To the Editor,
We all remember the Hawaii experience a couple of years ago. Well the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Tribal Council is on the road again.
More than half of the 21 Tribal Council members are headed to Alaska for a housing “trade show.” This “trade show” is not a required program administration conference of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD has previously demonstrated concern with the LTNC Tribal Council’s use of federal funds for travel and the volume of such.
While the Tribal Council has frozen funding to provide services to tribal members, the council has allocated itself an additional $7,000 over its remaining $48,000 in travel budget, thus spending $55,000 in federal taxpayer dollars for a trip to “the bridge to nowhere.”
Congress is being stormed every day by opponents demanding that federal funding to non-federally recognized tribes be stopped. This “GSA”-like trip is providing our enemies with lots of ammunition in that battle. As the Tribal Council will not say who is going on the trip, maybe they are using the “Secret Service” as its travel agency.
Tribal administration will probably welcome Tribal Council being out of town as it will allow tribal employees to get a break from Tribal Council hanging around “The Turtle” day in and day out. Employees of tribal administration have become so overwhelmed with day care of Tribal Council members that workers have been unable to complete the responsibilities of their jobs in servicing our tribe.
The funds being used to attend the trade show equal rehabilitating five homes in the tribal service area or replacing two mobile homes entirely. Is it better to have Tribal Council members and their families spending five nights in Alaska or having tribal families spending many safe nights in their own homes?
Eric R. Locklear