive a warm welcome at the start of their term.
The newly elected officials were sworn in the first Monday of December. What they found upon entering the administration building was shocking.
"We noticed a lot of bad smells coming from various offices, particularly the chairman's office. In there it predominantly smelled like feces," said Crow Tribe Secretary Alvin Not Afraid Jr. "The sad thing is, you enter other offices and you can also smell urine."
Their suspicions were confirmed; they also discovered a broken boiler that flooded the west end of the building. The new administration sees this as a sign of what is yet to come.
"This particular incident actually motivates us to be the professionals we are, to clean up not only physically, but also mentally," Not Afraid said.
After examining the tribe's financial situation, the finance department discovered the tribe is operating on a 65 percent deficit.
"We plan to stamp out that deficit by paying for those liabilities and also restore a good name, credit-wise to the Crow Nation," he said.
In another attempt to save the tribe's financial situation, tribal vehicles are being rounded up. The vehicles were being used outside of official use and vehicles are being located on personal properties. Over the past week, the tribe has collected about 100 of 300 vehicles. Plans for a new motor pool system where all tribal vehicles are checked out on a daily basis, is expected to go into effect by February. It is estimated this will save $3 million in fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.
"Seeing the potential for improvement spawned the idea of hey, lets jump on the ball game here and produce for the people," Not Afraid said.
Not Afraid and the other newly elected officials also discovered this month's per capita payment to tribal members will be lower than usual. $1.9 million of December coal revenues were paid out in the August 2012 per capita payments. The Crow Tribe sends checks to its members three times a year in August, December and April. This money comes from coal revenue from the Sarpy Coal Mine located at the north east corner of the Crow Reservation.
This December tribal members can expect a check worth $150.