MINUTES OF THE FORT ORD VETERAN’S CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Agricultural Center Conference Room
Agricultural Commissioners Office
1432 Abbott Street, Salinas
Thursday, October 11, 2007
1:00 PM– 3:00 PM
· Chair James Bogan called the meeting to order and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. A roll call of members was conducted.
· Present – Ralph Villar (District 1), Frank Aguillon (District 2), Leonard Ortiz (District 3), James Bogan (District 4), Ralph “Norm” Channell (District 5), Abel Quinones (United Veterans Council), Jack Stewart (United Veterans Council).
Ex officio – Steve Jorgensen (California Department of Veterans Affairs), Eddie Pedrozo (Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission), Barbara Nelson (City of Seaside), Janet Parks (Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation), Tom Mancini (Ft. Ord Reuse Authority), Bruce Evans (for William Gourley, Ft. Ord Retiree Council), Alec Arago (for Representative Sam Farr), Rito Guerra (for Senator Abel Maldonado), Colleen Freeman (for Assembly member John Laird)
2. Public Comment – None
3. Approval of minutes of meeting of October 11, 2007 – Motion (Mr. Stewart) and second to accept minutes as distributed. Motion carried.
4. Report on FORA Administrative Committee meeting of October 17, 2007 – Mr. Stewart reported that Mr. Bogan made a brief presentation to the FORA Administrative Committee requesting FORA’s participation in funding the cost of a consultant to develop a cemetery master development plan. He also noted that the City of Marina had made a commitment to provide some funds to help defray the cost of the planning effort. Mr. Garza reported that the Admin. Committee approved an agenda item that would have FORA advance the money as a loan, to be repaid from any other jurisdiction’s contributions, federal reimbursements for cemetery planning or other sources of revenue identified in the development plan for consideration and action by the full FORA Board at its meeting on November 10. Mr. Cook recommended that a CAC delegation make presentations to Ft. Ord land use jurisdictions informing them of FORA Board’s action and encouraging them to contribute toward the reimbursement to FORA. Mr. Mancini suggested that the approach not be made to the City Councils, but, instead to the local redevelopment agencies. Mr. Cook: a letter soliciting support from the participating land use jurisdictions will be drafted for the Chair’s signature. Mr. Bogan directed Mr. Stewart to form the necessary committee.
5. A list of recommendations developed in 2002, by the Veterans Cemetery Ad-Hoc Committee regarding the design and facilities for a veterans’ cemetery, was distributed for CAC review. The recommendations were: (1) Request the military move the Drill Sergeant statue be relocated to the cemetery site. (2) Request all the Spanish tiles on the buildings at East Garrison be removed and placed on structures at the cemetery and its entrance. (3) Plant Monterey cypress trees throughout the cemetery. (4) Rename the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery to General Stillwell State Veterans Cemetery. (5) Provide a veterans housing area adjacent to the cemetery. (6) Place flagpoles atop Artillery hill. (7) Place the cemetery columbarium at bottom of artillery hill (on the slope). (8) Have the main entrance adorned by flags representing the branch of the military, and encourage veterans groups to place memorial statues at the entrance of the administrative structure. (9) Have a gala public relations preview of the cemetery design at the cemetery site. This would encourage veteran and public support for the foundation and would provide a visual depiction of the cemetery. The United Veterans Council was requested to sponsor this event. (10) Historical signage to educate and enhance the cemetery appearance. (11) All buildings constructed with an abode theme commensurate with Monterey Bay being the first capitol of California. (12) Have the manzanita tress remain in their natural setting as much as possible versus the Monterey cypresses. (13) Provide an area that is designed to educate the public on the sacrifices that veterans have made. (14) Continue to press the media to provide coverage on the cemetery and encourage organization to have their readers provide input. (15) Construct a large fountain just inside the entrance to serve as a beautification object and a traffic circle.
(16) Construct an all-purpose chapel that features several separate areas for services.
(17) Construct a military museum adjacent to the cemetery so that they can compliment one another and would attract tourism. (18) Construct a Military/Veterans Memorial hall with an attached museum adjacent to the cemetery. It is felt that this/these facilities would enhance fundraising efforts, provide housing for burial honor guards and general veterans programs and attract tourists.
It was clarified that this list is not a final product, but is made up of recommendations assembled it the past, by the Central Coast Veterans’ Cemetery Ad-Hoc Committee. CAC members and the public are encouraged to comment upon the existing list and make additional recommendations. Mr. Quinones suggested that development of an amphitheater on or adjacent to the cemetery site be added to the list of recommendations.
6. Meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm.
Next meeting Thursday, December, 2007, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. , at a location to be determined.
Respectfully submitted by Richard Garza, ex officio, Secretary