Is anyone surprised that the city of Temecula has not yet received a $2 million check from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, an annual payment for road improvements and police services that, according to the city, was due June 30? WHAT do you expect from a tribe that so easily violated the civil and human rights of their people? Honesty? Integrity?
The tribe signed off on the $2 million a year payment in March when it approved an intergovernmental agreement that has the tribe paying the city $42 million over the next 21 years to offset the city's expenses associated with the recent addition of slot machines at the tribe's casino.
The agreement was spurred by the passage of Proposition 94 in 2008, a measure that changed how the tribe pays the state to offset the local impacts associated with its casino operations.
Previously, tribes paid into the state's Special Distribution Fund, a pot of money divvied up by the counties and governmental agencies affected by Indian casinos. The proposition changed that process, however, requiring the tribes to negotiate directly with surrounding jurisdictions, which in the case of the Pechanga is Temecula and Riverside County.
Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro says, We were told the city is in need of this payment in order to make up its budget deficit. Though we empathize for the city’s budget deficit, this agreement is intended to mitigate reasonable off-reservation impacts, not solve government budget deficits."