Osage Congress considers confirmation appointees

During the 2018 Tzi-Zho Session, the Sixth Osage Nation Congress considered and confirmed several appointees to boards and commissions and voted down the reappointment of Samuel Alexander as ON Treasurer.

On Sept. 28, the Congress voted down a motion to reconfirm Alexander (Muscogee Creek Nation) for another four-year term with seven “no” votes and four “yes” votes after no discussion before the votes.

Alexander (first appointed and confirmed as Treasurer in 2016), addressed the Congress before the vote, listing several activities and accomplishments while he served as Treasurer and noted: “thank you for your time, I’ve enjoyed working for the Osage Nation and I appreciate the opportunity.”

Alexander’s confirmation vote failed with “no” votes from Congress members Eli Potts, Angela Pratt, Paula Stabler, Joe Tillman, Maria Whitehorn, Alice Goodfox and Brandy Lemon. “Yes” votes came from John Maker, Archie Mason, Scott BigHorse and Congressional Speaker RJ Walker and one absence from Shannon Edwards.

In another appointee update, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, who submitted the appointees for confirmation consideration, said he asked the Congress to not consider reappointing Julie O’Keefe to the Foundation Board. O’Keefe is now working with the Executive Branch on a contract basis in helping finish construction work and improvements on the Nation’s Visitor’s Center located at Lynn Avenue and Main Street in Pawhuska.

Other confirmations for ON government officials and boards and commissions were considered and confirmed including:

William Oldfield was confirmed to serve as Chief Trial Court Judge for the Judicial Branch. His confirmation passed with an 11-0 vote on Sept. 26.

Anita Fields is confirmed to serve another three-year term as a first alternate on the ON Election Board with a unanimous 11-0 vote.

Frank Freeman is confirmed to serve a three-year term on the Osage Limited Liability Company (LLC) Board with nine “yes” votes on Sept. 26 and three abstentions from Edwards, BigHorse and Mason.

Freeman is also confirmed to serve on the Tallgrass Economic Development LLC Board. His confirmation vote was eight “yes” votes, two “no” votes from Tillman and Edwards and two abstentions from Potts and BigHorse.

Under an ongoing reorganization of the ON economic development LLCs, the Tallgrass Economic Development is moving under Osage LLC and the motion to have Tallgrass Economic Development Board members is proper pending further action regarding the entity, according to Congressional legal counsel Loyed “Trey” Gill who addressed the body during Freeman’s confirmation vote.    

Kay Bills is reappointed to the Osage LLC Board with 10 “yes” votes and abstentions from Edwards and BigHorse on Sept. 26.

On Sept. 27, the Congress unanimously reconfirmed Charles “Chuck” Hessert for serving on the Osage Nation Energy Services (ONES) LLC Board with a 9-0 vote and three absences from Potts, Edwards and Mason.

Also, on Sept. 27, the Congress reconfirmed Cecelia Tallchief to serve on the Health Authority Board with seven “yes” votes, one “no” from Stabler and one abstention from Lemon, who is Tallchief’s daughter.

On Sept. 28, the final session day, the Congress unanimously confirmed the following individuals with 11-0 votes and one absence from Edwards: Michael Kidder (Gaming Commission), Galen Crum (Bluestem Ranch LLC Board), Hank Hainzinger (Bluestem Ranch LLC Board), Alexander Tallchief Skibine (Foundation Board), Gary Weyl (Gaming Commission) and Carol Kliesen (Grayhorse Village Committee).