For nearly three decades with the city of Monterey, Fred Meurer has been a visionary leader, transforming how installations do business and how defense communities support them. While he always will be associated with the “Monterey Model,” a concept under which communities share municipal services with neighboring bases, Meurer deserves credit for other innovations that have served to increase both the efficiency and military value of installations.
Before coming to the city of Monterey, first as the public works director before being appointed to his current position as city manager, Meurer was the public works and housing director at Fort Ord, located next door to the city. In response to a severe family housing shortage at the post, he obtained permission to lease land to a developer to build and maintain a 300-unit mobile home complex. The project was supported by the revenue stream created by soldiers’ basic allowance for housing. Next, he leased land to a developer to build a complex to house single soldiers. Meurer’s revolutionary solution to Fort Ord’s lack of housing is considered a forerunner to the Residential Communities Initiative the Army rolled out starting in 2001.
At Monterey, Meurer obtained special congressional authority to launch a pilot project allowing the city to provide facility maintenance — including maintaining roads, the sewer and electrical system, and heating and air conditioning — to the Presidio of Monterey. The initiative is credited with cutting the installation’s costs by 23 percent since it began in the late 1990s, as well as enhancing its mission by delivering improved service.
Meurer eventually succeeded in securing a permanent authority from Congress to continue the partnership. His long-standing effort to gain the authority for installations across DOD to share base support services with neighboring communities culminated this January when the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill was enacted, providing installations a broader authority than Monterey relied on to collaborate with their host communities.
Over the past eight years, Meurer has hosted workshops for hundreds of DOD and defense community officials from around the country explaining the Monterey Model.
More so than the individual innovations he has pioneered, Meurer’s lasting contribution to Monterey, its local installations and ADC has been his drive to forge connections between the military, defense communities, lawmakers and the private sector to support installations and the individuals who serve on them. For his outstanding leadership in the development of innovative public-public and public-private partnerships that enhance mission effectiveness, strengthen national security and support defense communities, ADC has named Meurer its 2013 Community/State Leader of the Year.
Meurer and other award winners will be recognized at a special ceremony on Capitol Hill Thursday during the Defense Communities National Summit.