Newly Elected Business Committee Member Ben Vieau Resigns [UPDATE 2: Oct. GTC Mtg. Dates Proposed]

On Friday September 12, 2014 the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin’s Business Committee announced that newly elected BC Member Ben Vieau had resigned less than a month after the BC’s August 14, 2014 inauguration following the July 12, 2014 General Election.

The Oneida Business Committee has received and accepted the resignation of Councilman Benjamin Vieau, effective September 12, 2014.

The Oneida Business Committee respects and honors the decision of Councilman Vieau. We thank Councilman Vieau for his stewardship to our community and the Oneida people.

The Oneida Business Committee will move forward toward filling the created government vacancy according to Oneida’s Constitution.

The Oneida Election Law states:

2.5-14. Candidate Withdrawal After Winning an Election
(a) In the event a candidate declines an office after winning an election, the Election Board shall declare the next highest vote recipient the winner. This procedure shall be repeated as necessary until a winner is declared.

However, as the Business Committee’s Official Statement plainly says, Ben Vieau did not “decline” office.

Rather, Ben Vieau was sworn into office and then resigned from office before his term expired, thereby leaving a vacancy on the Business Committee.

Thus, the Oneida Tribal Constitution‘s Article 3, Section 3 applies to the current situation:

The General Tribal Council may at any regular or special meeting fill any vacancies that occur on the Business Committee for the unexpired term.

Therefore, GTC – not the BC nor the Election Board – will decide how to address the current BC vacancy.

At the June 16, 2014 GTC Meeting, GTC took a vote and mandated that:

the [BC] develop a land use plan reflective of GTC’s wishes for more residential opportunity in rural, urban (suburban) and apartment living [and t]he Oneida Business Committee shall bring this plan [to] GTC for approval no later than October 31, 2014[.]

GTC also mandated that the BC “hold community meetings to get input on their land use plan[.]”

At the September 10, 2014 BC Regular Meeting, Oneida Eye Publisher Leah Dodge asked the BC about those GTC-mandated community meetings and the GTC-mandated October 2014 GTC Meeting but was told that the BC had not determined any dates on which to hold any of those GTC-mandated meetings.
UPDATE: BC Chair Tina Danforth issued an email at 11:51 a.m. regarding the BC vacancy:

BC Chair Danforth 2014-09-12 email re BC vacancy

BC Chair Danforth 09-12-2014 email re: BC vacancy

Under the Open Records Law 7.1-3, I am calling an Emergency BC meeting for Monday September 15, 2014 at 10:00 am to schedule a Special GTC meeting date to address the vacant [BC] seat. The Oneida Constitution Article II [sic] Section 3 states: “The General Tribal Council may at any regular special meeting fill any vacancies that occur on the Business Committee for the unexpired term.”

My first recommendation is Saturday, November 22, at 10 am. My second recommendation is Monday, November 24 at 6 pm. Both dates have been verified by the Radisson as available.

The Oneida Election Board and the Tribal Secretary’s office will handle all coordination of the meeting and election.

It is unclear why BC Chair Delgado-Danforth would not place this important item on the agenda of the GTC Meeting that GTC mandated the BC to hold no later than October 31, 2014.

Perhaps this is more evidence that the BC only pretends to care about ‘GTC mandates’ when the BC thinks the item will promote the BC’s desire to consolidate power in a few hands, and that the BC could care less about GTC mandates that serve GTC’s interests as the supreme governing body of the Oneida Tribe.
UPDATE 2: The Agenda for the 10:00 a.m. Monday September 15, 2014 BC Emergency Meeting lists the following dates as options to “Schedule a Special GTC meeting to address the vacant Business Committee council member position.”

  • Sunday October 5, 2014
  • Monday October 13, 2014
  • Saturday November 22, 2014

The Emergency BC Agenda does not mention the June 16, 2014 GTC Mandate for the BC to bring a land use plan to GTC no later than October 31, 2014.

June 16, 2014 GTC Action Report re: Land Use Plan GTC Mandate

June 16, 2014 GTC Action Report re: Land Use Plan Mandate


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