Documenter: Bre Yamaoka

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Board authorized a joint task force with the City of Visalia Police Department (VPD) and County Mental Health for coordination of mental health and substance use disorder services for individuals who are homeless in Visalia, called Homeless Outreach & Proactive Enforcement (HOPE). The pilot project is a collaborative effort where Tulare County Mental Health/Alcohol & Other Drug Program staff ride with officers of the VPD HOPE team to gain access to individuals who are homeless and identify potential needs for mental health/substance use services and other service needs. The program has been successful so far, with 191 contacts this year. The Board also discussed expanding this program to other cities. 

  • Juneteenth will now be a paid holiday for County employees, observed on June 19th of each year starting in 2022.

  • The County of Tulare will be submitting a grant application to the California Fire Safe Council to create a position that will focus on bolstering wildfire preparedness and prevention across the County.

The Scene
The Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting was held in-person and streamed via YouTube at 9 a.m. on September 21, 2021.

The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence.

Board of Supervisors

  • 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 Council

  • Melinda Benton, Chief Clerk

Board of Supervisors matters

  • Supervisor Valero

    • Fire Truck 1 at Tulare County Fair Parade 

    • Visited the emergency operations center for updates on KNP complex fire and Windy fire, thanked response personnel

    • Recorded radio spot in Spanish to promote the adaptation and resiliency plan process, to engage community in areas of concern like fire, drought

    • Thursday 9/16 #LEAD program meeting went well, CSET and HHSA will continue to go great job in organizing next cohort of young leaders

    • Spoke to Orosi High School freshman cohort in Central Valley Pipeline Doctors Academy program 

  • Supervisor Townsend

    • Thanked Chief Norman for hard work

    • Attended Bartlett Park tour on 9/16 to look at general condition of park and possible upgrades and improvements

    • Attended the Tulare County Association of Governments/Tulare County Transportation Authority (TCAG/TCTA) monthly meeting on 9/20

    • On 9/22, will attend San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council call

  • Supervisor Vander Poel

    • Will attend Tulare County Employees Retirement Association (TCERA) board meeting 9/22, meeting of International Agri-center Board 9/22, Tulare County Transit Center tour and opening 9/23, and United Way community breakfast 9/26

  • Supervisor Micari

    • Attended KNP complex fire briefing, thanked Chief Norman and Tulare County Fire Department and Lemon Cove town hall on 9/15

    • Will attend Tulare County Transit Center tour and opening 9/23

  • Supervisor Shuklian

    • Attended TC Mental Health Board meeting, Workforce Investment Board meeting, Homeless task force meeting, Realtors 100 anniversary celebration, TCAG/TCTA meeting

    • Attended San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District governing Board meeting 9/16: the Board approved accepting $8.4m from California Air Resources Board, amending the Drive Clean in the San Joaquin vehicle replacement program, expanding eligibility criteria from current requirement of 1999 and older vehicles to 2006 and older vehicles and eliminating the requirement to fail emissions/smog test in order to qualify

    • Will attend Tulare County Economic development corporation meeting, Tulare County Transit Center ribbon cutting, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority meeting this week

    • 9/22 MCing celebration at Rawhide Park for Caleb Brown of Visalia, who is starring in the television show ‘That Girl Lay Lay’ premiering on Nickelodeon 9/23

Public Comments
There were several comments: 

  • Melissa Zamora of Orosi introduced Myrna Flem of Crusaders of the Divine Church of Christ. Assistant International Administrator Myrna Flem of the California chapter requested County of Tulare recognize 9/25 of every year as Christmas in the observance of Christmas Day of the procedures of the Divine Church of Christ

  • Chet (no last name) thanked the Council, stating he received documents that were requested and asked for a 90-day continuance on the case due to recent events.

  • Fire Chief Charlie Norman provided an update on two incidents in the County. Windy fire is  27,183 acres, 5% contained, and 1,136 personnel assigned to it. If members of the public want to help, they should contact United Way.

  • Anita Ortiz, Human Services Director, gave an overview of two evacuation point locations for those affected by KNP Complex Fire and Windy Fire, at Porterville College and Woodlake Community Center. Evacuation points are open 7 days a week. She noted sheltering looks different from last year, due to the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, non-congregate sheltering and hotels were offered. This year, congregate sheltering has resumed, in accordance with American Red Cross Guidelines. Individuals that test positive for Covid-19 are put into hotels to slow spread of Covid-19. Tulare Ag Center offering RV parking and dry camping. Porterville College offers RV parking and dry camping. 

Consent Calendar
All items on the consent calendar were approved.

  • Authorize the Tax Collector to sell by agreement parcel 260-187-001-000, to Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties, for low-income housing purposes on December 31, 2021.

    • There was a verbal correction made to this item

  • Appoint Rhett Anderson to the District 1 Seat on the Tulare County Water Commission for a term ending April 30, 2023.

  • Approve the bid documents for the Administrative Offices Remodel Project located at 2800 W. Burrel Ave., Visalia. Authorize the advertisement of bids for the subject project. Set the bid opening for the project at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 28, 2021.

  • Bid Opening results for Woodville Park Irrigation Project. 

    • 4 bids ranging from $327,000-$409,600. Engineer’s estimate is $400,000.

  • Renew the health plans offered through the San Joaquin Valley Insurance Authority (SJVIA) with no rate increase in 2022: Anthem Blue Cross PPO, Anthem Blue Cross HDPPO, Delta Dental PPO, DeltaCare HMO, and VSP Vision. Renew the Kaiser Permanente health plans offered through SJVIA with an increase of 9.73% for the Kaiser Permanente HMO and Deductible HMO plans, and no increase for the Senior Advantage Plan in 2022. Renew participation in 98point6 offered through the San Joaquin Valley Insurance Authority. Renew participation with Anthem for Employee Assistance Program. Renew participation with The Standard for Basic Life Insurance, AD&D, and Long-Term Disability benefits.

  • Approve an amendment to Agreement No. 30152 with Tulare County Superintendent of Schools to modify the Interim Reimbursement Rate Schedule, for the provision of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment mental health assessments and crisis services, in an amount not to exceed $836,128, retroactive from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023.

  • Approve an agreement with Turning Point of Central California, Inc., for the North County Mobile Unit to provide mental health services, in an amount not to exceed $860,000, retroactive from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. 

  • Reaffirm the proclamation of a Local Emergency due to the Sequoia Complex Fire, Resolution No. 2020-0569. Reaffirm the declaration of a Local Health Emergency due to the Sequoia Complex Fire, Resolution No. 2020-0667.

  • Approve an agreement with VVC Holding Corp., to provide Electronic Health Records & Practice Management system and service to the Tulare County Health Care Centers, in an amount not to exceed $144,522.00, retroactive from July 1,2021 through June 30, 2022. 

  • Ratify and confirm all emergency evacuation orders, and any orders modifying or rescinding evacuation orders, issued by the Director of Emergency Services, or successor, effective September 14, 2021 through September 21, 2021, related to the September Lightning Fires Local Emergency, proclaimed on September 12, 2021.

Regular Business

  • Request from the Health & Human Services Agency to approve a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Visalia Police Department, for the coordination of mental health and substance use disorder services for homeless populations in the City of Visalia, in an amount of zero dollars, retroactive from March 25, 2020 through June 30, 2023.

    • Motion passed 5-0

    • Natalie Bolin, Deputy Director of Clinical Services, Behavioral Health branch introduced Cynthia Hernandez, Clinic Manager. Ms. Branch noted the program has opened their eyes to the chronically homeless population and all the complexities a single individual may face. They’ve learned that it is not a single contact task, noted recent studies indicate it can take up to 30 touches or contacts before a person is interested in learning about services offered and take next steps

    • Chief Jason Salazar, VPD relayed that he is proud of the HOPE team (Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement) that includes 6 officers and 1 sergeant. VPD has trained 87% of officers in crisis intervention training. 

    • Lieutenant Ford: HOPE team started in 2018/19, led the way in the region. What has been most beneficial is being able to get mental health services to people before they reach crisis levels. Have had 191 contacts with individuals getting services this year, including 100 housing referrals, 13 referrals for mental health appointments, and 9 contacts to assist individuals with returning to their home community. 

    • Replicating this model in other cities within the county to alleviate homelessness was discussed. Several Supervisors thanked the County, City, and HOPE team for the collaboration and are pleased to see the success of the program

    • The 2020 Point in Time count reported a twenty-two (22) percent increase in homelessness in Tulare County from 2017 (666) to 2020 (992) for which Visalia continues to be home to over two-thirds of the homeless population. Additionally, forty (40) percent of homeless individuals in Tulare County identified mental illness as a barrier or disability and thirty (30) percent identified substance abuse.

    • No cost associated with MOU

  • Request from the Human Resources & Development Department to adopt a Resolution proclaiming June 19 of each year as a paid holiday for County employees in observance of Juneteenth.

    • Motion: passed 5-0

    • Lupe Garza, Director of Human Resources, presented 

    • Supervisor Valero thanked Ms. Garza for bringing this item forward, stating Juneteenth is a day of profound weight and historical significance. 

    • It was asked if other counties had designated as paid holiday

    • It was noted that it would be subject to Meet and confer with labor partners

    • The first Juneteenth holiday would be observed on Monday, June 20, 2022

    • The costs associated with offering an additional County holiday to employees is included in the County’s Fiscal Year 2021/22 Adopted Budget

  • Request from the County Administrative Office to authorize the submission of a grant application to the California Fire Safe Council for the County Coordinator Program for the purposes of funding a County Coordinator position to bolster wildfire preparedness and prevention in Tulare County, in an amount not to exceed $175,000, for an eighteen-month period commencing upon funding agreement execution, if awarded.

    • Denise England, Water Resources Program Director, presented

    • Motion: passed 5-0

    • If the grant is approved, Tulare County will designate a County Coordinator to provide outreach to and coordination of wildfire mitigation groups and stakeholders to improve wildfire preparedness, response, and mitigation. It is not yet known if the position would be filled by a new hire, existing employee, or contract position. 

    • If the grant is approved, the activities funded would include 1) Grant Administration, 2) Partner Identification, 3) Partner Meetings, 4) Education and Outreach, 5) GIS Mapping 6) Webtool Creation, and 7) Final Report. Personnel costs are estimated to be $110,000. Additional items including supplies, travel, and consulting fees are also included in the estimated costs.

Board Matter Requests

Closed Session
The Board went into closed session at 10:00am. A report out was not anticipated.

  • Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation

  • Conference with Real Property Negotiators – Property Description: APN’S 107-011-013, 107-140-002, 108-260-001, and 108-260-002 (northeast, southeast, and southwest corners of Avenue 328 and Road 156 in Ivanhoe; also, east and west side of Road 156) 

  • Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation, Workers Compensation Appeals Board

  • Conference with Labor Negotiators 

Reconvened into Open Session at 2:01pm

Public Forum
Conduct a public forum in accordance with Government Code Section 7283.1 (d). Receive a report from the County Administrative Officer regarding the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office interaction and communication with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2020. Receive public comment.

  • The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office had approximately 17,584 Bookings in 2020

  • The Sheriff’s Office received 592 detainer requests from immigration officials representing 0.033% of total bookings

  • Custodial release information for 33 individuals was provided to immigration officials. Subsequently, ICE took custody of 33 inmates upon release

  • The Sheriff’s Office did not provide ICE access to 559 inmates

  • Of those inmates not released to ICE:

    • 41 requests did not meet the legal requirements of the VALUES/TRUTH Acts and the Sheriff’s Office did not allow ICE access to the inmates

    • 518 requests from ICE satisfied the legal requirements of the VALUES/TRUTH Acts, but ICE did not take custody of the inmates 

      • 477 of these inmates were released back to the public consistent with operating procedures and the VALUES/TRUTH Acts 

      • 41 inmates were still in custody pending trial or serving their sentences as of 01/12/2021 when statistics were reported 

Note: there were several typos in this presentation.

There was no public comment or comments from the Board. 

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

Support our nonprofit journalism.


Your contribution is appreciated.