Tribal, city representatives travel to D.C. Wednesday

Tribal, city representatives travel to D.C. WednesdayBy BRIAN COSNER, News Review Staff Writer

City Manager Ron Strand will accompany representatives from the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe to Washington D.C. to meet with the Secretary of the Department of the Interior next week. The tribe scheduled the meeting for Wednesday, April 4, after council voted 3-2 to send Strand to support the casino project and the Ridgecrest land being taken into trust by the tribe.

Strand will be meeting with Associate Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior James Cason, as will Tribal Chair George Gholson.

Councilmembers briefly discussed the possibilities of giving strand clearer direction for the purpose of the meeting or potentially sending a letter with the city’s exact message. However, Strand will be leaving before the council next meets.

“I will follow whatever the direction council wants me to follow,” said Strand in a later interview. “But the item was pretty direct. It says to meet ‘in support of the casino project in Ridgecrest and the taking of Ridgecrest land into trust for that purpose.’”

A second item asking Strand to discuss the needs and protections of the city regarding the Municipal Services Agreement failed to get approval by council.

“Now if the [Cason] asks me questions about a specific topic, I’ll obviously express what the concerns are,” he added. “But my job is to go and say that the city continues to support the MSA and the land-sale agreement.”

Watch for more updates on the casino project in future editions of the News Review.

Story First Published: 2018-03-30