Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members gathered at the Way of Life Facility to take part in the last district meeting with Tom Largo on Monday, November 28.
“I want to tell each and every one of you that it’s been an honor and pleasure to serve you,” said Largo, who has served for 24 years on Council.
The meeting’s agenda included a presentation by Health and Human Services Prevention and Intervention Services on financial services that help elders and individuals with rental, utility and food assistance. A comment period was open for Community members to speak.
Following the agenda items, guests stepped up to speak some words of appreciation to Largo. Many shared gifts and recalled instances when he had helped them, led them and encouraged them to become the people they are today.
Salt River Fire Department Chief Daryl Dash presented Largo with a firefighter helmet and reminisced about when he was appointed fire captain.
“I remember when Tom came and congratulated me,” said Dash. “He walked up to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Congratulations. Can you keep to your budget?’” Dash said he tried his best to keep within his budget.
As Largo looks forward to the future, he plans to continue his ministry work for those who are incarcerated to help them toward a better future.
“Back when I was locked up in the Salt River jail, there was just a bunch of us in there that really didn’t have any faith. But Tom would come in and talk to us, sharing his faith and letting us know how men are supposed to be a provider and be there for people. He would come drill it into us,” said Eric Schurz. “He always did it with kindness in his voice. The tone of his voice [expressed the] sincerity of it, and you know it’s real.”
Schurz credits Largo for helping him turn his life around and encouraging him to start his own business.
When asked about what he looks forward to for Council now and in the future, Largo said that he feels confident in those who have been elected.
“Between (SRPMIC President) Martin (Harvier) and (Vice-President) Ricardo (Leonard), the Community has shown that they support their government. With the new Council, you have some new younger people, and it looks to me like they’re going to be able to step right in,” said Largo. “So, I think the Community is going to be in good hands.”