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09-24-1996 VETERANS AFFAIRS ADVISORY BOARD CITY OF LAS CRUCES P.O. DRAWER CLC LAS CRUCES, NM 88004 MINUTES OF 24 SEPTEMBER 1996 The board convened at 1:06 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Las Cruces City Hall. Roll call was taken. Present were: Joseph Heintz, Chairman; Warren Rogers, Vice Chairman and DAV representative; Elsa Baker, VVA representative; Robert Wiley, VFW representative; Noel Cooley, AMVETS representative; Mike Milam, mayor's representative; Julie Serna, Senator Domenici's representative. It was moved, seconded and passed that the July minutes be accepted as written. Elsa Baker reported that the City has been successful in getting the High Range Developer, Eddie Binns, to negotiate on the amount of land he would turn over to the city and the cash he would pay in lieu of land. He will turn over a 5 acre parcel on the north side of the present 4 acre site. This will provide 9 acres for the veterans park along Roadrunner Parkway. The rather flat topography of this new land will make construction and grading simpler and avoid the arroyo on the south side. The funds in lieu of land are expected to be used to pay for construction of facilities at the park such as rest rooms and similar items. This will supplement the $70,000 already budgeted by the city for the initial phase of the construction. A new design, based on the original one will be used to adapt the park to the new site. Chairman Heintz asked for volunteers to assist in running the veterans service office at White Sands Missile Range. WSMR has provided an office, telephones, a computer which is linked to the VA in Albuquerque, office furniture and office supplies. This office supports WSMR employees, active military and veterans and their families from surrounding communities. It is open four days a week, but on one of these days there is only a volunteer clerk on duty. What is really needed is three more service officers so that assistance will be available five days a week. Mike Milam suggested that the RSVP coordinator at the Munson Center be contacted as a source of additional workers. There are some RSVP volunteers living on post at WSMR. Joe Heintz is going to follow up on this. The next item was the status of the Veterans Day Parade. The parade committee met last Thursday. Heintz and Rogers are on this committee and reported that all is progressing well. The necessity of voting was next discussed. Veterans in Dona County are noted for their lax attitude in going to the polls. We must actively participate in the political process if we want action on our issues. Mike Milam suggested that the WC prepare a report card on our congressional representative and our two senators on how they voted on veterans matters and military programs. We can then let them know our individual feelings on how they support us. The bylaws of veterans organizations and the rules under which the VAAB is established prohibit these groups from active politics. They can inform their members what things will further the cause of veterans and what will be detrimental. The WC can publicly state their position and recommend action. The board adjourned at 1:33 p.m. to meet next month on 22 October. WARREN ROGERS Acting Secretary