Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Tribal Election Demonstrates a United Tribe
For the seventh election in a row, Vincent Armenta was re-elected to the role of Tribal Chairman for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. He ran unopposed in this election.
“Now in my 12th year as a Tribal Chairman, I am honored that my fellow tribal members have the confidence in me to continue to lead our tribal nation,” said Chairman Armenta. “The past dozen years have been the most exciting years of my life. I have significantly expanded my knowledge of government, business, community and our tribe’s own culture and history in order to better serve my tribe.”
Also re-elected in the tribal election last week were incumbent Business Committee members David Dominguez, Richard Gomez, Kenneth Kahn and Gary Pace.
The tribe’s Chairman and Business Committee are responsible for establishing policies and overseeing the legal and business affairs of the tribe, while providing for the economic well being of its members. The Business Committee must obtain approval from the general council (the tribal membership) of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians for issues regarding managing and directing tribal revenue. The tribe elects members of its Business Committee, including Tribal Chairman, every two years.
“I’m especially pleased that the entire leadership team was re-elected,” said Chairman Armenta. “We have worked together as a board overseeing the business aspects of our tribe for nearly five years and we are all looking forward to continuing to build a solid foundation for future generations of our tribe.”
Since he was first elected to the role of Tribal Chairman in 1999, Chairman Armenta has participated in the tribe’s significant success in its business enterprises, along with its success in cultural preservation. From developing and operating a popular destination resort to resurrecting its native language, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has taken significant steps forward under the leadership of Chairman Armenta.
“Along with my fellow Business Committee members, we have made decisions that have placed our tribe among one of the most successful in the state,” said Chairman Armenta. “We’re extremely proud of the work we have done on behalf of our tribe.”
The four other tribal members who were re-elected to the Business Committee also have significant experience as tribal leaders.
Gomez, who has been involved in tribal politics for decades, was re-elected to his eighth consecutive term on the tribe’s leadership team. In the past two terms, Gomez served as Vice Chairman.
Kahn and Pace were both elected to their fifth terms. Dominguez, who served as Tribal Chairman for nearly a decade in the 1990s, was re-elected to his fourth term as a Business Committee member.
“All of us are here to serve the tribe for all generations,” said Gomez. “The actions we take today have an impact on our future generations, so we weigh every decision carefully, knowing that our tribal membership entrusts us with their future.”
Kahn, who has served as the Secretary/Treasurer on the Business Committee, said that these are exciting times for the tribe. “Together our leadership team has accomplished so much,” said Kahn. “Now that we have all been re-elected, we will continue to achieve our goals on behalf of the tribe.”
Pace said that since he was first elected to serve on the Business Committee in 2004, he has dedicated his life to ensuring that the tribe is successful in its business enterprises, its cultural preservation projects and in its work in the community. “I am enthusiastic about continuing to build on the momentum we have going as a united team.”
Dominguez agreed that there was significant unity in this leadership team. “The fact that we were all re-elected sends a clear message that our tribal membership is satisfied with what we have accomplished as a board,” he said.
Tribal members nominated candidates for Tribal Chairman and Business Committee in the tribe’s monthly general council meeting in February. Ballots were mailed to eligible voting tribal members (21 years of age and older) and members were also given the option of voting in person on March 3 at the Tribal Hall.
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates the Chumash Casino Resort on its reservation. The tribe also owns Hotel Corque and Root 246 in Solvang. As the largest employer in the Santa Ynez Valley, the tribe employs more than 1,600 residents of Santa Barbara County.