Tule River Tribe Holds Annual Elections

The Tule River Tribal Council gained two new members and lost two incumbents during voting held Saturday at the Tule River Indian Reservation.

Joining the council from a slate of 26 candidates are Gary Santos and James Diaz. Departing after the weekend election was Joyce Carothers, who served as the council’s treasurer. Councilwoman Heather Turan did not seek reelection.

“There are certain criteria to run for council. I didn’t make it, which is OK, since I’m taking care of a grandbaby of mine,” Turan said. “Every year we can run, so if we’re still here, I’ll do what I have to do to meet that criteria, and I’ll run again in 2017.”

There are no major issues pending before the council she said, and its business has been routine.

“Just the things we deal with every day: land, dealing with Sacramento, dealing with Washington,” Turan said; however, the ongoing drought has been a central theme. “We’ve been working real hard on water issues. Our river dried up two years ago.”

Reelected to the Council were Chairman Neil Peyron and Councilman Ryan Garfield. Completing the council are Vice Chairman Kenneth McDarment, Secretary Yolanda Gibson, and members Kevin Bonds, William Carrillo and Dwayne Garfield.

Following the balloting, Peyron, McDarment and Gibson were reelected by the council to their executive positions. Carrillo will serve as secretary for 2016.

Also on the ballot were two seats on the Tule River Elders Council and four seats on the Indian Health Advisory Board (IHAB). Winning the seats on the Elder Council were incumbent Patsy Vega and Nicola Larsen.

Third- and fourth-place finishers Raymond Flores and Ludrie Gonzales will serve as alternates. Incumbents Gayline Hunter and Barbara Baga were reelected to the IHAB, along with newcomers Richard Brown and Tule River Tribal Councilman Carrillo. Jade Garfield and Betsey Foote will serve as alternates to the IHAB.

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