MINUTES OF THE FORT ORD VETERAN’S
CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Marina Library Community Meeting Room
190 Seaside Circle, Marina
Thursday, July 9, 2009
1:00 – 3:00 PM
1. Chair James Bogan called the meeting to order at 1:05 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), Bill Nye (District 5), Abel Quinones (United Veterans Council), Jack Stewart (United Veterans Council)
Ex officio – Stephen Jorgensen (California Department of Veterans Affairs), Tom Mancini (Ft. Ord Reuse Authority), Janet Parks (Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation), Barbara Nelson (City of Seaside), Edith Johnsen, (Veterans’ Families) Julian Chacon (representing Representative Sam Farr),
Absent – Bruce Evans (Ft. Ord Retiree Council) (excused), An McDowell (representing Assemblymember Bill Monning) (excused)
No replacement for Rito Guerra has been named by Senator Maldonado.
Eddie Pedrozo (Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs Advisory Commission) has resigned and no replacement has been named.
2. Public Comment: None
3. Approval of Minutes: Motion (Mr. Nye) and second to approve the minutes of the CAC meetings of June 11, 2009 (as amended). Motion carried. Item #7 in the July 9 agenda was corrected to read November 11, 2010, not 2009.
4. Reporting on the status of the endowment parcel Barbara Nelson advised that the RFPs were due back July 29 and that about a dozen potential bidders attended a July 1, 2009 informational meeting regarding the RFP.
5. Edith Johnsen reported that the Fund Raising Liaison Sub-committee has now lost two members, Ila Mettee-McCutchon and Eddie Pedrozo. Ms. Johnsen reported that a new Working Group had been created, under the auspices of the Central Coast Veterans’ Cemetery Foundation (CCVCF), with a liaison to the CAC, to consult with and advise the Foundation on fundraising efforts. As a consequence, Ms Johnsen recommended that the Subcommittee be dissolved as it was now redundant, but that she was willing to serve as liaison to the new working group. Mr. Bogan declined to dissolve the Subcommittee. Instead he declared it inactive. He expressed the opinion that it would be faster to revive to Subcommittee, should it be needed in the future, than to wait for the CAC to vote on reestablishing a similar group. Ms Johnnsen also reported on plans to expand the CCVCF Board to include members for the surrounding counties. Janet Parks announced that the CCVCF Board voted to appoint a full time Executive Director to direct the Foundation’s activities. The CCVCF Board also voted to expand the Board by two additional members from Monterey County and one each from Santa Cruz, San Benito, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara counties. Ms Parks discussed the difficulties in getting participation in the cemetery project from the adjoining counties. She also announced that Ralph Villar was in the process of scheduling radio and television interviews to help publicize the cemetery project efforts. Mr. Villar provided some specifics on efforts to schedule both appearances and persons to be interviewed. He also stressed the importance of preparing for interviews in advance. Mr. Mancini asked if any contact had been made with Access Monterey Peninsula (AMP) as a possible outlet for information. Mr. Villar stated that he just started making contacts with the media outlets. Mr. Bogan directed that all media contact on behalf of the CAC be coordinated through Mr. Villar.
Stephen Jorgensen distributed a 6/22 report from the State showing that, because of changes in the economy and interest rates, the total needed to adequately fund the Endowment Fund is now $4.3 million, plus $800,000 for development costs. He also noted that if federal reimbursement to State cemeteries was increased from $300.00 to $600.00 per veteran, it would, virtually eliminate the need for the endowment fund. Julian Chacon reported that currently there is no legislation under consideration to increase the burial reimbursement, but that Representative Farr was willing to support its passage in the next Congress. Mr. Mancini commented on the impact this change will have on the City of Seaside’s efforts to sell the development parcel. Candace Ingram commented that no matter how much is raised through the sale of the endowment parcel, it simply means the effort is that much closer to what ever the ultimate funding goal turns out to be. Jim Cook remarked that efforts need to be made at the staff and State and federal legislative levels to find solutions to any obstacles to completing the cemetery project. Jack Stewart suggested that Rep. Farr be approached about the cemetery being considered for funding as a federal stimulus project.
6. Discussion of the future role of the CAC and what is actions are needed to facilitate that role was tabled until the next meeting pending reports on potential federal and State legislative remedies to the new funding challenge.
7. Motion (Ms Johnsen) and second to reschedule the November, 2010 meeting from the 11th (Veterans Day holiday), to November 4. Motion carried.
8. Meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm. Next meeting: August 13th, 2009, 1:00 pm, at Marina Library Community Meeting Room, 190 Seaside Circle, Marina.
Respectfully submitted by Richard F. Garza, Secretary, ex officio.