Veterans' Affairs Commission - March 14, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
March 14, 2017 - 6:00pm
1 Goodlett Place, Room 051
San Francisco, CA 94102

City and County of San Francisco
Mailing Address: S.F. Veterans Affairs Commission
City Hall, 1 Goodlett Place, Room 051
San Francisco, CA 94102
March 14, 2017 SFVAC Meeting Minutes


The meeting was called to order at 6:02pm

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

Absent: Commissioner Jenkins (excused)

Motion to accept the March agenda was made by Commissioner Olivieri and seconded by Commissioner Marshall. The motion was passed with all present Commissioners.

Motion to accept the February minutes was made by Vice President Kennedy and seconded by Commissioner Flaherty. The minutes were passed with amendments by all present Commissioners with the exception of Commissioner Joiner, who abstained.


Public Comment:

Eddie Ramirez (Former Commissioner, Retired Air Force) announces the 6th Annual Veterans Film Festival in December. He would also like to create a welcome center at the Veterans Building on Van Ness to make it a one stop shop with VA enrollment and wellness

  • Commissioner Noetzel noted that a Wellness Center was a project that was previously mentioned, but fell by the wayside when Commissioner Critchlow left the commission.
  • There are currently wellness programs available at the Veterans Memorial Building.


Officer's Report:

President Maffei gave his report time to Commissioner Barnickel who announced Vet Connect in Santa Rosa (September 11-14).

No report from Vice President Kennedy.

Secretary Guy announced that the minutes and agenda were distributed on time and business cards have been ordered. Also, announced appointment to the VA Advisory Committee on Homelessness.


No Old Business.

New Business:

San Francisco Speaker Series:

Commissioner Olivieri has worked with Gil Sandborn (Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army-California) to work on San Francisco Speaker Series. Would like to create a place where speakers can discuss matters of national security and the military to bring the war to the living rooms of all Americans. Has arranged for speakers in So Cal and would like them to appear in the Bay Area soon.
Arranged to have a video call in from Iraq for an event.
Has no budget; is designed to create awareness on Veterans and National Security
He wants to talk about broad issues in the Middle East
Would like the commission's support in name...not really financially


Marines United:

Commissioner Guy gave background on the statement re: Marines United. A former Commissioner made disparaging comments and the Commission was informed of his behavior via email. The former Commissioner is still listed in their personal LinkedIn account as a current member.

Commissioner Olivieri said that this issue is a great reason for us to have a dedicated SFVAC email address. Commissioner Campbell said that many of the Marines involved claimed 1st amendment rights, when it is showing that it has gone to a level of direct threats, which is not protected speech.

Olivieri would like the Marines United letter to be sent to the Board of Supervisors. He will work with Sec. Guy to work on a letter for the board and present it in an action item in April.

Commissioner Weeby also thought it would be a good idea to partner Human Rights and the Status of Women to address larger intersectional issues.


Veterans Related Legislation:

Commissioner Wong reported on concurrent receipt of benefits (disability and retirement). Some Veterans are eligible, others aren't.

After the honors report, the meeting concluded at 6:56pm.