Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, which has seen a drastic decline in revenues from its River Rock Casino since a bigger, newer competitor opened near Rohnert Park, has chosen a new leader.
Harvey Hopkins, chairman of the Dry Creek tribe for the past 10 years, lost his bid for re-election over the weekend, coming in last to two other challengers.
The new chairman of the tribe is Chris Wright, 43, who is also the head of marketing for River Rock Casino near Geyserville. Preliminary results shared Monday by two tribal members had Wright earning 41 percent of the vote to 35 percent for Salvina Norris, the vice chairwoman, and 24 percent for Hopkins.
Saturday’s election came at a pivotal time for the 1,200-member tribe, which has seen its casino revenues cut in half since the Graton Resort and Casino opened a year ago about 30 miles south.
After its casino revenues plummeted, Dry Creek defaulted on more than $140 million owed to River Rock bondholders and also remains delinquent on a $3.5 million annual payment to Sonoma County to offset impacts from the gambling hall on a hill overlooking scenic Alexander Valley.
Tribal members said Wright is a fresh face, smart and personable.
“Those that voted for him probably think he (has) younger ideas, maybe more marketing ideas to keep our casino going,” said tribal elder Reg Elgin, who supported Hopkins.
Elgin said Hopkins, 66, may have unfairly been blamed for River Rock’s troubles since Graton opened. But he added that “the voters were pretty adamant in their stand — they thought it was time for a change.”


Anonymous said...

Well that's a good thing for them maybe Pala will do the same in their elections tonight. It's time for a change here in Pala!!!!

Anonymous said...

Haha Ya right why do u think Robert only has that one sign up and Teresa has none...because they already know they are re-elected! The minute the election committee was chosen everyone knew. I mean come on the election committee members are die hard Smith supporters just like how his daughter was in it last year. Pala's elections are rigged and a joke that's why Smith won't allow the BIA to moniter them.

Anonymous said...

He wins with the throw away votes his election committee supporters put enough of his apponants ballots in the throw away pile to put Robert ahead. Nobody is allowed to see the throw aways but the election committee head which is always a Smith supporter.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Pala and I wish our votes really counted and reflected what the people want and not what one man with all the power wants because we want change and it's been time for a change in Pala. Votes don't matter when their not "ALL" counted correctly.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

You said it: "Votes don't matter..." at Pala. It's another fixed election. Good luck to all the good people at Pala. Here's to two more evil years.