Cherokee Nation Tribal Council Names Election Board Commissioners, Increases Budget


At a meeting on March 12 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Martha Calico and Bill W. Horton were named by the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council to the tribe’s Election Board.

Calico, a resident of Stillwell, has served on the commission for multiple elections according to a Nation press release. She served on last year’s election between Bill John Baker and then Principal Chief Chad Smith that came under question when ballot counts were too close after multiple recounts. She testified to the Nation’s Supreme Court following the election that during a hand recount no ballots were mishandled according to Tulsa World.

Calico was appointed to a six-year term.

Horton, former superintendent of Moffett Public Schools and a Vietnam War veteran, was appointed to serve four years according to the press release.

The Election Board, according to the tribe’s election laws, consists of five commissioners, two are selected by the tribal council, two by the Principal Chief, and one selected by the four commissioners and approved by the executive and legislative branches according to the press release. The terms are staggered with two serving six-year terms, and three serving four-year terms.

Following the appointments, the tribal council approved a budget modification giving the operating budget an increase of $435,998 through revenue brought in by the tribe – raising the fiscal year budget to $494,298,953.

The council also voted on making a commitment to the youth of the Cherokee Nation through two new programs. The council approved partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters for a mentoring program within the tribe. It also approved funding of a 4-H Club mentoring program at Sequoyah Schools through a grant the tribe received according to the release.

In other meeting news according to the release:

  • The council voted to submit grant applications to the Environmental Protection Agency. The applications, according to the release, will fund groundwater, solid waste management and air monitoring station programs.
  • The council also approved the submission of a grant application to the Department of Labor to provide young adult ex-offenders with training and service education.
  • Approved the donation of a surplus water filtering system to the Gore Public Water Authority.
  • Technical changes were made to legislation pertaining to the Compensation Committee, renaming it the Salary for Elected Officials Committee, while narrowing the committee’s responsibilities.
  • Voted to grant a right-of-way easement, approximately 45-feet long, across Cherokee Nation tribal trust land in Adair County.

The next council meeting will be April 16 at 6 p.m. in the Tribal Council Chambers of the W.W. Keeler Complex.