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210804 - Minutes, Veterans Advisory CommitteeMinutes from the Veteran’s Advisory Committee Meeting No. 8, August 4, 2021 Call to Order The meeting, at 100 West Washington Street, Suite 1301 (1st Floor), Hagerstown MD, started at 6:34 p.m. A quorum was present. The presiding officer was Chair Jake Demers. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. Members present or absent. Chair Jacob (Jake) Demers Vice Chair Starlene Hamilton William Ruland, Secretary Laura Lane-Unsworth—by phone Commissioner Jeff Cline Teresa Spruill—by phone Stephanie Pulver Victoria Sterling, Behavioral Health Rep. Matt Breeding Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (position currently vacant) Other attendees: none Agenda for the night Call to Order, Quorum call, Pledge of Allegiance President Jacob Demers presiding Reading and approval of the minutes of last meeting Old business 1. Korean Veteran Memorabilia Project—Commissioner Cline to report his discussions, if any, with Maryland First Lady Hogan and the other Commissioners. 2. Transit ID—Kevin Cerrone’s actions are complete. Agree to close issue? 3. Information on whether the Commission has acted on our nomination for a replacement on the VAC. 4. Continue the discussion on the need to reach out to local veterans’ organization, and if so, what approach to take. A letter was discussed last month as an option. 5. Matt Breeding started a discussion last month on the role of the VAC. This discussion is to continue. New business 1. Agenda for next meeting? Adjourn Approval of the minutes The minutes for the July 7, 2021, meeting was sent to the Committee prior to this meeting. A motion was made and seconded and the minutes were accepted by unanimous vote without modification. Old Business 1. Transit ID—Bill Ruland contacted Kevin Cerrone, who reported that the discount is fully operational for veterans. The VAC closed this item with no further actions. 2. Regarding outreach, Teresa reported that the Joint Veterans Committee meets quarterly. After some discussion, Teresa agreed to contact the committee before the next meeting. In addition, Teresa will look for any previous contact letters that we could use as a template for discussion at the next meeting. 3. Matt reported that he had contacted our newly appointed member, Dan Plotner, who was appointed yesterday by the County Commissioners, and suggested that the swearing in ceremony be conducted on Friday, August 6th, in front of the courthouse. Further discussion ensued about using the Washco Public Information Office (PIO) to contact the VAC secretary about a press release. [after the meeting, the VAC press release would be delayed until Veterans Day]. a. The VAC discussed the ethics of establishing a booth at the various fairs in the county and whether someone could donate the cost of the booth. Matt agreed to pursue this issue with the county attorney. b. Commissioner Cline suggested that he would put the VAC on the County Commissioners’ agenda to highlight the working of the VAC. More will be said about this at the next meeting. c. Matt was going to develop a list of events where the VAC would attend with a booth. He will present this list for discussion at the next meeting. Along these same lines, Commissioner Cline mentioned the Tunnel to Towers NEVER FORGET Walk (https://t2t.org). Matt will research the route and get back to the VAC as needed. d. Teresa and Laura discussed coordinating on a pamphlet or trifold about the VAC. Teresa agreed to look at the Frederick tri-fold prior to the next meeting. e. Commissioner Cline suggested that any fund requests would need to be coordinated with the County Clerk, Krista Hart. 4. Maryland First Lady Hogan was not able to reach her during her recent visit. He will meet and/or contact John Crombit (sic?) sometime soon. New Business 1. The VAC discussed whether to allow attendance by committee members via phone instead of attending in person. After some discussion for and against, the VAC agreed to permit phone-ins until December 2021, when the policy will be re-examined. 2. Commissioner Cline introduced the VAC to the proposed Terra Firma Retreat Center in southern Washington County (https://terrafirmaretreat.org/) This is a long-term project by Bill Armstrong and the Philbrick family that will enhance the county’s service to veterans. Adjourn The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m. based on a motion, seconded, and unanimously approved.