To the Editor,
Jimmy Goins was tribal chairman for six of the 11 years our tribe has had an unconstitutional Tribal Council. He signed the multi-million dollar Lewin contract as he was leaving office, beginning three years of tribal governance chaos.
While in office Goins supported executive branch powers and often opposed Tribal Council efforts. Today he supports the 21-member Tribal Council and opposes the executive branch. It sounds like he supports 22 tribal chairpersons.
During the Goins years, Tribal Council members frequently bashed and discredited Goins. They prompted FBI investigations into the Goins administration. Today, some of them want Goins back in office. I guess time — or politics — changes people and things.
Goins is supporting the 21 and their behavior, which includes Tribal Council increasing their travel budget more than 100 percent for 2012-2013. There was $55,000 spent in June 2012 as Tribal Council went to a “trade show” in Alaska for five days and $35,000 is being spent by 18 Tribal Council members going to a “marketplace” in Sacramento.
Alaska has igloos, Sacramento has railroads. Lumbees can’t use igloos and we have been railroaded enough. Why then has Tribal Council spent $90,000 in five months to travel to these places? These housing funds should be repairing the houses and lives of tribal members.
In Sacramento, Lumbee people are paying a $450 registration fee, a $600 room, and a $500 airfare for each of the 18 Tribal Council members.
Each member is receiving $421 — averaging $61 per day — for meals. This means for seven days and 18 people, the Lumbee Tribal Council is spending $7,578 in food. A Lumbee person could eat three $8 meals a day at Linda’s for a whole year on this amount of money. A family of four could do the same at Linda’s for nearly 3 months.
The Tribal Council supports Goins but not other Lumbees. We have to live with these facts but not with these 22.
Eric R. Locklear