Veterans commission to study request for changes to city ordinance

Milford’s Veterans, Ceremony and Parade Commission will tackle some concerns raised recently by local veterans and study some of their other requests.

A group of veterans recently spoke before Milford’s aldermen, asking for help on a number of fronts, from helping them in their efforts to have the Parsons Government Center auditorium officially recognized, with signs, as the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, to rewriting an ordinance overseeing veterans issues.

Among other changes, a new ordinance recommended by veteran Joseph Viscount suggests that veterans be called upon to help other city departments during times of trouble, helping the “fire and police commission as a reserve augmentation source of volunteers to help during natural disasters and civil unrest.”

Viscount has made a number of suggestions regarding Milford veterans. He wants to see the Veterans, Ceremony and Parade Commission name changed to the Veterans Commission because he believes the current name is too restrictive.

He also wants the board to consist of 10 members rather than seven, including two representatives from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Vietnam Veterans of America.

In addition to suggesting the commission muster volunteers in the case of a natural disaster, his recommended ordinance adds oversight of the city war monuments, “insuring that each has the names of the fallen embedded on their respective monument.”

The commission also would oversee the Hall of Honor in the Veterans Auditorium Lobby of the Parsons Complex “to insure regular accessibility to the citizens of Milford to view mounted name plaques, insure that they are current for WW I, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War. To add the Persian Gulf Wars I & II, Afghanistan War and any future or earlier wars,” he wrote in his proposed ordinance.

Tom Flowers, chairman of the city’s Veterans, Ceremony and Parade Commission, said Viscount’s proposed ordinance is “well intentioned” but some of it needs to be researched.

“I don’t think we can support it as written,” Flowers said about the proposed ordinance. “It would need further research.”

For example, the proposal calls for veterans getting more involved with the city schools, helping them come up with speakers for veterans observances and the like.

Flowers thinks the commission needs to talk to school officials before putting that into an ordinance to see if they want assistance. He also thinks the group should talk to police and fire officials about Viscount’s proposal that veterans be called up during times of emergency.

“There are items in his proposal that we can take on,” Flowers said. “But we don’t need to change the ordinance to do that.”

One effort commission members are already addressing is getting new signs for the Veterans Auditorium at the Parsons Complex.