Community members call for removal of Butler

Community members call for removal of Butler


Dozens of voting members of the community on Wednesday evening called for a removal of Council delegate Joshua Lavar Butler from office.

Joshua Lavar Butler

Joshua Lavar Butler

A two-page resolution stated two reasons for a recall.

The first reason is for lack of representation and the second is for violating a code of conduct.

The resolution states that the local constituent body have a number of critical concerns including that the Tónaneesdizí Local Government’s Council of Naat’áanii have put their trust in Butler to be the voice for the voters.

The resolution reads, “Mr. Butler failed to listen and carry our votes at a duly called council session by not attending regular chapter meetings (here).”

The Council argued that Butler missed 8 chapter meetings, including five regular meetings, two special meetings, and one planning meeting.

“In total, he missed 9 chapter meetings,” said Angie Williams, a member of the Council, in Navajo. “He arrived two minutes before adjournment at the regular chapter meeting in May. (Local Government President Gerald Keetso) was delivering a benediction when he interrupted and said he’d deliver the closing prayer. Where he stood, he made the benediction. Then he walked up to the platform and asked for the sign in sheet. We gave it to him and he signed his name. I’m certain he received a stipend.”

Tónaneesdizí officials argue that they have to deliver official papers to Window Rock, one of Butler’s many responsibilities.

Butler was elected in 2010 to represent Tónaneesdizí on the 22nd Navajo Nation Council. His focus at that point in time was to help streamline to process by bringing more jobs to the Navajo Nation and to the community.

Butler is a former Navajo Nation communications director and a former executive director for the Office of Navajo Government Development. Before he was elected, he made known that it was time to put his experience and skills to work at the next level as a policymaker.

Tónaneesdizí officials have said that Butler wants to decertify the single chapter he represents.

They said, “Leadership is about accepting responsibility no matter how grave circumstances may be. Responsible leadership covers and accepts blame for others and then works to correct wrongs and mistakes. It does so without boisterous claims and public statements. His actions instead are counterproductive.”

The resolution was passed by 60 in favor, 0 opposed, and 2 abstentions.

Later, he told the Navajo Times that he isn’t concerned.

Pick up an issue of the Navajo Times on Nov. 13 for a full story.

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