IRVING - Barry E. Snyder has begun his fifth term as Seneca Nation president.
Snyder was sworn in at the nation's official Canvass Day Swearing-In Ceremony on Tuesday at the Seneca Gaming & Entertainment center in Irving.
Snyder was sworn in for his fifth term as president. Rodney Pierce was sworn in as treasurer and Geraldine Huff as clerk. Snyder has held several elected positions over his 50-year political career including four terms as president, treasurer, tribal councilor and economic development chair.
"Our mission has been and always will be to ensure the total welfare, health, and well-being of all members of our great Seneca Nation," Snyder said. "I promise you an open and inclusive government by the people. We as a Nation have faced and overcome great adversity. And there is no doubt there will be challenging times to come. Now is the time to renew our faith. The Seneca Nation will be successful as we move forward as one."
Snyder led the creation of high-stakes bingo in the 1970s. He became one of the first Senecas to recognize the potential for selling gas and tobacco - without state taxes - to non-Indians. He fought New York state, winning a ruling from the State Court of Appeals stating Senecas were "immune" from taxation. Through the Salamanca Settlement Act in 1990, he helped create investment programs of the "Golden Dollars." He took on and successfully renegotiated then-President Cyrus Schindler's loan deal with developer KT Lim to build the Seneca Niagara Casino, saving the nation $20 million in interest debt. And he established the Seneca Diabetes Foundation, an independent foundation, to fight diabetes on the nation.
"President Barry Snyder Sr. is the only Seneca today with the experience, skills and vision to reverse the negative impacts of the past two years and keep us moving forward as a traditional and strong Seneca Nation," Pierce said. "Failure is not an option and I am honored to serve with him."
Other elected officials officially sworn into office included:
Councillors: Linda Doxtator, Shelley Huff, Morris Abrams, Arlene Bova, Kevin Printup, Mike Williams, Jeffrey Gill and Christina Jimerson.
Chief Marshals: Keith White Sr. and Kara John.
Marshals: Lance Cooper, Darby Leroy, Diana Maybee, David Isaac, Clifford Pierce, and Randy White.
Assessors: Stanley Jimerson, Terry Nephew, David Pierce, Brenda Redeye, Sally Huff and Ronald Kenjockety.
Highway Commissioners: Elmer Logan and Jason John.
Poormasters: Llona Leroy and Rae Lynn George.
During Snyder's campaign, his platform agenda included:
Bring back a Nation run by "government by the people," not one run by intimidation, hidden agendas and self-interest.
Maintain Seneca annuity payments to nation members in a fiscally responsible manner and continue to reinvest in the economic growth of the Seneca Nation.
Continue to stimulate and assist the growth of new business commitments within the nation with the continuation of no taxes. Snyder also pledged that no casino revenues will be paid to New York state without the assurance that the nation's exclusivity rights are honored as the compact intended, and proliferation of the state's licensed casinos stops at the nation's exclusive territory.
Enforce accountability and integrity in the financial affairs of the Seneca Nation including Class II and Class III gaming financial reports, and all other enterprise financial reports.
Audit Seneca Construction Management operation and make necessary changes to strengthen and reform its operation to protect the integrity of the nation.
Foster appreciation and respect for the comfort and dignity of nation elders gradually increasing their monthly payments for their increased comfort and security, develop an elderly campus on Seneca Territory and expand services to assist and allow elders to live independently in their own homes or with a family member.
Seek to continue to develop education related programs that will assist enrolled Seneca students in the successful completion of their public school education and analyze the need to assist Seneca members with additional stipends to ensure successful completion of post-secondary and graduate degree programs.
Promote and enrich the preservation of our tribal culture for on reservation and off-reservation tribal members organizing satellite nation offices for the convenience of and use by off-reservation nation members.
Commit to effective anti-drug/non-alcohol programs for Seneca adults and youth. parents.
Advocate for veterans and disabled nation members.
"This is only the beginning of what I believe will be a rigorous and rewarding two years working together with our Tribal Councillors on these and other new initiatives," Snyder said.