An evenly divided Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council found a way around its inability to agree on a new chairman, the Missoulian reports.
Unable to agree on a new chairman after multiple votes Friday, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council took an unusual step.
It split the two-year term in half, and gave the two men vying for the chairmanship – 10-year council veteran Ron Trahan and newcomer Vernon Finley – 12 months apiece in the post.
Trahan will serve first.
The decision came after four newly elected council members, including Finley, were sworn in. Former chairman Joe Durglo was one of four incumbents who were voted out of office during either the primary or general election.
Three separate votes for a new chairman produced 5-5 deadlocks on Friday.
The Missoulian noted that it’s a key time for CSKT.
The tribes are in the process of attempting to acquire Kerr Dam, and face a 2015 deadline for filing water rights claims if the Montana Legislature next year does not approve a reserved water rights compact negotiated between the state, the tribes and the federal government.
- Vince Devlin