California | Opinion
Pechanga Chair: Tribe honors commitments with gaming deals

"Tuesday night, the Temecula City Council can decide to continue down a litigious path of conflict and dissipate what remains of any good will between Pechanga and the city. Or, it can honor both the letter and spirit of the Intergovernmental Agreement we reached earlier in the year so we can conclude negotiations with the county of Riverside to complete the agreement.

At the heart of the dispute is a central provision of the deal that calls for the intergovernmental agreements between Pechanga, the city and the county to be interdependent. A primary reason for this interdependence is that the county of Riverside ---- not the city of Temecula ---- provides law enforcement services to the reservation, yet under the proposed agreement Temecula would receive all of the funding for law enforcement and cover the county's law enforcement costs.

Thus, a possibility exists for the county to reject the notion of reimbursement by the city and instead choose to receive the payment directly. In this time of economic recession and chronic government deficits, it would be negligent for the Tribal Council to transfer money before the county signs off on its portion and the agreement is effective.

From Day 1 of the negotiations with the city, we made clear that the intergovernmental agreements were to be interdependent, a fundamental principle that city representatives recognized; otherwise, they would not have approved a clause explicitly requiring the county component also be completed before the agreement were to take effect.

For more than a decade, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and the city of Temecula have enjoyed a respectful and beneficial government-to-government relationship. In recent years, the city has received more than $24 million for road improvements and added costs for police and fire services stemming from the Pechanga Resort & Casino."

Get the Story:
Mark Macarro: Temecula needs to honor agreement (The North County Times 8/10)

Related Stories:
Pechanga Band negotiates agreement to address casino impacts (8/5)