Documenter: Josef Sibala

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The board reaffirmed the proclamation of a Local Emergency due to the Sequoia Complex Fire, Resolution No. 2020-0596.

  • The board approved the County of Tulare American Rescue Plan Act Interim Recovery Plan (ARPA) for initial usage of $90,552,914 of the American Rescue Plan Act funds received to support the County in responding to the economic and public health impacts of COVID-19.

  • The board adopted the recommendation by the 2021 Advisory Commission on Supervisorial Redistricting to include no additional criteria in the 2021 redistricting process. 

The Scene

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors, according to its website, sets policy for County departments, oversees the County budget, adopts ordinances on local matters, and establishes land-use policies that affect unincorporated areas of Tulare County. 

They respond to the needs of County constituents daily by meeting or discussing issues individually with County community members to help resolve problems and address their concerns.

The meeting is held live on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, at 6:30 pm via YouTube

Tulare County Board of Supervisors Members present:

Larry Micari (District One), Pete Vander Poel (District Two), Amy Shuklian (Chair-District Three), Eddie Valero (Vice Chair-District Four), Dennis Townsend (District Five), Jason T. Britt (County Administrative Officer), Jennifer M. Flores (County Counsel), and Melinda Benton (Chief Clerk).

Others Present:   

Jennifer Scott

Jessica Camarena

Ignacio Garcia

Joy Hilty

Gloria Vegas

Jimena Saldivar

Laura Hernandez

Nurboc Mutinarwak

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability Regional Policy Manager Blanca Escobedo

County Administrative Officer Jason Britt

Assistant County Administrative Officer John Hess

Discussions/Actions

After the pledge of allegiance and moment of silence, each supervisor updated their meetings with local agencies and community organizations. 

Visalia resident and primary care provider Jessica Camarena highlighted low morale amongst primary workers due to stress and lack of leadership. She asked the board to support primary care providers. 

The case manager at Transitional Living Center in Tulare County, Ignacio Garcia, requested a reclassification of their job duties due to patients with criminal histories assaulting staff. He pleaded for an increase in hazard pay and benefits to attract new staff.

Joy Hilty, a nurse, working at Visalia Health Care Center, vouched for the efforts of primary care providers and asked the board to support them.

Gloria Vegas, a Pixley resident, reminded the board to focus on safer water for the community and update parks’ conditions.

The board unanimously approved items #4-18. For item #8, Supervisor Shuklian abstained due to financial conflict of interest. 

#4 The board approved payment for an invoice from Lake of the Woods Mutual Water Company for meter and software procurement, for $38,845.46, in the Fiscal Year 2021. 

The board authorized submitting a grant proposal to the California Department of Public Health Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division for Vehicle Occupant Safety Program funding for the Fiscal Year 2021/22, which is not to exceed $8,000. #5. Authorize the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency Director, or designee, to electronically submit the grant proposal. 

#6 The board reaffirmed the proclamation of a Local Emergency due to the Sequoia Complex Fire, Resolution No. 2020-0596. Reaffirm a Local Health Emergency declaration due to the Sequoia Complex Fire, Resolution No. 2020-0667. 

#7 The board ratified and approved an amendment to Agreement No. 29712 with the National Association of County and City Health Officials supporting the Innovations in Congenital Syphilis Prevention project to extend the term to December 31, 2021. 

#8 The board (4-1) approved the tentative agreement and authorize such changes to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Tulare County In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority and the Service Employees International Union, Local 2015, for the term of August 24, 2021, through June 30, 2024. 

#9 The board ratified a waiver of the bid process for the sole source capital asset purchase of a PEPRO Secure Deployable Radio Site communications shelter as part of the Jordan Peak Radio Repeater Site restoration project, in an amount not to exceed $169,574. Find that PEPRO Secure Deployable Radio Sites is the only source that meets the communication shelter needs of the County based on the complexity and unique features of the Jordan Peak Radio Repeater Site. 

#10 The board approved the capital asset purchase of one (1) Cisco Catalyst and Fire Power Master Bundle, in an amount not to exceed $511,000. Authorize the Purchasing Agent to waive the formal bidding process for the Sole Source Purchase of the Cisco Master Bundle. Approve the necessary budget adjustments (4/5ths vote required).

#11 The board approved in-kind support with Tulare County Regional Transit Agency, its member agencies, and Visalia Transit for a grant application for a planning grant under the Areas of Persistent Poverty Program to improve transit services or facilities in areas of persistent poverty. 

#12 The board approved a Services Agreement with Tulare County Association of Governments to receive 2020 California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Regional Early Action Planning funds to accelerate housing production and facilitate compliance to implement the sixth cycle of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment through the 2024 Housing Element Update, in an amount not to exceed $247,000, retroactive from July 1, 2021, through December 31, 2024. Approve the necessary budget adjustment (4/5ths vote required). 

#13 The board approved an agreement with Permitium, LLC to provide an online software program for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office concealed carry weapons application process, retroactive from July 18, 2021, through June 30, 2026. 

#14 The board approved an agreement with Family Services of Tulare County for domestic violence response for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office to receive funding, in an amount not to exceed $40,052, retroactive from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. 

#15 The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding between participating agencies to operate the Tulare County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team, under the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement program, in the amount of $562,897 retroactive from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2026. 

#16 The board approved an agreement with the United States Department of Justice to participate in the Federal Equitable Sharing program and allow continued access to Equitable Sharing funds, in an amount not to exceed $603,066.01, retroactive from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. The board authorized the Sheriff, or designee, to electronically sign the agreement and Certification.

#17 The board adopted the recommendation by the 2021 Advisory Commission on Supervisorial Redistricting to include no additional criteria in the 2021 redistricting process. 

Assistant County Administrative Officer John Hess added that the redistricting process in Tulare County involved consultation with the community, ensuring a “best boundary.” Also, he is waiting for the state-adjusted 2020 census information.

#18 The board approved the County of Tulare American Rescue Plan Act Interim Recovery Plan for initial usage of $90,552,914 of the American Rescue Plan Act funds received to support the County in responding to the economic and public health impacts of COVID-19. 

The board approved all budgetary and accounting transactions necessary to process transfers and reimbursements to cover the County of Tulare American Rescue Plan Act Interim Recovery Plan costs for Fiscal Years 2020/21 through 2023/24, as determined by the County Administrative Officer with Auditor-Controller concurrence, and under U.S. Department of the Treasury compliance and reporting guidelines and Interim Final Rule. 

The board authorized the County Administrative Officer discretionary authority for minor adjustments or changes to the County of Tulare American Rescue Plan Act Interim Recovery Plan projects and programs up to +/- 5% of each expenditure category, as determined by the County Administrative Officer with Auditor-Controller concurrence, and under U.S. Department of the Treasury compliance and reporting guidelines and Interim Final Rule.

Under the ARPA funds, County Administrative Officer Jason Britt stated that the ARPA funds cover sectors affected by COVID, essential workers, and investment in water, sewer, and broadband. 

Due to guidelines set by the US Treasury Department, Britt ensured that the projects were transformational, one-time, focused on health and safety, had equitable results, data-driven, shovel-ready, and avoided duplication.

Tulare County allocated the ARPA funds of 90.6 million as follows:

  • $59.4 million on public health, which centers on vaccine, testing, PPEs, and hospitals

  • $4.4 million covering negative economic impact caused by COVID

  • $5.6 million for impacted communities. 

  • $5.6 million for premium pay of essential workers 

  • $5.8 million for infrastructure, which includes water, sewer, and broadband projects. 

  • $0 for revenue replacement

  • $674,232 for administrative costs

Laura Hernandez asked the board to pay essential workers a “fair wage.” She stressed the opportunities to expand water infrastructure, including a real-time water database, to avoid the water shortages in Teviston and other communities. 

Likewise, Jennifer Scott, a Visalia resident working at the Department of Human Health Services, urged the board to invest in essential workers and added the board to “care about us.”

Nurboc Mutinarwak, a new citizen, stated that ARPA funds from the US Treasury Department will cost the freedoms of businesses and does not achieve its “intended form.” 

Jimena Saldivar, a Pixley resident, reminded the board to address water and housing needs. Also, she advocated for a host of programs covering school, mental health, and outreach. 

Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability Regional Policy Manager Blanca Escobedo asked the board to purchase empty lands for parks, wherein disadvantaged communities can avail services. 

Afterward, the closed session centered on the following items: 

ITEM A Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation

Significant Exposure to Litigation (Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2))

Number of Potential Cases: 1

ITEM B Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation

Significant Exposure to Litigation (Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2))

Number of Potential Cases: 1

ITEM C Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation

Significant Exposure to Litigation (Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2))

Number of Potential Cases: 1

ITEM D Conference With Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation

Significant Exposure to Litigation (Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(2))

Number of Potential Cases: 7

ITEM E  Conference With Labor Negotiators

(Government Code Section 54957.6)

Agency Designated Representatives: Jason T. Britt and Shelline K. Bennett

Employee Organizations: All Certified Employee Organizations 

Unrepresented Employees: All Unrepresented Employees

The meeting lasted until 8:30 pm. The next board meeting will be on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at 9:00 am through YouTube.

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at Documenters-admin@thefresnoland.com with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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