MINUTES OF THE FORT ORD VETERAN’S

CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Marina Library Community Meeting Room

190 Seaside Circle, Marina

Thursday August 14, 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 – 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 – Stephen Jorgensen (California Department of Veterans Affairs), Janet Parks (Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation),  Eddie Pedrozo (Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission), Tom Mancini (Ft. Ord Reuse Authority), Bruce Evans (Ft. Ord Retiree Council), Barbara Nelson (City of Seaside), Colleen Freeman (for Assembly member John Laird)

Absent – Ralph Villar (District 1) (excused), Frank Aguillon, Julian Chacon (for Representative Sam Farr) (excused).

 

2.                  Public Comment - None

 

3.                  Motion (Mr. Quinones) and second to approve minutes July 10th, 2008 and July 31st meetings. Motion carried

 

4.                  Report on Fort Ord Reuse Authority Board meeting held July 11, 2008:  No action regarding the Veterans Cemetery was taken at this meeting.  Ila Mettee-McCutchon reported on the recent press coverage of the land transfer and cleanup process at the former Ft. Ord.  The land designated for the cemetery has already been cleared and is going through the paperwork process for approval for use.

 

5.                  Report on meeting between County and Seaside staff on cemetery issues: Kristina Richardi (RMA) reported that City of Seaside and County of Monterey staff met on August 7 to discuss issues related to the Veterans’ Cemetery.  Seaside recognized the importance of achieving the accelerated schedule for the construction of the cemetery and the role of the endowment parcel in the process.  Issues of the need for and availability of water, depending on the endowment fund parcel disposition, for the project.  Another meeting, which will include representatives from FORA, is scheduled for August 29.  A meeting with representatives from the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA), to discuss the Cemetery Grant application process, is scheduled for the morning of September 11.  A press release announcing the completion of the Cemetery Master Plan has been prepared and will go out when the Plan is accepted by the CAC.  (Mr. Stewart): The County and the City of Seaside are meeting with CDVA to discuss the grant application process?  (Ms Richardi);  Seaside and the County are meeting, first, to address any outstanding issues relating to the Master Plan and the “development “ parcel.  The County and CDVA will meet later to discuss the possible grant process alternatives.  (Mr Stewart); Importance means different things to different people.  Seaside needs to understand that it is very important to the veteran community that the endowment parcel be sold and that the cemetery gets built.  Something needs to happen and happen soon.  I am very concerned about this.  A 8/1 amendment to CAC comments on the ESCA plan calls for the “endowment parcel” be cleaned only to commercial, not residential, standards.  (Ms Mettee-McCutchon):  From what we have been told by the contactors, cleaning the property to residential standard will not delay the process.  Using it as residential property will delay things as that kind of development process takes longer.  Because it does no appear that the sale of the land will take place in time, other means of providing the guarantees the State needs to proceed with the grant process are being explored.  (Ms Richardi) if the State is satisfied with the promise of funding, will that be acceptable in terms of the federal grant process?  (Mr. Jorgensen): As I understand the law (AB 1335), the State has to actually have the funds in order to apply for the grant.  For the State to accept a promise based on a future sale of the land would probably require a change in the law.  (Mr. Evans): Is there a connection between the water needed for the endowment parcel and the water needed for the cemetery?  (Mr. Bogan) That does not seem to be a problem at this time.  (Mr. Channell):  Am I correct in my understanding that the endowment parcel will generate enough revenue to keep the State happy?  (Ms Mettee-McCutchon):  More than enough.  (Mr. Stewart): It is important that the Central Coast Veterans’ Cemetery Foundation be involved play a prominent role in the fund raising efforts and publicity concern fund raising.  I also want to thank Edith Johnsen and Gordon Nakagowa for the support and assistance they have provided as part of the Special Actions subcommittee.

 

6.                  Report on request for M-47 tanks for display at veterans’ memorial building/museum site or cemetery.  Mr. Stewart): I am still awaiting a response from the individual the Chair told me to contact.

 

7.                  Master Plan report from RHAA: Report deferred to 9/11/08 meeting so that issues raised in comments regarding the Master Plan may be addressed.

 

8.                  Discussion of next steps and future actions.  (Mr. Bogan): Much of this was covered in the earlier discussion.  A lot hinges on the outcome of the meetings of August 29 and September 11.  We should have a much clearer picture of what we need to do after those meetings.  (Mr. Garza): The Master Plan has been the focus of this group.  With that phase of the process nearing completion it is important the Committee members start thinking about what the continuing role of the CAC will be.

 

9.                  Meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm.  Next meeting September 11, 2008.

         

Respectfully submitted by Richard F. Garza, Secretary, ex officio.