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February 25, 2021

Ray Sanchez ends 15-year term on veterans board

After more than 15 years of service as a director for the South Santa Clara Valley Memorial District (SSCVMD), veteran Ray Sanchez has decided not to run for re-election, leaving an opening to be filled by appointment by the County Board of Supervisors.

“Ray has done a lot for veterans over the years in his role as a director,” said SSCVMD Board President Phil Garcia. “Among his many accomplishments, he initiated the first veterans’ resource fair at the Gilroy Veterans Hall, which has grown into a regular event that has helped hundreds of local vets. He will be missed and leaves big boots to fill.”

At the close of nominations for the Nov. 3 election, veterans and incumbents John Ceballos and Ermelindo Puente qualified for two of the three, full-term vacancies for the SSCVMD. Sanchez chose not to run for re-election.

On Nov. 17, the supervisors will appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy in lieu of an election. Those interested in the position must complete an application available at, and submit it to the county and the SSCVMD. In order to be considered for recommendation by the Board of Directors, all applications must be received by the SSCVMD by Oct. 14. 

The successful candidate will represent the public at large and the appointment is for a full four-year term, which will commence on Dec. 4 and expire on Oct. 31, 2024. 

Per California Military and Veterans Code Section 1197, a majority of the seats on the board shall be designated for veterans. At the time of the election, SSCVMD will have four members of the board who are veterans; therefore, the person appointed to the board need not necessarily be a veteran. This is a volunteer position with no compensation.

The SSCVMD was formed as an independent special district on Aug. 26, 1946, to recognize and serve the veterans of Gilroy and South Santa Clara Valley. The district currently owns and operates the Gilroy Veterans Memorial Building at 74 W. Sixth St. District directors steer the organization toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as make sure the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission.

For information, contact the Office of the Clerk of the Board, Records Unit at 408.299.5001 or [email protected], or SSCVMD Executive Director Christine West at 408.842.3838 or [email protected]

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