Relationship between Poarch Creek, Alabama officials on the rocksRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jul 09 2012 4:09 PM
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is frustrated and can't understand why its dealings with surrounding governments in Alabama have deteriorated so much, tribal representatives said.
In recent years, state and local officials have challenged the tribe’s land, tax liability, casinos and even highway signage. Meanwhile, revenue growth at the tribe’s three casinos has been first in the nation for the past three years running.
"Are you upset because we’re no longer the quiet group of poor Indians who live... in rural Escambia County, and now we’re an individual and economic engine that can provide funds, that can provide jobs?" Robert McGhee, the tribe’s governmental relations adviser, asked in an interview.
"We’ve allowed our people to come out of... poverty and to be a part of the community," McGhee said. "And not to mention the amount of resources that we’ve provided to everyone around the community and to the state. Instead of, you know, embracing the tribe, some are just, you know, shooting arrows constantly."
Escambia County Commission Chairman David Stokes, one of the Poarch Creek’s biggest adversaries of late, said that the "poor Indians" comment was a "ridiculous statement," and that the actions of tribal officials are at the root of the problem.