Hispanic Advisory Committee- Minutes

Mon., May. 15, 2017

Chairman Jose Garcia called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. Committee members present were Mark Gomolski, and Jesus Rome. Council Representatives Manuel Gutierrez and Clara Beas-Fitzgerald were present, as well as City Representatives Mark Morgan, and Heather LaBeau. The Pledge of Allegiance was given.



Mark Gomolski moved and Clara seconded to approve the minutes of the April meeting. Motion carried unanimously.


Charter Communications Internet Assistance Program

Steven Gerber from Charter Communications explained the Internet Assistance Program offered by Charter Communications.  It is available to seniors receiving supplemental SSI or families with students in the National School Lunch Program.  Spectrum Internet Assist will cost $14.99/month for 30 mb/second.  The modem is free.  A wireless router is an additional $5/month or customers may choose to buy their own wireless router from another source.  There is no installation fee as the modem is mailed to the customer and the customer self-installs.  This program is not available for current internet customers.  The customer can cancel their internet service and wait 30 days to qualify for the program. 


Lost Valley Ranch

Travis Love was not in attendance so no update was given.


Redeemer Episcopal Church

Kit Morgan and Reverend Charlotte Wells from Redeemer Episcopal Church in Pendleton shared their interest in hosting a symposium regarding the experiences faced by undocumented residents in the region. The church is wanting to learn the needs of the people in the community so they can focus on how to best meet those needs.  Reverend Wells feels it is important to hear the stories and challenges of the undocumented residents.  They were looking for relatives of undocumented residents to speak, as they are not wanting to put anyone at risk. 


It was suggested that legal counsel be present at the event.  It was also suggested that childcare and food be provided.   This is a deep emotional issue for people and there is a need for grief counseling for those involved.


Hispanic Grief Support

Chairman Garcia shared that two people are now certified for grief support.  They will be available to the community.  They will be introduced to the committee at a future meeting. 


Closing Comments

City Representative

Assistant City Manager Morgan stated the Harkenrider Center is now under construction.  It will be for the exclusive use of seniors for the first five years of operation and then available to the entire community.


The City Council voted to allow the Parks and Recreation Department to operate the Hermiston Community Conference Center beginning in 2018.  The Chamber of Commerce was offered space in the soon to be remodeled lower level of the Carnegie Library building.  If the Chamber declines the use of the space, it will be used by city staff.


There is a Budget Committee Meeting Thursday at 6:00pm.


Public Comments

Maria Duron from the Hermiston School District wanted to share a news release on the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why.  The show is about a female who commits suicide and leaves tapes explaining how each of 13 people influenced her decision to commit suicide.  Parents should be aware of the show and have open discussions with their children to determine if they want to let them watch the mini-series.   Maria has the news release available with questions that can be used as a starting point in the discussion.  The release is available in both English and Spanish.


Scholarship night for seniors is June 6th from 6:00 to 8:00pm in the auditorium.


Tours are available on June 9th from 1:00 to 6:30pm at Fieldstone Crossing #3.  The third house built by students is complete.


Graduation day is June 10th.  The ceremony starts at 10:30am.  If you are planning to attend, it is best to arrive early.


The last day of school for students is June 14th.  Chartwell will be providing free lunch for students from June 19th through June 30th at Sunset Elementary School, Armand Larive Middle School and Hermiston High School.


Bob Barton was honored as this year’s Hermiston High School Alumnus.


Committee Comments

Jesus Rome shared that while his term on the committee is ending next month, he will still be involved in the community.  He has enjoyed being a part of HAC.  He would like to see another female representative for the committee.  He is currently planning a cultural event for Funfest. 


Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the Cinco de Mayo celebration was very well attended.  Estimates place attendance between 6,000 and 7,000 people. Parking, pedestrian traffic, litter and noise were the main concerns raised.   Overall the comments received were positive.  A video with highlights from the 2-day event was shown.


Next Scheduled Meeting

The next scheduled meeting will be Monday, June 19th at 7:00 pm.


Meeting Adjourned at 8:38 pm.

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