MINUTES OF THE FORT ORD VETERAN’S
CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Marina Library Community Meeting Room
190 Seaside Circle, Marina
Thursday, April 9, 2009
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), Bill Nye (District 5), Abel Quinones (United Veterans Council), Jack Stewart (United Veterans Council).
Ex officio – Stephen Jorgensen (California Department of Veterans Affairs), Eddie Pedrozo (Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission), Bruce Evans (Ft. Ord Retiree Council) Edith Johnsen, (Veterans’ Families), Tom Mancini (Ft. Ord Reuse Authority), Janet Parks (Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation), Barbara Nelson (City of Seaside)
Absent – Leonard Ortiz (District 3), Julian Chacon (representing Representative Sam Farr) (excused), Amy Treadwell (representing Assemblymember Bill Monning)
No replacement for Rito Guerra has been named by Senator Maldonado.
2. Public Comment – Norm Channell, outgoing 5th District representative, recapped his experience with the cemetery project and the CAC and thanked the County, FORA, Representative Farr and Assemblymember Laird for their efforts in keeping the process of making a central coast veterans’ cemetery a reality.
3. Motion (Mr. Villar) and second to approve the minutes as mailed. Mr. Nye noted that Julian Chacon was in attendance. Motion carried to approve minutes as amended.
4. Jim Cook (RDA) presented a “schedule of performance” in veterans’ cemetery MOU. MOU is scheduled for approval by the Board of Supervisors on 4/21/2009. He noted that the project, as shown in the MOU timeline, is slightly behind schedule but that, once both Seaside and the County have approved it, it should be possible to make up the lost time. (Mr. Stewart): Wouldn’t sale of the property and funding of the endowment by June 1, 2010 mean that the funds would not be received in time for it to be included in the 2011 State budget? (Mr. Jorgensen): It would seem to. (Mr. Stewart): Then the schedule in the MOU puts the project back another year.
5. Mr. Jorgensen presented a report from the State on status of federal cemetery grant application. USDVA has responded to the pre-application with a letter stating that the proposed central coast cemetery pre-application meets federal requirements and the project has been assigned an federal application number. The application will be considered for 2010. (Mr. Garza): To try to clarify Mr. Stewart’s earlier question, the schedule calls for the endowment parcel to e sold by June 2010. Doesn’t the funding for the endowment need to be in place by February 2010 in order for the project to be included in the 2011 State budget? (Mr. Jorgensen): Yes. (Mr. Cook): There are parallel efforts underway to try and come up with alternatives ways of funding the State’s cemetery design costs in time for them to be included in the FY 2010-2011 budget.
6. Barbara Nelson reported that the MOU is on the agenda of the Seaside City Council for April 15 and that the Seaside Planning Department will begin the process to find a developer for the endowment parcel once the MOU is approved. (Mr. Nye): Why was the item not heard by the Seaside City Council when it was scheduled earlier? (Mr. Mancini): I checked with the City Attorney and he informed me that the legal review had not been completed in time for earlier action by the City Council. (Mr. Stewart): What is the State’s “drop dead” date for the funding of the endowment? (Mr. Jorgensen): I cannot give you a definitive answer to that for the Department of Veterans Affairs. (Ila Mettee-McCutchon): We need to rely on Mr. Jorgensen, Mr. Garza and Congressman Farr’s staff to keep us informed of any action needed at the legislative level.
7. Edith Johnsen reported on the activities of Fund Raising Liaison subcommittee. The subcommittee has met twice since the last CAC meeting and is scheduled to meet again on April 16 at the Veterans Transition Center. Two letters are ready to go out; one to solicit corporate contributions and the other to help develop a mailing list of individuals. A targeted fund raising drive is scheduled for May, to coincide with Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. (Ms Parks): The Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation has hired Candace Ingram as its Executive Director to manage/coordinate fund raising activities. (Ms Ingram): The Foundation will be using a plan developed by Eddie Pedrozo for the scheduling of its fundraising efforts. The Foundation needs assistance in identifying possible corporate sponsors as well as in developing mailing lists of individuals. Mr. Pedrozo provided details of fund raising strategies that could be used in efforts to fund the Foundation’s cemetery projects. (Mr. Aguillon): We need to take advantage of community events, like the Artichoke Festival in Castroville, to help educate the public about the cemetery. (Mr. Nye): This is a regional project and we need participation of Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Is there a way to get representatives from those counties on the CAC? (Mr. Villar, Mr. Stewart): Various efforts have been made to involve the veterans’ community in other counties in this process. They have been invited to CAC meetings but, for the most part, they have declined to attend and participate. (Mr. Nye): I was more thinking in terms of involving the Boards of Supervisors of those counties. (Mr. Garza): The County of Monterey has the authority to appoint anyone it sees fit to the CAC. The problem is getting the other County Boards to identify who to appoint. They will not just create a slot without knowing who is going to fill it. (Mr. Bogan): An item will be placed on the agenda for the next meeting that each CAC member come back with ideas to enhance/expand the role of this committee.
8. Report from Congressman Farr’s office on Federal initiatives was deferred due to the absence of Mr. Chacon.
9. Meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm. Next meeting: May 14, 2009, 1:00 pm, at Marina Library Community Meeting Room, 190 Seaside Circle, Marina.
Respectfully submitted by Richard F. Garza, Secretary, ex officio.