Shelly: Veto pen at the ready

By Cindy Yurth
Tséyi Bureau

DILKON, Ariz., Sept. 21, 2013

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Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly granted the Navajo Times a quick interview Saturday after gourd-dancing with veterans and making a speech in Navajo at the Southwest Navajo Fair Saturday.

NT: The 2014 budget is about to cross your desk. Will you be using your line-item veto pen?

BS: Yes I will. Did you see how much they left in the Undesignated Unreserved Fund? One-hundred forty-seven dollars! That's supposed to be a reserve, for Christ's sake! I haven't seen the 32 amendments (added by Council) yet, but when they come in, I'll make sure to look at all of them and see which ones can be cut. We can't empty our reserves. It's not looking good.

NT: Would you like to say anything about the feral horse issue?

BS: Why do you guys always go around me on that issue? I didn't like your last article, where you said I changed my mind about humane treatment of horses. It's always been my position to treat horses humanely. We need to remove some of them from the range, but we still need to treat them humanely. I plan to meet with the Humane Society and even Robert Redford if I have to, since he seems to be the head honcho on that issue.


NT:
What is the status of the Confluence project, since the MOU (with prospective developers Confluence Partners) expired in June? Is there a new MOU?

BS: There is a new MOU. I still have a problem with the project. We're still at a point where the investor has not been identified. Who is going to fund it? I've told Confluence Partners I'm insisting on 18 percent of gross revenues (for the Navajo Nation). So far, they have not agreed to that. They can take it or leave it.

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