Hispanic Advisory Committee - Minutes

Date: 
Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

Chairman Jose Garcia called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. Committee members present were Roy Barron and Hector Ramirez.  Council Representative Manuel Gutierrez was present, as well as City Representatives Mark Morgan and Heather LaBeau.  Committee member Mark Gomolski and Council Representative Clara Beas-Fitzgerald were excused. The Pledge of Allegiance was given.

Minutes

Roy moved and Hector seconded to approve the minutes of the September meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

GED & College Prep Programs through BMCC

Carol Johnson, a teacher at BMCC, presented information about the College Prep Program. The BMCC college prep program is holding information and placement sessions October 23 from 5:30-7:30pm and October 25 from 5:30-8:30pm in Hermiston and Boardman for students who are interested in earning a GED.  Classes will begin on October 30.

New students are required to take a 5 week class titled College and Career Awareness.  This class helps them explore careers so they can have a goal when they start their GED classes.  GED classes are offered in both English and Spanish. Most students are over age 18.  Parental permission and a compulsory attendance release form is required for 16 and 17 year old students.

Hermiston students interested in studying English as their second language can show up to class at Columbia Hall Rm 202 on October 30 at 9:00am or 5:30pm.

The college is hosting a session titled “What’s in a Label? Thinking about diversity and racial categories.”  The discussion will focus on how language affects our abilities to communicate and connect with people. The event is scheduled for November 1 at 1:00pm at BMCC.

DEQ

Paul DeVito, from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is processing an air quality permit, called a Standard Air Contaminant Discharge Permit, application for VAData, Inc (Amazon) new data center located a few miles from the City of Hermiston.  The permit would primarily regulate the use of 105 emergency diesel engine generators and two diesel engine fire pumps.  This type of source is considered to have relatively low emissions and low impacts to communities.  The generators are for emergency backup electricity.  They will be started on a routine basis for maintenance and testing. Despite the anticipated low impact, DEQ wants to conduct some community outreach to ensure people are at least aware of this proposed pollution source and that they have a staff contact to answer questions. 

Walt West, from DEQ apologized for not being able to make his previously scheduled meeting.  He is available to answer questions about his work with TMF biofuels. 

Mobile Mexican Consulate

Maria Duron reminded everyone the Mobile Mexican Consulate will be in Umatilla on October 22.  Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Mexican Consulate in Portland.  

Closing Comments

Public Comments

School District Updates

Maria Duron from the Hermiston School District gave updates and information regarding upcoming events throughout the school district, to include:

  • Student enrollment is at 5,722 and continues to grow
  • David Marshall has been hired as the HR Director
  • The student parking lot at the old fairgrounds will be usable after Christmas break
  • The third student built home recently sold and the fourth is being built to include a car charger
  • HHS Class of 2018 graduation ceremonies will be the evening of June 7 at the Toyota Center
  • Linkage fair is scheduled for Oct 19 from 5 to 7 PM at Sunset Elementary
  • Overview of standards test results
  • Conferences at secondary schools is scheduled for Nov 6 and 8
  • Bulldog Career Discovery Fair will be Nov 8 at 4PM in the commons area at the high school

Mr. & Mrs. Berger represent the high school at the HAC meetings.  They are interested in hearing the concerns of students and families who attend the high school.  They also work with first-generation college students.  There has been great success with graduation rates. Many students return to the community and work in careers using their degrees.  With a goal of expanding their curriculum, they are looking for input as to what topics to include.

City Representative

City Updates

Mark Morgan gave information regarding:

  • HART bus schedule and route improvements
  • Residential zoning code changes to spur housing development

Committee Comments

Manual stated that the Mayor will send a letter to both Senators and Representatives in support of the DACA program.

Roy will discuss the mental health program, RISE, at the next meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for November 20, 2017 at 7 PM at City Hall.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:20 pm.


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