MINUTES OF THE FORT ORD VETERAN’S
CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Marina Library Community Meeting Room
190 Seaside Circle, Marina
Thursday October 9, 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), James Bogan (District 4), Ralph “Norm” Channell (District 5), 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)
Absent – Leonard Ortiz (District 3), Abel Quinones (United Veterans Council), Barbara Nelson (City of Seaside), Julian Chacon (representing Representative Sam Farr), Colleen Freeman (representing Assemblymember John Laird). No replacement for Rito Guerra has been named by Senator Maldonado.
2 Public Comment – None
3. Motion (Mr. Villar) and second to approve the minutes of the August 14, 2008 minutes as mailed. Motion carried. Tom Griffin (MVAO) reported that County Military and Veterans Affairs Officer, Richard Garza, asked if the CAC would like the recording of the meetings posted on the MVAO website. Motion (Mr. Stewart) and second that the recording be included with the written minutes.
4. Approval of minutes of September 11, 2008 meeting.
5. Jim Cook (RMA) reported on the presentation of the draft Veterans’ Cemetery Master Pan to the Seaside City Council on September 18, 2008. He stated that the presentation was “very well” received. There was a follow up meeting with Ray Corpuz, Seaside City Manager, on October 8. Mr. Corpuz was supportive of developing a MOU between the City of Seaside and the County of Monterey to move both the cemetery and endowment fund parcel processes forward. Mr. Bogan concurred with Mr. Cook and explained that the issue with Seaside was allowing the City to go through its process. Supervisor Ila Mettee-McCutchon stated that she would like to see the presentation be made to the Marina and Seaside City Councils. Mr Stewart observed that the meeting was very productive with pointed, but appropriate questions from the members of the City Coucil. He also thanked Tom Mancini and Supervisor Mettee-McCutchon for their efforts in assisting the process and removing barriers. Question (Mr. Channell): Did Seaside’s commitment include anything in writing about coming up with the money for the endowment? Mr. Cook: That would be part of the MOU between the City and the County. Supervisor Mettee-McCutchon: It is not just Seaside. The endowment parcel land belongs to both jurisdictions. It was made clear that funding needs to be in place by 7/1/09. Mr. Mancini: When the land was set aside for the cemetery it was done with the understanding that any proceeds from the sale of any of the cemetery parcel, both Seaside’s and FORA’s share, would go toward the cemetery.
6. Kristina Richardi (RMA) reported that the cemetery master plan will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, October 23 at 1:30 pm. The presentation will include the recommendation that the Board recommend to the State that the plan be used in the National Cemetery Grant pre-application process. The Board will also be asked to give direction to staff to continue with the development of an MOU with the City of Seaside regarding the “endowment” parcel. Mr. Stewart strongly encouraged all those present to attend the presentation to the Board. Mr. Cook noted that the Board is in support of the cemetery project but it was important that people attend so that the press can get an idea of the amount of support for the project. Ms Richardi: The CAC bylaws change, adding an ex-officio member representing families of veterans to the CAC, will be on the consent calendar for the same Board meeting. Mr. Stewart complimented RMA staff on the presentation to the City of Seaside and stated the expectation that he anticipated another such effort before the Board. Question (Mr. Channell): Is it a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and will it be ready for the Board for the presentation on the 21st? Mr. Cook: It is a MOA and, no, we need the Board to direst that we development an agreement to be approved by both the City and the County. We plan to have the MOA ready by the end of November.
7. Jonathan Garcia (FORA) provided an update on the ESCA (cleanup) process at Ft. Ord. There will be a Community Workshop on October 29 form 6:30 to 10:00 pm at the FORA conference facility to learn details of cleanup efforts on the former Ft. Ord this Fall.
8. Discussion of strategies to determine next steps for and future actions by the CAC. Mr. Stewart reported on the recommendations of the Monterey County United Veterans Council (UVC) which were that the CAC take an oversight role in the cemetery construction process and thereafter be an advisory committee on financing for the ancillary projects around the cemetery. The CAC would also take an active role in the fundraising process. The UVC recommends that the CAC continue to remain involved in the entire process. Mr. Channell: The CAC needs to broaden out into adjacent counties for support of the ancillary structures. Mr. Bogan proposed that presentations, such as the one done for the City of Seaside be made to Marina, Monterey and Del Rey Oaks. We need to make contact again with Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Benito counties. Mr. Channell suggested that the presentations be deferred until after the November election. Mr. Bogan: Why wait? Gordon Nakagawa: Would it be possible to invite representatives from other jurisdictions to the next CAC meeting? Mr. Bogan: Yes that can be done. They are aware of this effort, however. Mr. Nakagawa: We have all experienced the difference between awareness and participation. Mr. Bogan: We cannot make people participate. They are all adults. Only the Mayors’ Association asked us to make a presentation. Ms Parks: Mr. Garza could invite Santa Cruz County to participate through its Veterans Service Officer. Mr. Stewart: Mr. Garza reported at the last UVC meeting that Santa Cruz is invited to all the CAC meetings but that they have not attended since the first CAC meeting. Mr. Jorgegsen: There is a similar problem with the counties adjoining the Northern California Veterans’ Cemetery in Shasta County. Supervisor Mettee-McCutchon: I will make efforts to encourage my counterparts in the area to participate. Joe Kleinsmith: I am spreading information form these meetings in Santa Cruz. Mr. Aguillon: In the past I have encountered resistance to involvement form other areas because the cemetery will be located in Monterey. Mr. Bogan: We will go anywhere to make a presentation about the cemetery.
Mr. Channell asked a question about the use of the “habitat” parcel. Mr. Cook: How the land, other than the cemetery itself, is used will be determined by the body having jurisdiction over that portion.
10. Meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm. Next meeting November 13, 2008.
Respectfully submitted by Richard F. Garza, Secretary, ex officio.