Tulalip hiring policy in question

TULALIP — Tribal hiring practices are at least one of the hot-button issues heading for discussions as members of Tulalip Tribes prepare for an important meeting next month.

Today, grass-roots discussions begin in preparation for the tribes’ General Council meeting so tribal members can better direct their future.

“On its face, (the tribes) look like everything’s just as happy as could be,” former board member Les Parks said. “But it’s down in the trenches, the small guy, who is really not being paid attention to.”

Parks is organizing talks among tribal members to clarify goals and unify votes before the General Council meeting.

Tribal members have complained that it’s too difficult to get hired by the tribal government, despite a policy that guarantees that any qualified tribal member will be preferred for hiring over a nontribal member, Parks said.

Parks said he proposed a policy that would hire tribal members in every case over nontribal members at last year’s October General Council meeting.

“All we’ve had is a watered-down preference policy,” Parks said. “If a manager wants to find a way around it, they can.”

If job requirements are so rigid that tribal members don’t qualify, then the requirements must change, Parks said.

Tribal policy can only change under limited circumstances. Twice each year, members of the Tulalip Tribes gather to discuss the future of the tribe at General Council meetings, usually held in March and October.

In March, the tribes hold annual elections for the board of directors.

At the October meeting, tribal members have a chance to thank, question, scold and otherwise harangue leaders who sit on the tribes’ seven-member board.

At General Council meetings, tribal members can propose new ordinances or move to reverse a decision made by the board during the previous year. Any change requires a simple majority vote, board Chairman Mel Sheldon said.

By getting ready ahead of time, Parks said he hopes this year’s October meeting will be more effective than those in years past.

Sheldon said the tribal board has long struggled to employ all of the tribes’ members who have sought jobs with the tribal government.

He said he fully supports discussions that preclude General Council.

“The more everybody is educated on the issue, if they’re properly educated, they make better decisions,” Sheldon said.

Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or kkapralos@heraldnet.com.

@2. Breakout Header:Meeting today

A meeting for members of the Tulalip Tribes to discuss issues facing them will be held at 5 p.m. today in the Housing Department’s public meeting space at 3107 Reuben Shelton Drive on the Tulalip Reservation.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

Snohomish County Prosecutor Jason Cummings in an interview with The Daily Herald in Everett, Washington on Monday, May 1, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County prosecutors declined 3,000 felony cases in 2022. Why?

A pandemic backlog and inexperienced cops begin to explain the trend, even as police raise the alarm about rising crime.

Most Read