MINUTES OF THE FORT ORD VETERAN’S
CEMETERY CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Marina Library Community Meeting Room
190 Seaside Circle, Marina
Thursday, October 8, 2009
1:00 – 3:00 PM
1. Chair James Bogan called the meeting to order at 3:00 pm.
A roll call of members was conducted.
Present – Ralph Villar (District 1), James Bogan (District 4), 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), Bruce Evans (Ft. Ord Retiree Council), Barbara Nelson (City of Seaside), Edith Johnsen, (Veterans’ Families) Julian Chacon (representing Representative Sam Farr), An McDowell (representing Assemblymember Bill Monning)
Absent – Frank Aguillon (District 2), Leonard Ortiz (District 3), Bill Nye (District 5), Abel Quinones (United Veterans Council)
Vacant – Senator Abel Maldonado, Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs Commission
A quorum of voting members was not present. Meeting conducted for informational purposes only
2. Public Comment: None
3. Minutes not approved due to lack of a quorum.
4. Richard Garza summarized the efforts to get a Central Coast Veterans Cemetery established to date.
5. Reporting on the status of the cemetery “endowment” parcel, Barbara Nelson advised that the City of Seaside is regrouping in light of the economy. Seaside, the County and FORA will be meeting to discuss what to do next. An unsolicited offer for the parcel has been received and is scheduled as a closed session item for the Seaside City Council at a future meeting. Question (Greg Nakanishi): How was the marketing for bids for the endowment parcel done? (Ms Nelson): Through an RFP process using a consultant. Over 100 solicitations for bids went out.
6. Jim Cook reported on a meeting held with staff from local legislator’s offices. A draft legislative proposal to amend the State Military & Veterans Code to liberalize required endowment funding requirements is being reviewed. There is a need for broadly based support to establish efforts to increase the VA burial reimbursement rate. (Julian Chacon): Rep. Farr’s Washington D.C. staff are laying the groundwork for a reimbursement increase. (An McDowell): Assemblymember Monning’s staff is looking at amending AB 3035 (veterans’ cemetery endowment fund authorization) to allow for development of the cemetery in phases. Also under review are possible means to come up with funding solely for the design of the cemetery, an expenditure which would be reimbursed as part of the federal cemetery grant. Questions: (Mr. Stewart): Would a revenue bond (for the design funding) need to go on the ballot? (Mr. Cook): There are various ways to go about it. (Mr. Mancini): Does redevelopment law allow for internal borrowing? (Mr. Cook): Yes, if the loan is for a capital project. However, redevelopment funding is drying up. (Ms McDowell): Private fundraising is still necessary.
7. Jonathan Garcia (FORA) reported that FORA is requesting a $400,000 grant for development in infrastructure in the area of the cemetery parcel. $280,000 of the grant would be fore road and sewer improvement and construction. The remainder would be used to help further the cemetery project.
8. Edith Johnson reported that a presentation about the cemetery project will be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars District meeting in Seaside on October 18th. Mr. Stewart reported that the golf tournament fundraiser was still a work in process. Mr. Villar announced that the VFW Commander is scheduled to visit the cemetery site on October 17th and that CAC representation was needed there.
9. Jim Cook reported that, according to FORA there is property available that can be used to erect a sign or other appropriate “marker” designating the site of the proposed cemetery. Chair Bogan appointed himself, Mr. Villar and Mr. Garza to a subcommittee to pick a site. Once the subcommittee identifies a site, Mr. Garza was assigned to coordinate with FORA on the use of the location. Mr. Villar reported that radio station KLOV wants to do a broadcast interview about the cemetery project.
10. Meeting adjourned at 2:30 pm. Next meeting: November 12, 2009, Marina Library, Community Room.
Respectfully submitted by Richard F. Garza, Secretary, ex officio.