The biggest story always for me at Seminole Tribe of Florida gatherings is to see how Chairman James E. Billie is doing, and in this case, he looked plenty spry to me.
Billie missed last year's grand re-opening of Seminole Casino Coconut Creek after suffering a stroke from an accident while horse-riding. He told me he hasn't gotten back up on that horse, but overall, he's doing well, even though he sometimes uses a cane. (He's shown here in a file photo from earlier this year.)
At Monday's officer inauguration, he called out each clan and related a bit of Indian lore: This time of year is not a good one for whistles, flutes or even blowing into bottles for noise.
"Legand has it that the tornado is a female, and she's looking for her babies," he said at Seminole Classic Casino, near the tribe's Oak Tree. "And if she hears anything, she'll come back here and beat the crap out of us."
The board representatives are Larry Howard (Brighton), Joe Frank (Big Cypress) and Mark Steve Osceola (Hollywood). Tribal council members are Christopher Osceola (Hollywood), Manuel Tiger (Big Cypress) and Andrew Bowers Jr. (Brighton). I've followed gambling for five years but I don't consider myself versed well enough to comment on the Seminoles' governing challenges, but the theme seemed to be getting the board and the tribal council to work together.
The election results from May 13 were:
Elections for the Tribal Council Chairman and Board President (who is also Vice Chairman of the Tribal Council) are held every four years.Tribal Council Representative, Hollywood Reservation – Christopher Osceola, 123 votes, 49 percent of total
Tribal Council Representative, Big Cypress Reservation – Manuel (Mondo) Tiger, 86 votes, 35.5 percent of total
Tribal Council Representative, Brighton Reservation – Andrew Bowers Jr., 120 votes, 38.7 percent of total
Elections were also held for Board Representatives – the Board of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. Here are the winners:
Board Representative, Hollywood Reservation – Steve Osceola, 113 votes, 45 percent of total
Board Representative, Big Cypress Reservation – Joe Frank, 162 votes, 67.2 percent of total
Board Representative, Brighton Reservation – Larry Howard, 161 votes, 68.8 percent of total