Shiles, Bob. “Lumbee election staffs need home – Tribe can’t use HUD dollars for rent.” The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC). April 10, 2015
The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina’s elections board has been forced to move from their most recent office, located behind the tribe’s housing complex. Tribal Spokesperson Gary Strickland explained that it is unallowable by United States Department of Housing and Urban Development standards to fund an office used for election purposes.
The elections board paid a rent of $277 for the room they met in, but had not paid that money since the November 2014 Tribal Council elections. Since March 1, 2015, all of the elections board’s files have been kept in a storage unit.
Sheila Beck-Jones, who is the elections board’s chairman, said there were plans for the group to change and improve the elections process, but with nowhere to meet, they are unable to do that. This is not the first time the elections board has been forced to change offices, moving three times in the past three years.
Beck-Jones and the board have found two possible locations to relocate, but they will cost roughly $700 a month to rent. She plans to submit an amended budget to the Tribal Council’s Finance Committee that would add $10,000 to the $15,000 they were originally given. They would use this extra budget money to pay for the rent, along with utilities, computers, internet and more.