Petersburg Pilot -

PIA accepts resignation from board member Lopez


The Petersburg Indian Association held its first official meeting after the election Thursday evening and one of the first orders of business was to accept the resignation of board member Derek Lopez.

Ways in which to fill the vacated seat were tossed about before taking direction from Tlingit Haida rules.

“The Tlingit Haida rules state that there are two different ways in which to fill a vacant seat on the board,” PIA Election Committee Judge Fran Jones said. “The selection can come from the candidate that received the next highest number of votes, or another election for the seat can take place.”

The candidate on the ballot that received the next highest number of votes was Mike Sheldon.

Sheldon ran for the position of chairperson on the ballot and there were some questions regarding his placement on the ballot and if he would be the right person to take the vacant seat.

“Tlingit Haida rules say it is regardless of the seat being sought in election,” Jones stated. “Mike Sheldon is the next in line for a seat on the board.”

Sheldon was sworn into the position vacated by Lopez and Tina Sakamoto was sworn in as PIA Chairperson.

Other discussions taking place at this regular meeting were issues regarding the unlawful removal of snow at Woodpecker Cove.

“It has been brought to my attention that PIA has been removing snow at Woodpecker Cove without permits for the last three years,” Tribal Member Brenda Louise said. “Doug Ault a Forest Service Enforcement Agent was scheduled to be at the regular Jan. 8 meeting but it was cancelled.”

Sakamoto and other members of the board asked Louise to invite Ault, Dan McMahon and Tony Hanson to the next meeting Monday, Feb. 4 to present the problem to the board.

The PIA board also made changes in scheduling during this meeting. Time limits for public statements of 10 minutes each will be in place and a maximum time limit of three hours for board meetings was approved by the board members.

Several personnel matters will take place in near future executive sessions and the next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 4 in the PIA Conference Room.


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