Tulalips elect new tribal board member

  • Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 8:52pm
  • News

By Bill Sheets Herald Writer

TULALIP — The Tulalip Tribes have a new member of their board of directors in Deborah Parker, replacing Marie Zackuse, who spent more than 20 years on the board.

Zackuse and Marlin Fryberg, Jr. were up for re-election in tribal balloting Saturday. They faced seven challengers, including Parker.

The top two vote-getters advanced.

Parker, a legislative policy analyst for the tribes, led all candidates with 527 votes, followed by Fryberg at 393 and Zackuse a close third at 332. Shelly Lacy was next with 263.

Balloting was held at the Tulalip Resort Casino. Tribal members cast 1,103 ballots, spokesman George White said. Voters were asked to select up to two candidates on each ballot.

Two or three of the tribal board’s seven positions are up for election each year. Terms are for three years.

After the board members were selected, elections for officers were held. Tribal chairman Mel Sheldon, Jr. was re-elected in that post. Parker was elected vice chairwoman. Glen Gobin, who has been serving as vice president, was elected secretary and Chuck James was re-elected treasurer.

Zackuse has served on the board for 21 years — every year since 1990, except for a year off in 1996, according to the tribes.

The board members and officers will be sworn in and take office at a board meeting scheduled for Friday and Saturday, White said.

In addition to her day job with the tribes, Parker volunteers for numerous organizations both on and off the reservation.

She is a member of the board of trustees for the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs and serves on the Everett Community College Strategic Planning Council. She also volunteers with the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club, among other activities.

Last June, for her volunteer work, the National Indian Education Association named Parker its 2011 Parent of the Year. She was nominated by people she’d worked with from other tribes.

Parker also was named parent of the year for 2011 by the Washington State Indian Education Association and received the Enduring Spirit Award from the Native Action Network, a national group, for 2010.

Other candidates receiving votes in the election were Danny Simpson, who received 125; Andrew James, 97; Hilario “Angel” Cortez, 85; Helene Contraro, 35; and Ronni Kona, 13.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.