Suquamish Tribe elects two new officers

"SUQUAMISH - In its annual election held Sunday, the Suquamish Tribe voted in a new vice chairman and treasurer. It's good for the Tribal Council. It's a breath of fresh air, said Wayne George, Suquamish Tribal Council member. Linda Holt replaced incumbent Merle Hayes as vice chairman while Rob Purser defeated incumbent Georgia George Rye for treasurer. Nominations were taken from the floor during the General Council meeting Sunday at the Suquamish Tribal Center. Ballots were cast and counted that day, George said. A judge issued the oath of office to Holt and Purser, who will each serve a three-year term. Rob Purser, who has served as the head of the tribe's fisheries department for the past year, said as treasurer he hopes to increase grant money that can be used for children and family services. We're relying too heavily on hard dollars. Our financial security isn't as strong as it could be, he said. He added that all departments could use more funding but the ones that most concerns him are services for children such as health care, education and providing safe activities for them. With five children of his own, Purser is aware of the need for more services for youth. This is the first time Purser has served on the council, but it is not his first time serving his community. He was a member of the Port Madison Enterprises board (the governing board for the Clearwater Casino) for about 10 years. For seven of those years he was president. Holt also served on the PME board for a few of those ten years Purser was on the board. Purser said they work well together describing Holt as fair and honest. One of Purser's other goals is to open the lines of communication between the council and the community. He said the lack of communication in the past has created suspicion among tribal members that the council might be hiding something, which isn't the case. It's good to have change once in a while, George said. "

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