Veterans' Affairs Commission - April 11, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
April 11, 2017 - 6:00pm

City and County of San Francisco
Mailing Address: S.F. Veterans Affairs Commission
City Hall, 1 Goodlett Place, Room 051
San Francisco, CA 94102
April 11, 2017 SFVAC Meeting Minutes

Meeting called to order at 6:00.

Roll call: Present: Ann Weeby, Bill Barnickel, David Chasteen, Deborah Dacumos, Dottie Guy, Dwane Kennedy, Jeff Marshall, Kelsey Campbell, Kevin Miller, Kim Flaherty, Mike Maffei, Raymond Wong, Scott Joiner, Stephen Noetzel, Victor Olivieri

Motion to accept the April agenda was made by VP Kennedy, seconded by Commissioner Joiner. The agenda was accepted with one amendment by all present Commissioners.

Motion to accept minutes made by Commissioner Barnickel, second by Commissioner Dacumous. The minutes were accepted by all present Commissioners.

Public Comment: Rudy Asercion, commander of the American Legion Bataan Post 600, spoke about Spanish American War and WWII military artifacts used during the two wars in the Philippines need a permanent display area in the Veterans Building. Would like the Commissions help preserve the memories of those Veterans.

Commissioner Miller gave an update a Veterans Healthcare event happening on April 13th. Sen. Nancy Pelosi will be attending.

Jeff Scott of Sen. Wiener’s office attended to offer the Senator’s assistance with matters that affect Veterans in his district.

Gil Sandborn, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army-California, introduced us to Captain Rosette Clarke Morton and 1SG Stacy McCall from the South Bay Recruiting. They would like to find volunteer opportunities to connect to the community.

Officer’s Report:
President: met with courtroom deputy for the Veterans Court judge. They are instituting a new policy: they would like to provide a mentor to they program. The mentor is there to help the defendant reintegrate to society.

Vice President: yielded his time to Commissioner Wong. He discussed H.R. 105, Protect Veterans from Financial Fraud Act of 2017.
The VFW supports this legislation, which would authorize veterans assigned fiduciaries to be compensated when fiduciaries mishandle or misuse their money. This is a common sense bill to protect some of our most vulnerable veterans. Veterans assigned a fiduciary need help and financial protection, and any individual who mistreats or preys upon them must be held accountable, and restitution must be made to those affected. To further protect vulnerable veterans, the VFW supports expanding this legislation to install criminal and financial penalties for those found to maliciously prey on veterans for any financial gain, not just fiduciary fraud. Abusing the health and financial welfare of veterans in need must be punishable by law. There have been numerous attempts to draft legislation instituting criminal penalties for those who illegally charge veterans for services like assistance in filing an initial claim for VA benefits, but those attempts to pass legislation have fallen flat. The VFW supports legislation that protects all veterans from any individual who commits financial malfeasance, sets substantial penalties for doing so, and ensures veterans receive any owed compensation as a result of the crime.

Secretary: All documents were posted on time, the website has been updated, and waiting for business cards.

Old Business:
Veterans homelessness: tabled to allow for reading Commissioner Olivieri’s notes.

Speaker series with Gil Sandborn: Gil is reaching out to local stakeholders. He would like to do live call ins from Iraq and Afghanistan. If we have any orgs that would like to hear

New Business:
Stand Down: Commissioner Barnickel spoke about a stand down in Sonoma County.

SF Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Report: the VA is looking to broaden the relationship with the community. He provided a deck (ask for it). He would like our assistance in marketing the VA and will speak to us at a later meeting about access. One of the greatest difficulties are in hiring mental health positions; mainly due to salaries. Nationally, it is a major problem. There is also an issue of student loan debt and working for the VA is not conducive to living in SF and paying off loans.

Marines United: Commissioner Olivieri presented a resolution to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors denouncing Marines United and former Commissioner Jordan Towers. We will review this in May and it will be an action item.

Resources on the SFVAC website: Commissioner Weeby suggested we use an already created database with a disclaimer.

After directing Commissioners to the announcements and the Honors’ Report, the meeting adjourned at 7:11.