Monterey County Military and Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission

Minutes of Meeting July 13, 2011


Sid Williams, Commission Chair, called the meeting to order at 3 pm.

Members present: Sid Williams, Tom Davis, Juan Sanchez, Ralph Villar, James Bogan, Charlie Eskridge, Bruce Evans, Frank Aguillar, Ron Holland.

Excused: Abel Quinones. Richard Barratt

Quorum of members present.

Minutes from 11 May 2011 meeting read/approved.


Report  from the Chair, Sid Williams.  Tom Griffin introduced Michael McFadden as new VSO staff member.

Committee Reports: 

  1. Pending State & Federal Legislation (Abel Quinones):  Presented a flyer announcing Assemblymember Bill Monning’s meeting July 20, 2011, at VTC, to discuss legislative topics of interest to veterans and answer questions from the public.

  1. Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Update (James Bogan):  Soliciting donations for cemetery continuing. Slow progress. Attorneys continue to work on legal language for monies being offered to legalize acceptance of funds. Ralph Villar informed Commission that he made a presentation to the Board of Supervisors concerning the cemetery.

  1. VA Clinic (Charlie Eskridge):  Discussed new site behind commissary – site needs water/also buyer for property so VA can lease from owner since VA does not want to own property.

  1. Stand Down (Ron Holland):  Developing site plan/planning meeting with committee chairs in August. Added new major committee: Women Veterans Support, headed by Fahn Bryant, currently EDD veterans rep, US Army veteran.

  1. Veteran of the Year Program (Juan Sanchez):  Award ceremony/dinner planned for Saturday, Nov. 5th, 2 pm, at Bayonet/Black Horse Fort Ord Golf Course. Speaker suggestions included Assemblymember Bill Monning, Leon Panetta.

  1. Military & Veterans Affairs Report (Tom Griffin): Veterans issues report submitted in writing (attached to minutes). Reviewed VSO Personnel Status:  Motion  made/seconded/approved that VSO be the final authority on who will fill vacant VSO positions. Commission standing by to write letter to Board of Supervisors indicating this if needed. Ralph Villar added that the “211” phone number was a valuable resource for veterans.

Unfinished Business:  None.

New Business:   VSO was asked if he has considered moving from the Courthouse to the Coastal Offices Building on Fort Ord.  VSO responded that some space was offered but because the Permits Department was not desirous of giving up all their space (even though no longer occupying it), the offered space was insufficient/not acceptable; VSO stated he was not considering moving into less than what is currently the VSO office. 

Veteran of the Year Nominations:  VSO has received 11 nominations.  It was motioned/seconded/approved to extend the nomination deadline to July 31, and that the Commission meet on Aug. 3 at 3 pm to select honorees for VOY

Commission Members’ Comments:  Ralph Villar suggested that veterans take advantage of the Fisher House in Palo Alto.  It was also suggested that clients who are taking the van that goes to Palo Alto should try and make their appointments between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM to allow for travel time.

Meeting was adjourned at 4:25pm.

Next Meeting: August 3 at 3 pm at VTC. This is the special meeting to select VOY honorees.

Next Regular Meeting: September 14, 2011, 3 pm at VTC.

Respectfully Submitted by Tom Griffin, VSO, ex officio, Secretary

Prepared by Michael M. McFadden

Principal Office Assistant

Military and Veterans Affairs Office