MINUTES OF THE
FORT ORD VETERAN’S
CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Marina Library Community Meeting Room
190 Seaside Circle, Marina
Thursday March 13, 2008
1:00 – 3:00 PM
1. Chair James Bogan called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm. 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), Janet Parks (Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation), Tom Mancini (Ft. Ord Reuse Authority), Bruce Evans (for William Gourley, Ft. Ord Retiree Council), Clark Larson (for Barbara Nelson, City of Seaside), Alec Arago (for Representative Sam Farr), Colleen Freeman (for Assembly member John Laird)
Absent – Rito Guerra (for Senator Abel Maldonado).
2. Public Comment – None
3. Approval of minutes of meeting February 14, 2008 – Mr. Stewart Requested the minutes be amended to reflect his comments made pertaining to prior work done toward the goal of establishing a veterans’ cemetery at Ft. Ord. Motion (Mr. Villar) and second to accept minutes as amended. Motion carried.
4. Reports from CAC members on stakeholder feedback regarding goals and objectives for the planning and development study being conducted by Royston, Hanamoto, Alley and Abey (RHAA): Jim Cook (Monterey County Redevelopment Agency) requested that this portion of the agenda be directed by the project consultant. He then introduced Cordy Hill, lead consultant on the cemetery project, to lead the discussion on the goals and objectives. The were no comments on goal #1 or objectives #1a – #1c. In regard to goal #2 (Additional & Ancillary functions) Mr. Stewart asked if the consultants had seen the list of 18 recommendations developed by the Cemetery Ad-Hoc Committee in conjunction with the County’s veteran community. Ms Hill replied that they had not and a copy was provided and read to the audience. Mr. Jorgensen reiterated the point that the cemetery, not the ancillary functions, is the primary goal. Ms Parks also mentioned that donations to the Central Coast Cemetery Foundation call for a wall of tiles, memorializing individuals, to be a part of the cemetery. There were no comments on goal #3
5. RHAA report of existing conditions, constraints and opportunities for the cemetery project: Ms Hill gave preliminary findings on cemetery site physical conditions, planning context, biological resource issues. Doug Svensen of Applied Development Economics (ADE) reported on endowment fund options, including solicitations of donations and alternative uses of some of the property, and development opportunities.
Question (Mr. Channel): Are there problems with endangered species and unexploded ordinance? Response (Mr. Cook): They are issues, but the way that FORA plans to address them for the entire former Ft. Ord will keep them from being problems. A greater focus needs to be placed on the infrastructure issues rather than the habitat and cleanup issues. (Mr. Channel): Who decides when there are sufficient funds in the endowment? (Mr. Garza): The State Comptroller, based upon the recommendation of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
Question (Ms Parks): I thought the County and City of Seaside donated the land specifically to be used as a veterans’ cemetery. How can it be put to some “other” use? Response: (Mr Cook): The FORA plan calls for a cemetery in the location we are dealing with, but the land is of a type designated for a variety of uses. (Mr. Mancini): The original cemetery parcel was smaller. There has been land added, possibly as a result of the discussions about ancillary uses. (Mr. Villar/Ms Hill): One of the overriding concerns is that any development of land not used for the cemetery must be compatible with the cemetery, as well as planned uses by the City of Seaside and County of Monterey.
6. Mr. Stewart distributed a roster on subcommittee assignments. Julian Chacon of Rep. Farr’s District Staff was added State and County Government Liaison subcommittee. Janet Parks was added to the Central Coast Veterans’ Cemetery subcommittee.
7. Meeting adjourned at 2:15 pm. Next meeting is April 10, 2008 at Marina Library Community Meeting Room, 190 Seaside Circle, Marina, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Respectfully submitted by Richard F. Garza, Secretary, ex officio.