MINUTES OF THE FORT ORD VETERAN’S
CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Veterans Transition Center
220 12th Street, Marina
Thursday, February 12, 2009
1:00 – 3:00 PM
1. Chair James Bogan called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm and recognized that 4th District Supervisor Jane Parker was in attendance.
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), Jack Stewart (United Veterans Council).
Ex officio – Stephen Jorgensen (California Department of Veterans Affairs), Eddie Pedrozo (Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission), Janet Parks (Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation), Bruce Evans (Ft. Ord Retiree Council) Edith Johnsen, (Veterans’ Families), Tom Mancini (Ft. Ord Reuse Authority), Barbara Nelson (City of Seaside), Julian Chacon (representing Representative Sam Farr ), Amy Treadwell (representing Assembly member Monning)
Absent – Abel Quinones (United Veterans Council) (excused)
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 January 8, 2009 meeting. Motion carried
4. Jim. Cook gave an update on the status of the MOU/MOA between the County of Monterey and the City of Seaside. County, Seaside and FOR A staff have met and verbally agreed to a set of principles for the MOU. These have been put in writing by County staff and sent to Seaside staff for review and comment. No response has been received. A staff recommendation on the 2/13/2009 FORA Board agenda commits FORA to waive any fees it would normally be due relating to the sale of the cemetery “development parcel”. Also recommended is the use of the funds not expended on development of the cemetery master plan be used by the City of Seaside for the to pay put together a development solicitation package needed to seek a developer for the endowment fund parcel.
5. Report on the results of a conference call between Redevelopment Agency and California Department of Veterans Affairs staff: Mr. Jorgensen reported that, because of the requirements of the State budget development cycle and the lack of current funding of the cemetery endowment fund, it was not possible to put the State Veterans’ Cemetery grant proposal in the 2009-2010 State budget. Based upon discussions between CDVA and USDVA, even though the proposed cemetery would be a “priority 2” project for VA, because it would not be reliant on State funding, an application for a grant for a Central Coast State Veterans’ Cemetery would most likely be approved the same year it was received. Assuming the endowment is funded by February 2010, this means that groundbreaking for the cemetery would not begin until 2012. Question (Mr. Pedrozo): Does not applying this year raise the possibility that federal funds would not be available for a State cemetery grant. (Mr. Jorgensen): The grant program was funded for $45 million this year and $50 million is proposed for 2010. It is not expected that that amount would decline in 2011. Even at priority 2, the funds should be available one application is made. Question (Mr. Channell): Where does the money to pay for the final State cemetery development plan come from, the State or the VA grant? (Mr. Jorgensen/Mr. Mancini/ Mr. Cook): It is initially paid by the State and, once the grant is approved, reimbursed as part of the grant. Question (Mr. Stewart/Ila Mettee-McCutchon): How long will the development solicitation and land sale process take? (Ms. Nelson/Mr. Cook) It is being moved as quickly as possible. The draft MOU specifies that the land sale take place within 12 months. The development solicitation/development process should take four to six months.
6. Update on the activities of the Central Coast Veterans’ Cemetery Foundation activities. (Ms Parks): The Foundation Board met yesterday (2/11). A draft expenditure budget has bee developed. Revenues have not yet been estimated because of uncertainties in various aspects of funding. VFW in King City has requested a presentation regarding the cemetery. Mr. Stewart will make the presentation. (Mr. Channell) Based upon a recent article in the Herald there seems to be some confusion about the role of CCVCF in the fund raising process. (Ms Parks/Mr. Bogan): CCVCF was not contacted by the author of the article and it contained inaccuracies by the author. Steps are being taken to make sure the correct information is publicized and disseminated.
7. Report on the Fund Raising Liaison subcommittee meeting of 1/28/2009. (Ms Johnsen): The website and brochures have been updated. The direct mail fundraising effort was very successful. The subcommittee’s role is advisory, not direct, in regard to fundraising efforts and it has been providing advice and guidance to the CCVCF. (Mr. Aguillon): Has anyone thought of putting together a history of the efforts to get the veterans’ cemetery established for publication? (Ms. Johnsen): That is a good idea. (Mr. Bogan): This is the kind of idea that should be taken to the PR committee, Eddie Pedrozo, Jack Stewart and Gordon Nakagawa, so that our publicity can be coordinated and consistent. At Mr. Stewart’s suggestion, the Chair appointed Ila Mettee-McCutchon to the Public Information/Media Relations Committee.
8. Poll of members of the CAC regarding their willingness to participate in fund raising events. (E.g. Manning tables at the Monterey County Fair or similar community events.) (Mr. Channell): Can we participate in funding rising while acting in our roles as members of this committee. (Mr. Bogan): Possibly not. But we are all members of veterans and community organizations and can participate in fund raising in ways that are not directly related to this committee. (Mr. Villar): There is no prohibition against fund raising. I am a member if a committee that is part of a County appointed Commission. That committee’s purpose is to raise funds. Many County commissions have fund raising sub-components. It is legal and permissible. (Mr. Garza): This item was placed on the agenda at the request of the Funding Liaison Subcommittee. Because of recent problems with getting accurate information to the public it is important that when community fund raising efforts are made that someone knowledgeable about the cemetery project be available to answer questions. The most knowledgeable people in the community, on this subject, are the members of this Committee. It is important that they participate in order to make sure accurate information is communicated. It is not necessary that it be done as members of this Committee. (Ms Mettee-McCutchon): Yes, CAC members can always act in that capacity as volunteers.
9. Meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm. Next meeting March 12, 2009, at the Community Meeting Room at the Marina Library.
Respectfully submitted by Richard F. Garza, Secretary, ex officio.