Veterans' Affairs Commission - September 12, 2017 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
September 12, 2017 - 6:00pm

City and County of San Francisco
Mailing Address: S.F. Veterans Affairs Commission
City Hall, 1 Goodlett Place, Room
San Francisco, CA 94102
Sep 12, 2017 SFVAC Meeting Minutes
President Michael Maffei, Presiding


Call to Order: 
The September 12th, General Meeting (of the SFVAC) was called to order (in City Hall Hearing Room #416) by President M. Maffei at 1800 hours. Meeting started with the traditional Pledge of Allegiance. 

Roll Call: 
In Attendance for the Meeting: (12) Commissioners: Barnickel, Chasteen, Flaherty, Guy, Joiner, Marshall, Miller, Noetzel, Olivieri, Weeby, and Wong.
Absent: All Excused: Commissioners: Dacumos, Kennedy, Maffei, Campbell
There was no City Attorney present at the meeting.

Note: Commission strength currently at 15 members, with one Mayoral Appointed, and one VAC Appointed Vacancy. 

Approval of AGENDA: 
Motion was made by Comm. Maffei (2nd Comm. Kennedy/ Campbell) to accept Agenda as submitted. Vote to Accept Agenda was unanimously approved. 

Review of Minutes of Previous VAC meeting
Motion to Approve draft of Minutes for VAC meeting of June 13, 2017 was made by Comm. Kennedy (sec by Chasteen). Spelling error asked to be corrected (Barnickel). Also, Comm. Campbell was not present. MINUTES were APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY. 

Motion to Approve draft of Minutes for VAC meeting of August 8, 2017 was made by Comm. Kennedy (sec by unidentified). Spelling error asked to be corrected (two amendments to correct three names). Noetzel prepared minutes for Comm. Kennedy. MINUTES were APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY. 

Agenda item 1 – Call for PUBLIC COMMENT: 
No Public Comment was offered. 

Agenda item 2 - Officers Reports

A. President’s Report: Two things: Thanks to Commissioner Wong. Also put out a reminder for Mayoral salute to Veteran’s Parade on 11.12.17 (be sure to notify your networks). Location: Fishermans Wharf @ 11am. More formal description next month. Thanks to Steve for updating the bylaws.
B. Vice Presidents Report: No Report.
C. Secretary’s Report; Comm. Kennedy report that we’ve met the Brown Act responsibilities. 

Agenda Item 3. OLD Business – 

A. Commissioner Barnickle reports on Veterans Jobs Fair – SF City College on Tuesday Sept 19th-1:00-3:00 Rm MUB 14.

B. Also provided guidance at City College on 9.19 @ 1300 - 1500. Was also invited by chamber of commerce to a “hiring our hero’s event.” Great turn out. Full capacity @ City College. May job fair also went well for the Marine Corps. Barnickle also provided a stellar martial arts display to our service members. 

Agenda Item 4. NEW Business – 

A. Presentation by Gerard Choucroun, Director, Veterans Programs at the Presidio Trust. Mr. Choucroun has a new job @ Presidio Trust (veterans program of the Presidio): Goal is to use presidio towards the benefit of veterans living in SF. Another portion of the program is to bring civilians to the presidio to share its rich history. Ensure there is a dialogue between the civilian community and the veteran community. Lot of work w/ veterans groups, students, UCSF, the VA and hopefully the VAC.

B. Commission Vote for Secretary

A. President Maffei calls for a nomination. Kennedy nominates commissioner Wyatt. Wyatt accepts.

B. Vote reflects: All vote in favor except Commissioner Oliveri, who abstains. No other candidate are nominated.

C. Continued Discussion of San Francisco Veterans Study, Commissioners Olivieri and Noetzel serve as leads.

A. Update from Oliveri & Noetzel: The revised version of the cover letter is approved by the Commission.

B. Commission is directed to schedule a meeting with District Supervisors in order to use the cover letter/ USC study as a conversation starter and to strengthen the relationship between the commission and it’s districts.

A. Salient conversation topic: Comm. Noetzel believes there is a major flaw in the study, indicating there is no mention of drug abuse. Noetzel doesn’t support the study from this perspective (the implication possible being the subject was purposely overlooked).

C. Motion passes unanimously to approve the cover letter and it’s distribution along with the USC report. 

Agenda Item 5. Veterans Related Legislation. – 
Commissioner Wong presented updates on Veterans Legislation: New GI Bill (forever). Removes the restriction that causes veterans to have to expend GI Bill benefits within a frame of time. Also put out info on the VA appeals process: Veterans now have the additional option to escalate appeal claims to a higher level within the RO.

Commissioner Wong also provided the following web-links:

A VFW article regarding the new amendment to GI Bill.
A VFW article regarding the updated appeals process.
Commissioner Campbell updates the Commission on transgender issues in the military. 

Agenda Item 6. Announcements – 
President Maffei announces the 2017 National Day of Korea – Honoring the Korean War Veterans, Friday, September 29, 2017, 11:00am, Grand Ballroom, Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, see enclosed flyer for full details.

The chair of the war memorial commission made a couple of statements and provided updates regarding the space expansion in the Veterans Building 6900 sq ft. on the 3rd floor. Made announcements about upcoming documentaries. Also spoke with the privatization of the VA healthcare system. Left information about the VA health system 

Agenda Item 7. Honors Report and Moment of Silence: 
In memory of American Armed Service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars and conflicts, plus the passing of homeless veterans and veterans who died while waiting approval of benefits requests and suicides within the veterans and armed services community. 

Agenda Item 8. ADJOURNMENT (At 6:45pm) 
Minutes of the 9.12.2017 VAC Meeting written by Tristan Wyatt