Ask Council: Week of May 18, 2020

The membership can ask Tribal Council questions through

Here are some recent questions, and responses.

When will I return to work?

Our casino and Administration teams are working on plans to bring people back to work.

COVID-19 hit us hard, though. We can’t say right now when people will come back to work, but it will be a phased approach. It is too early to tell and we can’t project until we have more time to plan a safe and healthy return. You can always talk with HR about your situation. They’re working hard to help people get unemployment and always willing to help if and when they can.

Could some of us at the clinic with regular medications get them mailed to us?

Great question. Our Puyallup Tribal Health Authority has made a lot of changes with this COVID pandemic. It’s best to contact them at 253-593-0232 and talk about your specific needs.

Could we get some kind of breakdown on how funds from the federal government will be dispersed?

As we said before, most of the federal relief we’re getting has limitations and restrictions; it has to be spent for COVID-19 related expenses.

This includes disinfecting buildings, PPE, security and law enforcement, and COVID-19 training. Since relief is limited and cannot be used for recouping lost revenue or funding direct benefits, we have staff looking into other options that may help alleviate some of the stress that COVID-19 has caused.

My oldest is in college. When should she worry about the tuition being paid for?

As long as the casinos reopen and start generating the revenue we expect tuition benefits will continue without any change.

We know the casinos won’t be producing revenue at the level they did last year. Not right away. But we factored that in.

Could we get updated about how voting will be done in June? Location and time?

Primary election June 6 at Chief Leschi Schools. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

General election August 1 also at Chief Leschi Schools. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What could Council do different moving forward after the virus to better ensure our financial situation?

This month Council decided to make the biggest change to the per capita program we’ve ever made.

Starting this October, it’s going to be tied to how well our casinos and other enterprises perform.

You’ll be getting a letter soon explaining the new program.

This is the best way to secure our financial future. It will provide sustainability and allow for more economic opportunity. There has been a lot of discussion and business ideas shared, and we hope you will continue to brainstorm and share your ideas on how to form our future.

When can we see unedited minutes of Council meetings?

Right now we must focus our time and energy into making sure our Tribe is financially OK. We will look at the minutes when government is more fully operational, but for now our efforts must remain focused.

We are concerned the per capitas are going to change for the negative. If it’s true are we going to know about it before September? How much of a difference would it be?

Our Finance team will make the calculation in summer. It will be based on revenue from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Keep in mind the casinos were closed for two of those months, so we suspect that the payments may go down. But they aren’t going away either as long as the casinos open and our other businesses continue to perform.