PIA board president and administrator resign
Will Ware/Ronelle Beardslee
Tribal Administrator Will Ware handed in a letter of resignation this weekend after two years of service at the Petersburg Indian Association.
The 38-year-old father of four boys, was unavailable for comment, but he did offer an explanation to the Pilot via email.
“After ten years of work within the Tribe, in a variety of different capacities, I have decided to move on to a new chapter in my life. In Tribal governments, as there is in any government, there is the element of politics that must be contended with. Again, after years of work with the Tribe, I have found that I am more interested in what my faith teaches, that is: If it is possible, to live at peace with everyone,” Ware wrote.
Ware was caught up in controversy in February after two former PIA employees filed unemployment claims. Testimony during those hearings revealed fund transfers were made from the tribe’s road construction accounts for use in collateralizing the PIA restaurant project. Those funds, according to testimony, were restored. Also, last year, four board members of PIA resigned causing the need for a special election.
Ware told the Pilot in his email statement: “I am proud of the accomplishments of the Tribe over the last number of years.”
He cited numerous accomplishments including Family Services, Grants Management and the First Time Home Buyer program for Tribal members.
At the PIA meeting on Tuesday night, the discussion of Ware's resignation was tabled until the meeting on May 8.
About 30 people attended Tuesday night’s meeting, including several of PIA's 36 employees.
The board, consisting of Ron Ware, Melanie Frentz, Mary Ann Rainey, Chris Lopez, Derek Lopez, and Christina Sakamoto, installed Assistant Tribal Administrator Barb King as interim-administrator.
Ronelle Beardslee also resigned as Petersburg Indian Association board president, citing health reasons. Beardslee read a resignation letter to the board and then left the meeting, after which the board called an executive session.
According to board member Ron Ware, the board will meet at a later date to discuss a replacement for Beardslee.