In response to the Cherokee Nation Compensation Committee's proposal Wednesday to increase the pay of elected officials, as reported in the Tahlequah Daily Press, Tribal Councilor David Walkingstick released the following statement:
"So it begins – during a time when Cherokee Nation employees are underpaid and crucial services are underfunded, a board of appointed officials has voted to give drastic pay raises to political elites.
Rather than increasing the pay of our doctors (140 of whom have left in the past eight years), pharmacists, and other Cherokee Nation employees, the Cherokee Nation Compensation Committee has opted to give pay increases upwards of $100,000 to our highest paid officials, even doubling the salary of our Deputy Chief.
Cherokee citizens should be deeply disturbed by this action and demand accountability from our elected officials. The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council has the opportunity to negate or renegotiate these pay increases at our upcoming meeting on July 16."