Incoming Navajo lawmakers hear restructuring plans

By Felicia Fonseca
Flagstaff, Arizona (AP) January 2011

Incoming Navajo lawmakers are considering how to restructure the Tribal Council that was downsized from 88 members to 24 members.

The lawmakers heard recommendations last week during an orientation session in Flagstaff, and they'll decide how to organize after they're sworn in on Jan. 11.

The tribe's high court put that authority in their hands after validating a special election that led to the reduced council.

Navajos agreed to cut the size of the council a year ago in the first ballot initiative to go before them in an election.

Analysts with Dine College say organizing 24 members into 12 standing committees is unfeasible with what they expect to be an increased workload and more time on the road serving constituents.