Not usually a meeting to write home about, but it turns out the Veterans Board meeting yesterday had an agenda item filled with lots of surprises for the Vet’s home here in Yountville. Agenda item 7. Department Update was given by the Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Vito Imbasciani. Most of the Vet meetings I have heard or been a part of represent a dense depth of government layers and lengthy answers with no fundamental understanding of where we came from or what the answer was. Some might say bureaucracy (a specific form of organization defined by complexity, division of labor, permanence, professional management, hierarchical coordination and control, strict chain of command, and legal authority) at its best.
So I was surprised to hear some straight talk and statements today from Dr. Imbasciani:
- Planning event in Yountville to include maybe 100 crucial members of the community
- Looking at additional investments, including the skilled nursing community at the Yountville Veterans Home
- Re-development opportunities and re-use of Holderman Hospital
- Housing for the workforce and the community
- Will be sending requests to developers for ideas on re-use
- Yountville Home has $20 – 25 million per year in deferred maintenance issues
- Has requested funds in this year’s State budget and will know this Friday how much funding the Finance appropriation committee has approved
- Governor’s Office asked about mental health for Veterans, and Dr. Imbasciani confirmed that it was a priority
Housing! Re-use! Deferred maintenance plan! As Yountville is in the middle of its Housing Element, public discussions for housing are vital talking points for our Yountville community and staffing at the Vets Home. The property has an amazing history and is home to over 800 veterans, so attention to these items and the financial ability to move forward will benefit us all.