The Army Family Action Plan roundtable held Nov. 21 at Army Community Services, which has been running for five years, opened up this year’s meeting with the successes they have had over the years, to include the creation of a Middle School and Teen facility, more convenient hours at the commissary, and a budding recycling program.
Since its inception, the AFAP roundtable has been able to address over 300 quality of life issues submitted by community members. This year, only 7 issues were submitted.
AFAP coordinator, Julia Armstrong, presented a slideshow of the successes AFAP has brought to the range, to the Command Group and the attending audience. She also broke down issues by years and provided the determination for each issue. Each issue is resolved with one of three gradings, each issue is graded as active, unattainable, or complete. Though some issues may be deemed unattainable they are still fully reviewed and discussed in order to make that determination. Armstrong ended her presentation with a review of last year’s issues, the statuses of those issues and a presentation of this year’s issues.
“I’m in the business of action…we go after it like a pit bull…a pit bull with lipstick,” said WSMR Commander, Brig. Gen. (P) Gwen Bingham. “We’ve got an outstanding leadership here on base whose audio matches their video.”
Of the 29 issues in 2013, five have remained active and four have seen significant results. The issue of the housing energy bill for WSMR residents caused the company to re-evaluate their billing policy and create a more cost-effective usage billing system. Residents and local community members will now have the opportunity to vote on a bond that will allow for an update in the school’s playground and an upgraded security system. The issue of recycling has now brought about an installation wide recycling program in its beginning stages. Street light outages have minimized and residents now have a number to call to report any outages.
“I think it’s because we have looked at 304 quality of life issues that this place is a good place to be,” Armstrong said.
After the prior year’s issues were revisited, Armstrong reviewed the seven new issues that were brought about. The issues that residents brought up were the lack of digital copies of medical records, gas station utilities unkempt, Education Center not being able to assist Soldiers, library hours being too short, school drop off zone hazards, an unusable dog park, and the lack of carpet cleaning machines available for rent.
Upon revision of the issues, the community was informed that McAfee is currently working with a program that will allow for digital copies in the very near future. A representative from the Education Center and library advised that the difficulties they are facing are due to a lack of staff and that the issues at the Education Center can be resolved if another staff member can be brought in on a temporary duty station status. AAFES manager, Jane Hickok is currently looking into being able to bring carpet cleaning machines for rent and finding creative ways to keep gas station utilities at the gas station. A Balfour Beatty maintenance representative said the dog park will soon be usable once the dirt and grass seeds begin to choke out the goat heads that have infested the entire park. Finally, CYS director, Shawn Ticho advised that they are working with the school to create a better signage system to allow for a smoother drop-off flow during the morning at the White Sands School. Garrison Commander, Col. Brian Michelson provided the closing remarks during his first roundtable. Michelson thanked the audience for their dedication to the range and participation in events that help better the community.
“The fact that we’ve gone done from 300 issues means we are making some good progress,” Michelson said.
To submit an issue for the next AFAP meeting please visit: