Leadership of Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians

OP 15362-571 Chief Cinon Duro, 1906OP 15362-227 Juan Lachusa, Mesa Grande, ndOP 15362-44 Antonio Balenzuela, Mesa Grande, 1907OP 12550-156 Ramon LachusaOP 15362-488 Ysidro Nejo, Mesa Grande, 1927OP 12550-104 Angel Quip, 1908

The Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians Election Committee is in charge of notification, development, and counting voting results of Tribal Elections under Article IV of the Articles of Association, which is followed by a third party, California Indian Legal Services (CILS) to ensure non biased election ordinance is followed.

Next Election will be for unexpired term of Chairman (2020) and for the offices of Vice Chairman, Council seats 4 and 5 with inauguration in August 2018 for four (4) year terms. 

ARTICLE IV. – ELECTIONS:

  1. Any enrolled member of the Band, eighteen (18) years of age or older, shall have the right to vote and, if duly elected, to hold office. All election of officers shall be by secret ballot.
  2. Nominations for the Business Committee shall be made at a General Council meeting called for that purpose, and all nominees certified by the existing Business Committee shall have their names placed on the ballot.
  3. Members shall hold office until their successors are elected, qualified and installed. All nominations and elections whether for officers or by way of referendum, shall be conducted in accordance with and ordinance or ordinances adopted by the governing body which shall provide dates thereof, for polling places, election committees and their duties, absentee balloting and other necessary requirements.

Amended and restated Election Ordinance 2018

Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians Mesa Grande Reservation, California

Ordinance No. 3

An ordinance to govern all Elections of the Mesa Grande Band.

WHEREAS, the Mesa Grande Articles of Association, approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on February 3, 1971, provide in Article IV, elections, that state…” all nominations and elections whether for officers or by way of referendum, shall be conducted in accordance with an ordinance or ordinances adopted by the governing body.”

NOW THEREFORE, be it hereby resolved, that the governing body of the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians hereby ordains the following election regulations and procedures.

1. Eligibility to vote

Any enrolled member of the Band, resident or non-resident, having attained the age of eighteen (18) years on or prior to the date of the election, shall be entitled to vote in an election of the Mesa Grande Band.

2. Eligibility to hold office

A. An eligible Band member must meet the following criteria in order to hold office;

1. Be 18 years of age or older;

2. Must have a high school degree or GED;

3. Must NOT have a conviction of criminal felony resulting in a serious bodily injury or death;

4. Must NOT have a conviction of sexual assault against any person or child and must not be listed on the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Registry.

5. Must NOT have a conviction of conversion, theft, fraud, or embezzlement of any funds.

6. Must NOT have a delinquent debt to the tribe.

B. For all other offenses not listed in paragraph A above, will be reviewed and determined by the General Council on a case-by-case basis to establish eligibility for nomination.

C. All nominees must submit a “Lifescan” to the election committee or 3rd party chosen by the band.

3. Nominations

Candidates for election as officers or members of the Business committee shall be nominated from the floor at the General council meeting called for that purpose, and eligibility of the nominees shall be verified from the current membership roll by the Chairman and the Chairman of Enrollment. A motion to close the nominations requires a two-thirds vote of the eligible voters in attendance at the nomination meeting. Nominees
must be present at the meeting to accept their nomination and a nominee may not accept for two different seats.

4. Calling of Elections

The Business committee shall call elections which are specifically called for in the Articles of Association and shall call the elections as authorized by the General Council.

5. Ballots

A. All ballots, whether for officers and members of the Business Committee or for referendum purposes, shall be accomplished by the secret ballot process on ballot forms prepared by the Election Committee.

B. Nominees can submit a short bio to be sent out with the ballots not to exceed 120 word.

C. For committee member seats the nominee with the highest votes will receive the seat or seats.

D. In the event of a tie a re-election will be held just for that seat within two weeks.

6. Electioneering

No electioneering will be permitted within two-hundred (200) feet of the voting place during the hours the polls are open. Nominee may not use tribal resources for electioneering including; email, phone list, etc. failure to comply may result in disqualification or removal.

7. Appeals

Appeals resulting from actions of the Business Committee or the election committee in connection with elections must be filed within 30 days of the election with the Business Committee, election committee, or 3rd party chosen by the general council. Appeals must be heard by the General Council at any regular or special meeting, and the complaints protesting the conduct of an election or the results thereof shall be presented and settled within thirty (30) days following the filing of the appeal and none shall be considered thereafter the expiration of the thirty-day period.

8. Election Responsibilities

Election responsibilities shall be shared by the General Council, the Business Committee, and the Election Committee. Those in need of special assistance (i.e. vision or physical impairment) must inform the election committee fifteen (15) days before the election. Any assistance will be determined by the election committee. The division of duties shall be as follows:

A. Duties of the General Council

1. At the first meeting of the General Council following the biennial elections of a Business Committee, the General Council shall appoint an Election Committee consisting of a Judge and four (4) tellers of the general council to serve for a term of two years. Vacancies on the Election Committee shall be filled by appointment of the General Council at any regular or special meeting.

2. In the same manner provided for the appointment of an Election Committee, the General Council shall appoint an Interpreter to assist those voters who request assistance at the polls.

3. The General Council shall hear and settle all election appeals and complaints as provided in section 7, Appeals.

4. The General council may choose to use a Third-party that specializes in elections to verify and/or monitor the election for the Tribe.

B. Duties of the Business Committee

1. Set the date, time and place of all elections.

2. Prepare and post notices on the Reservation of the date of the meeting at which nominations for Business Committee candidates will receive and mail a copy of such notices to all non-resident eligible voters.

3. Prepare and post notices on the Reservation at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the date of all elections, giving the following information: (a) Purpose of the Election, (b) date, time and place of the election, (c) method of casting ballots (d) where to obtain absentee ballots, (e) where to return absentee ballots, (f) date by which an absentee ballot must be received in order to be counted.

4. Furnish the Election Committee and/or Third-party with a copy of the election ordinance to inform the committee of its duties.

5. Furnish the Election Committee and/or Third-party with a supply of the election notices, and a copy of the current membership roll.

6. Prepare ballot forms for use at the election polls and for use by absentee voters and furnish a supply of the same to the Election Committee and/or Third-party.

7. Post the results of elections on the Reservation immediately following the elections and notify the absentee voters of the election results.

8. Furnish a report on the results of all elections to the Bureau through the Southern California Agency. 9. Refer any written appeals or complaints regarding elections to the General Council at the next regular or special meeting following receipt of the same.

C. Duties of the Election Committee and/or Third-party

1. Prepare a list of eligible voters from the current membership roll and post the list on the Reservation at least ten (10) days prior to the date of a called election.

2. Mail a copy of the election notices and absentee ballots to each eligible voter who is a non-resident, furnishing a return envelope marked “Absentee Ballot” and give or mail election notices and absentee ballots to all eligible voters who request them.

3. Prepare a list of eligible voters to whom election material was sent, the date of mailing and the date and time of receipt of returned ballot.

4. Prepare a register of eligible voters for use at the polls.

5. Supervise all elections as follows:

(a) Open the polls at the specified time.

(b) The judge shall announce the closing of the polls at the proper time, and no voting shall take place hereafter.

(c) Make certain that the ballot box is empty, and then locked when the polls are opened, and that the box remains locked while the polls are open.

(d) When the polls are opened, remove the absentee ballots from their envelopes and place them folded in the ballot box.

(e) Enter the words, “Voted absentee” opposite the name of each person on the voter’s register who voted absentee, and whose ballot was returned within the requited time.

(f) Require each eligible voter who votes at the polls to sign the register of eligible voters and show legal identification before they receive a ballot, and no person whose name is not on the voter’s register shall be given a ballot, and no person shall be allowed to vote by proxy, or to vote more than one time.

(g) Following the closing of the polls, the Judge shall unlock the ballot box, and the tally shall take place with the Judge reading aloud the vote from the ballots, and the Tellers keeping tally. A recount shall take place with one of the Tellers calling out the votes and the Judge and the other Teller keeping the tally. If the results of both counts are the same, it shall be called correct. If the two counts bring different results, the votes shall again be counted twice, and so on, until agreement is reached. If voted by the general council a third-party will verify and/or monitor the counting of the ballots.

(h) The Election Board shall then prepare a written report of the election, including the number of voters and the results of the vote, and shall certify to its accuracy. The report shall then be given promptly to the Business Committee.

(i) All election material shall be kept by the Judge under lock and key in the tribal office for sixty (60) days in the event of a protest or order for recount.

6. All election committee members must sign a confidentiality agreement. Failure to do so will result in removal from the Election Committee immediately.

Previous Leadership Timeline

1903 Captain:  Narcisso LaChapa Policemen:  Salvador Duro and Julio Ortega Judge:  Antonio LaChappa

1904 Captain: Rafael Charley Judge:  Antonio LaChappa Policeman:  Salvador Duro

1905 No Information

1906 No Information

1907 No Information

1908 Captain:  Adolph Beresford, later, Antonio LaChappa Judge:  Tomas Curo Policeman:  Salvador Duro

1909 Captain:  Antonio LaChapa Judge:  Tomas Curo Judges, Court of Indian Offenses: Ramon Charlie, Roscindo Couro, Ysidro Nejo Policeman:  Luciano Guassac

1910 No Information

1911 Captain:  Arturo Charlie, later,  Richard Nejo

1912 Captain:  Richard Nejo Judge:  Antonio LaChappa Chief of Police:  Sylvester LaChappa

1913 Chief of Indian Police:  Sylvester LaChappa

1914 President:  Antonio LaChappa Policeman:  Charles Pena

1915 President:  Antonio LaChappa Judge:  Ysidro Nejo

1916 Committee:  Julio Ortega, Juan Diego LaChusa Chief of Police:  Charles Pena

1917 Committee:  Julio Ortega, Juan Diego LaChusa, Charles Pena

1918 Judge:  Julio Ortega

1919 Chief of Police:  Charles Pena

1920 No Information

1921 No Information

1922 No Information

1923 Captain:  Roscindo Curo

1924 Captain:  Roscindo Curo Judge:  Leandro Soto Policeman:  Ramon Charlie

1925 Captain:  Ramone Charlie Judge:  Roscindo Curo

1926 Captain:  Roscindo Curo

1927 No Information

1928 No Information

1929 No Information

1930 No Information

1931 Captain:  Roscindo Curo

1932 Captain:  Valentine LaChusa

1933 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, Ramon Charlie, Gilbert Clelland, Sebastian Guassac

1934 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa

1935 No Information

1936 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa

1937 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Ben Ortega, Jose LaChusa, Jose LaChappa, Grace LaChusa

1938 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Joe LaChappa, Joe LaChusa, James Pena, Grace LaChusa

1939 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members:Joe LaChusa, Joe LaChappa, James Pena, Grace LaChusa

1940 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Joe LaChappa, James Pena, Joe LaChusa, Grace LaChusa

1941 No Information

1942 No Information

1943 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Jose LaChusa, Grace LaChusa, Sebastian Guassac, James Lloyd

1944 No Elections due to WW2

1945 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: James Lloyd, Grace LaChusa, Felix Pena, Jose LaChusa

1946 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, James Lloyd, Joe LaChusa, James Pena

1947 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, James Lloyd, Frank Ortega, Joe LaChusa

1948 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Grace LaChusa, Joe LaChusa, Frank Ortega, James Lloyd

1949 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: James Lloyd, Frank Ortega, Grace LaChusa, Jose LaChusa

1950 Spokesman:  Valentine LaChusa Committee members: Frank Ortega, James Lloyd, Grace LaChusa, Joe LaChusa

1950 Special Election Spokesman:  Gilbert Clelland Committee members: Frank Ortega, Delmar Nejo, James Pena, David Kitchen

1951 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: Alex Ortega, Frank Ortega, James Pena, David Kitchen Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1952 Two Year Terms, No Election

1953 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: James Pena, David Kitchen, Alex Ortega, Frank Ortega Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1954 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: James Pena, Gilbert Clelland, Alex Ortega, Frank Ortega Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1955 Two Year Terms, No Election

1956 Spokesman:  Delmar Nejo Committee members: James Pena, Gilbert Clelland, Mabel Subish, Pauline Subish LaChusa Secretary/Treasurer: Martha Pena Bolt

1957 Two Year Terms, No Election

1957 Special Election Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Alex Ortega, Gilbert Clelland

1958 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, James Pena, Pauline LaChusa

1959 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Lawrence Aguilar, James Pena

1960 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, John Aguilar, Rosa LaChusa, Virgil Oyos

1961 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Rose LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyas, John Aguilar

1962 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Jack Hamilton, Rosa LaChusa, Virgil Oyos

1963 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Aguado Gussac

1964 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Rosa LaChusa, Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Aguedo Gussac, Lila LaChusa

1965 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Manuel LaChappa, Aguedo Gussac, Lila LaChusa

1966 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyos, Manuel LaChappa, Aguedo Guassac, Lila LaChusa

1967 Spokesman:  Charlie Ponchetti Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Virgil Oyas (Oyos), Aguedo Guassac, Manuel LaChappa

1968 Spokesman:  Virgil Oyos Committee members: Laura Hamilton, Lila LaChusa, Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo

1969 Spokesman:  Virgil Oyos Committee members: Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo, Alex Ortega, John Moretti, Laura Hamilton

1970 Spokesman:  Claude Devers Committee members: Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo, Charlie Ponchetti, Jessie Beresford

1971 Spokesman:  Claude Devers Committee members: Manuel LaChappa, Julia Nejo, Charlie Ponchetti, Jessie Beresford, Fern Southcott

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005 

2006 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Sharon Amero Committee:

2007 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Sharon Amero Committee:

2008 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Sharon Amero Committee:

2009 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Gabriel Kitchen Sr. Committee: Rae Anne Lafferty, Virgil Oyos Jr., Randy Sandoval

2010 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Patricia Martinez Committee: Denette Cabrerra, Virgil Oyos Jr., Randy Sandoval

2011 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Virgil Oyos Jr. Committee: Denette Cabrerra, Roxanne Holmes, Randy Sandoval

2012 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Virgil Oyos Jr. Committee: Denette Cabrerra, Roxanne Holmes, Curtis La Chusa

2013 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Virgil Oyos Jr. Committee: Denette Cabrerra, Roxanne Holmes, Curtis La Chusa

2014 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Virgil Oyos Jr. Committee: Denette Cabrerra, Roxanne Holmes, Curtis La Chusa

2015 Chairman: Mark Romero Vice Chair: Virgil Oyos Jr. Committee: Denette Cabrerra, Roxanne Holmes, Curtis La Chusa

2016 Chairman: Virgil Oyos Jr. Vice Chair: Curtis La Chusa Committee: Tony Gumataotao, Michael Dominguez, Jesse Morales

2017 Chairman: Virgil Oyos Jr. Vice Chair: Curtis La Chusa Committee: Tony Gumataotao, Michael Dominguez, Jesse Morales

2018 Interim Chairman:  Vice Chair:  Committee: