Today is August 13, 2011. The last day of the terms of office for Cherokees who were elected in 2007 but did not get re-elected this year.
That includes Chad Smith, who’s last day in office also coincides with the sad occasion of his mother’s funeral. He sent a message to employees as he left office, at least for a few weeks.
“On Saturday my family and I will lay to rest our beloved Mother and Grandmother until we can meet together with her again. Your thoughts, prayers of support and most of all your kindness will always be a treasured memory for us, we will never forget. I offer our sincerest thanks and immeasurable gratitude.
Finally, we have much left to do. Please be assured, when I return in the near future we will be stronger than ever with your help and dedication to make the Cherokee Nation better and continue addressing the needs of our people for the future of our children. We as a people, a family and a government have endured, survived, prospered and excelled since time immemorial and with your help, we will continue this legacy.”
The Cherokee Nation honored its other outgoing public servants with receptions. One for Joe Grayson, outgoing Deputy Chief who lost a race for Tribal Council and a separate one for four outgoing council members: Brad Cobb, Chris Soap, Harley Buzzard and Joe Crittenden who is moving to the executive branch as temporary Principal Chief and long-term Deputy Chief.
The Cherokee Phoenix did some good stories on these guys, and we’re borrowing some quotes from them.
Grayson, on his way out after eight years, said ““I thank all of you very much, and I want to thank every one of you for keeping the Cherokee Nation strong, for keeping our Cherokee culture alive and language alive. The Cherokee Nation is more powerful today than it ever has been, and the reason is because all of your work. You’re not doing a job; you’re building a nation and we need to keep that going.”
“I think it’s important to be involved. I think there are too many people that have their car tag, and that’s about it, and I think that’s sad because there’s a lot going on and things we should be proud of.”
And Crittenden, facing his last day as a council member and his first day in the executive branch, said: “I felt like sometimes you may have more effectiveness in ways at the Council House than you would in the executive office as far as dealing with people and the people’s needs to some degree. But the same time I felt like I might be able to change seemingly, the way we had been headed. And maybe I would have the ear, if you will, or at least be able to be heard maybe more at the executive level if I was a part of that team sitting in the deputy seat.”
Tomorrow, Crittenden will take the ‘deputy seat,’ at least for a few minutes. Later, he’ll take the Chief’s seat, at least temporarily. Anyone who is going to the inauguration, we’d appreciate information on what kind of speech or priority list Crittenden says he’ll implement while we continue election limbo for a while. The more information you can give us, the better, as we’ll analyze this topic as well as we can with tomorrow’s blog.