When it was time to vote on the development, Willie literally looked stumped. Like he had no idea what to do. I think he wanted to make a phone call to get the puppeteer’s opinion before he voted.
New Day same Stuff: San Juan County Commissioners snub transparency, continue to push resolutions defying will of the people

Opinion by Wendy Black

To start with, Kenneth Maryboy did not show until 10:40. He told everyone he was sick. To give him the benefit of the doubt, he did seem sick, but show up on time Kenneth.

This might only bother me, but I am going to mention it anyway. A woman from Eagle Mountain came to the meeting and told Kenneth and Willie she was there to support them. She volunteered to say the prayer and performed it completely in Navajo. This meeting, according to state law is to be conducted in English. Maybe this does not apply to prayer, but I have no idea what she said in this prayer and I heard only one word I understood. Bilagaana. Everyone attending these meetings understands English while only a handful understand Navajo. It seems like common courtesy to me to pray in English.

These meetings are frustrating to say the least. At every meeting, Willie Grayeyes seems to find a way to bring his Arizona neighbors into it. This time it was broadband internet. Was Willie voted into Coconino County Commission or San Juan County Commission? Willie tries to get the county entities, CIB and now UETN, to spread their services down to his Arizona homies. Willie, get on board with helping our county, and if you want to do something for the entire reservation then run for Navajo Nation President. For some reason Willie and Kenneth both think that they only represent the portion of the county that voted them in. Get on board and realize that you represent ALL the county. And you do NOT represent Arizona. The County Administrator kept having to remind Willie and Kenneth of why they are here and what their responsibility as county commissioners is.

The county is working on trying to get business licenses on businesses within county jurisdiction. This poses a real problem of fairness. Who gets charged and who doesn’t? Why do some people get taxed doing road side sales and others don’t? Why do some home-based businesses qualify for exemption and others don’t?

I want to bring up one comment that was given. It’s thought provoking and I believe it warrants further exploration. For those that do not know…. the Navajo Nation has taken any rights to the roads on the reservation away from the county. They even removed the county road signs. This gentleman mentioned that if we don’t own the roads and we cannot maintain them then why are we running our school district buses out there? What kind of liability does this create?  Should Navajo Transportation Authority (NTA) provide their own transportation to reservation lines?

The county has worked on a development plan of Spanish Valley. State [of Utah] Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) owns the land that is to be developed. The county has had public input meetings since May of 2018. They sent out notices and advertised these meetings. People mostly affected by this plan have not been paying attention. Now it’s time to vote on a plan, that has been in the works for two years they suddenly become civically-minded. One guy brought up Dark Sky agreements at least 4 times. Another guy is worried about the airport in Spanish Valley might be used. Guess what, the airport was there when you built your house. It’s been there for 35 years. The airport has always been active. A lady asked the commission to quit worrying about building up Spanish Valley. She thought it would be better to spend the money on the reservation. Oh goodness, heaven forbid we develop an area in an orderly fashion instead just let it be built up in a haphazard way. And… reservation property is under federal control. Not a county responsibility.

A presentation was shown by a gentleman that developed the plans, which proves this has been in the works for awhile. SITLA says that they have done all that is required. They had two representatives that were both in support of the development. These SITLA representatives were also at the PUBLIC meetings. The public meetings that the commenters at the meeting said never happened. This is the latest kick in the guts by the new commissioners. When it was time to vote on the development, Willie literally looked stumped. Like he had no idea what to do. I think he wanted to make a phone call to get the puppeteer’s opinion before he voted. Kenneth decided to hold off on voting until the constituents can have a chance to voice their concerns. First of all, they did have that chance. Second, isn’t that exactly what a group of constituents asked for 3 meetings ago when the 12 new resolutions were presented? These constituents were ignored because it was not in line with the new commissioner’s agenda. Wow!! That all, just Wow!

Wendy Black

Wendy Black, is a resident of San Juan County, Utah and has been active in local politics for several years. In 2015, in concert with the majority sentiment of county residents, Wendy became active in opposing the proposed Bears Ears National Monument, which would have swallowed up approximately one-third of San Juan County’s landmass.

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