Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Editorial: Quarterly Membership Meeting Location Change

Feather News
Updated 2

The location for the quarterly membership meeting on Sunday has been changed from the tribal government building to 'Salon D of the Uncas Ballroom,' according to sources. The meeting will begin at 12:30.

The main topic of the meeting will likely be of a financial nature due to a substantial decline in profits at the Mohegan Sun casino and continued losses at the Tribe's Pocono Downs racetrack-slot parlor in Pennsylvania.

Since elected officials have failed to have the Tribal government save money since the casino opened in 1996 and appear to be intent on building a goverment building-community center that some estimate will cost upward of $100 million - not including interest expenses - some difficult financial decisions may have to be made now. The Tribal government will largely need to borrow the money for the building costruction. Under some models, it is calculated that just the interest expense that will have to be paid each year on that new building is expected to cost more than the entire amount the Tribal government spends each year on the education budget.

Cutbacks are becoming more apparent at the casino. Last night, a disc jockey was playing music in the Wolf Den. The hostess at the Wolf Den said it was the first time a disc jockey was used there for entertainment and they expect the disc jockey to provide entertainmnet regularly at the Wolf Den on Monday nights. Between now and the beginning of March, only six performers are scheduled for the Mohegan Sun Arena (including a volleyball match).

Cutbacks in the Tribal government wouldn't come as a surprise. It will be interesting to see who is affected in possible Tribal government cutbacks. Perhaps the children of the Tribe are the most vulnerable. We need to remember that the children of Tribal members have no voice and for that they are the most defenseless of the Tribal population.