Monterey County Military and Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission

Minutes of Meeting May 14, 2008 


Eddie Pedrozo, Commission Chair called the meeting to order at 3:05 pm.


Members present: Eddie Pedrozo, Chair, Frank Aguillon, Ralph (Norm) Channell, Charlie Eskridge, Bruce Evans, E.T. Price, Abel Quinones, Juan Sanchez and Jack Stewart .


Members absent:  Mack Jacobs  and Ralph Villar( both excused)


Quorum of members present for Commission business.


Approval of Minutes of Prior Meeting: Minutes of meeting March 12, 2008 were mailed to the Advisory Commission members.  Motion (Mr. Quinones) and second to accept the minutes mailed.  Motion carried.


Public comment: None


Report From the Chair: Reminded Advisory Commission members of the need for all to take mandatory ethics training on a biannual basis.  The next training is scheduled for August 2008 and will be free to individuals serving on Monterey County Boards and Commissions.


Committee Reports:


1.      Legislation (Mr. Quinones): The budget for the US Department of Veterans Affairs has passed the US senate and is pending in the House of Representatives.


2.      Central Coast Veterans’ Cemetery (Mr. Channell): Reported on the March 13th and April 10 meetings of the Veterans’ Cemetery Citizens’ Advisory Committee.  There was discussion of making a presentation to the Board of Supervisors of the

report prepared by the Cemetery CAC consultant, but no date has been set for such a presentation.  Mr. Aguillon commented on the need to keep the Supervisors and candidates for office informed of the status of the cemetery project in order to solicit their support.  Mr, Stewart commented on the difficulties of getting the legislation that created the cemetery endowment fund amended to allow for a State Cemetery Grant application being submitted without funding being in place (“fast track” process).  Mr. Channel stated that, given the support for veterans’ programs at the national level there might be an opportunity to get the legislature to change its position on funding a State veterans’ cemetery.  Motion (Mr. Stewart) and second that Commission support the CAC position on the cemetery fast track process, if it is amended to exclude efforts to amend current legislation.  Motion carried with Mr. Channell opposed.


3.      Veteran of the Year (Mr. Sanchez): The Veteran of the Year award subcommittee will meet prior to next Advisory Commission meeting to work on logistics for the program.  The Military & Veterans Affairs Office was directed to send out forms for VOY nominations with a cover letter to the Board of Supervisors and County veterans service organizations.  The nomination deadline is July 1.


4.      VA Clinic (Mr. Eskridge): Regarding the request for a certificate of appreciation from the Military & Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission to a program at the VA Clinic, Mr. Eskridge reported that the program no longer exists.  Mr. Stewart asked if there was any information about the establishment of the proposed joint DoD/VA clinic at Ft. Ord.  Mr. Eskridge had not heard anything new.  Mr. Garza reported that, at the AFAP meeting earlier in the day, military representatives had said to “expect an announcement in November or December”. 


5.      VSO Report: (Mr. Garza): A written report was distributed to the Advisory Commission members.  A verbal amendment to the report noted that the US Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the Court for Appeal of Veterans Claims in Haas v. Peake.  This means that receipt of the Vietnam Service Medal by “blue water” Navy veterans will not establish a presumption of exposure to herbicides, for disability compensation purposes, while on active duty.


Old Business: None


New Business: None


Commission Member Comments: None


Next Meeting:

September 10, 2008, 3:00 pm at VFW Post 811, 3131 Crescent Avenue, Marina.


Meeting adjourned 4:25 pm.


Respectfully submitted by Richard Garza, ex officio, Secretary