Documenter: Dani Huerta

Here’s what you need to know:

  • An update on State Budget and Legislation was presented by Paul Yoder. There is lots of funding for homelessness and mental health, but not as much funding for drought and public health. Implementation of the executive order to mandate the COVID vaccine in schools could be implemented in January 2022.

  • The 2020 Tulare County Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report was presented. Tulare County is currently #2 of the surrounding counties as of today’s meeting. Their largest export is fruit and nuts and Korea is their top importer.

  • The Board approved an Energy Services Contract with ENGIE Services U.S. Inc. to install energy improvements in various facilities. This is expected to cost under $11 million and save $5 million over the next 25 years.

The Scene

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting was held simultaneously both in-person and streamed via YouTube at 9 a.m. on October 5, 2021.

Board of Supervisors

  • Larry Micari, District One

  • Pete Vander Poel, District Two

  • Amy Shuklian – Chair, District Three (absent)

  • 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

The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. This meeting was led by Supervisor Valero. Supervisor Shuklian was absent.


  • Board of Supervisor matters

    • Supervisor Townsend

      • Attended the Rural County Representatives of California meeting in Monterey, last week. A presentation was given by Airborne Snow Observatories who use drones to measure snow. This  helps with water inflow estimation. Attended RCRC board meeting. A spinoff within RCRC is Golden State Natural Resources, who discuss creating biomass pellets and prefiring coal plants. RCRC also discussed broadband updates and water storage, and water delivery. On Monday he attended the Tule River Joint Powers Agreement and Success Reservoir Enlargement Project meeting in Tipton, success reservoir enlargement project moving onto Phase 2, 25% more water behind Success Dam in yeah & a half

      • Upcoming this week is LAFCO meeting, Harmony Magnet Academic Advising Board meeting, parks improvement kickoff at Mooney grove, Eastern Tule GSA meeting, Major annual fundraiser for Habitat for humanity golf tournament at River ISland Country Club, annual springville rodeo fundraiser dinner, and he will be guest preaching at Lighthouse Church in Springville

    • Supervisor Micari

      • Last week attended RCRC conference and Board of Directors meeting

      • This week he will attend GKGSA meeting, Mineral King Cavern Association meeting, the parks investment kickoff, Strathmore Town Hall meeting, Happy Trails Roundup, and the Fernico Farm Bureau event

    • Supervisor Vander Poel

      • He will attend GKGSA special meeting today.

      • This Saturday at 5 pm he will be at the shortened Relay for Life in Tulare. It supports the fight against cancer. Vander Pole noted that they are wearing pink today for breast cancer awareness and he will be speaking at the opening ceremony

      • GKGSA regular board meeting on Monday and he will attend the Tulare County Water Commission

    • Supervisor Valero 4

      • Attended the RCRC conference last week, TCRTA meeting, and interviewed students for #LeadProgram. This program is for students on cash aid to participate for a leadership program and gives opportunities for work placement

      • He will be touring Ledbetter Park to continue #Lead interviews, Latino Caucus of California counties meeting, parks investment press conference, Dinuba Lions Club meeting, honor Gracelia Martinez at the Sequoia COmmons Apartments where the community center will be named in her honor, Happy Trials Fundraiser, Cutler Orosi Lions club classic card night fundraiser, and the Relay for Life

  • Update from Fire Department

    • Windy Fire

      • Working on getting people back in their home, some structure loss

      • North side and Fairview area looking good

      • Tobias Peak some structure damage

      • No life safety issues, 4 minor injuries

    • KNP Complex Fire

      • Progressing but not as much as they’d like to see

      • North West has significant issues, some spots in Fresno County and Mineral King Road

      • Lost 2 structures, some natural resources lost

      • Nothing in Badger Community

      • The fire is a “dirty burn”, Containment 11%

  • Presentation by Paul Yoder with Shaw Yoder Antwih Schmelzer & Lange regarding an update on State Legislation

    • State Budget

      • Investments in homelessness $1 billion statewide, $1 billion next budget year as well, $7 billion to run broadband through California, mental health $4 billion for kids in school and, $3 billion to add beds in CA such as for nursing homes

      • Some money from homelessnes package for mental health

      • No money for public health despite COVID, $300 million for proposed budget next year

      • Wild fire & drought, there is a controversy because the Governor is not appropriating enough money. Potentially get more money. There is money but both houses of the legislature wants more money to address the drought

    • State Legislature

      • Senate bill 556 was vetoed 

      • Still awaiting funding for Assembly Bill 14 (broadband), Senate Bill 393, (child care rates), Senate Bill 574 (Williamson Act)

      • Friant-Kern bill (from Senator Hurtado) SB-559 didn’t make it to governor but there is money in the budget

      • Proposal by administration to eviscerate local land use planning process, allows large scale solar and wind to go directly to California Energy Commission. Gives them the choice to ask Tulare County for permission or ask the state. This proposal did not go anywhere 

        • Not everyone agrees it is clean but it is cleaner than other energy sources

        • Large scale solar gets property tax exemption, due to sunset in 2024

      • Executive order on school mandated COVID shots. School administration must  wait for the federal government to say what ages are appropriate and what circumstances. Implementation may be in January 2022

      • Medical professionals must be vaccinated, deadline was September 30

      • Employers with 100 or more employees must be vaccinated

      • January will be a big month, more state budgeting 

        • Drought funding could happen

        • Redistricting at state and congressional seats, proposal lines early 2022, CA will lose a congressional seat, could alter House of Representatives

        • State could see a $5-25 billion surplus

      • Initiative for sports wagering. Counties will see a net profit 10% surcharge for anyone involved in sports wagering (estimated revenue $2 billion annually), get 85% of annual revenue for behavioral health needs. Initiative to revise the recall process, needs ⅔ vote to put it on the November ballot

    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked Yoder if he thinks vaccine mandates in schools will cause a shift from public to private even though private schools mandate the vaccine as well. Is there any expected pushback and do they expect other mandates for different employment populations (less than 100)?

      • Lot of pushback, will probably continue

      • A big spike in COVID cases will increase chances of more executive bills, rumored mandatory vaccination bill that did not go into print

    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked if the hangup with Senator Hurtado’s bill can be overcome and if it was not passed because of the central valley. 

      • Yoder responded that this is a common occurrence and the problem with this bill was it was too specific for certain projects. He doesn’t think it was anti-valley

    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked about capital gains $5-25 billion

      • State budget financed to a large degree on income tax and high earners. Tough to predict how many high earners will cash out, makes budgeting difficult. 

    • Supervisor Townsend asked what drought funding can be used on

      • Can’t be spent on storage. Can be spent on assistance with wells, etc.

    • Supervisor Micari asked about the Williamson Act and why money falls short on farming projects

      • Yoder says that he doesn’t want to give them false hope but he thinks next year legislators will “get back after it”. There is a fresh interest in it but there will probably be changes to the act

    • Supervisor Micari asked about finding for drug treatment programs

      • Signed bill alters Laura’s law & conservatorship law

      • Yoder thinks the state wants to make more bedspace first and then look at Laura’s & conservatorship law

    • CAO Jason Britt asked what has changed with drought funding. Is there any legislature about this?

      • The Office of Emergency Service has been doing a lot. Yoder says he will work it into the platform if the Board wants to 

  • Proclamation recognizing October as National Retirement Security Month in Tulare County

  • Presentation by Tom Tucker, the Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer, of the 2020 Tulare County Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report

    • Crop & livestock value decrease of 4.9% from 2020

    • Tulare County fruit & nut largest category (53.67%) $3,832,000

    • 451,443 permanent planting acres in county, 1,532 acres increase from 2019

    • Top 5 commodities are milk & milk products, oranges, cattle & calves, grapes, and pistachio nuts

      • Tulare Milk value $1 billion

      • Navel/valencia value went over $1 billion for the first time 

        • Korea is #1 importer of Tulare citrus

      • Cattle & caves $602 million in value

      • Grape value decreased 29% due do decreased yield & price

        • Mexico #1 importer of grapes

      • Pistachio value increase 314% increase from 2010

        • China #1 importer

    • Exports to 95 countries around the world, Korea is #1 importer

    • 7,699 phytosanitary certificates issued in 2020

    • Valero askes how Tulare ranks compared to surrounding counties

      • Kern county is higher than Tulare. As of now, Tulare is #2

  • Consent Calendar was approved with one motion

  • Presentation given by the General Services Agency requesting approval of an Energy Services Contract with ENGIE Services U.S. Inc. to design, engineer, and install identified energy efficiency projects at County facilities, in an amount not to exceed $10,500,000

    • Brooke Sisk spoke and proposed to install solar and energy efficiency improvements in select county facilities, approximately $1 million of available county funds, borrow $9.5 million in tax leasing

      • interior/exterior LED lighting at 8 facilities, HVAC updates at 4 facilities, solar installation at 4 facilities

      • Total cost under $11 million, save $5 million over the next 25 years

      • Correction: government code section 5852.1 disclosure. Should say facility lease instead of master lease purchase agreement

    • Approve site and facility lease with Tulare County Public Financing Authority

    • Approve assignment agreement between the Tulare County Public Financing Authority and Banc of America Public Capital Corp.

      • amount not to exceed $9,500,000

    • Approve necessary budget adjustments

    • The Board went into closed session to further discuss this, when reconvened all requests were approved

  • Adjourn as the Tulare County Board of Supervisors and convene as the Board of Directors of the Tulare County Public Financing Authority 

    • Recall item 13

      • Item 13 is to approve agreement for financing for item 7, approved

  • Adjourn as the Board of Directors of the Tulare County Public Financing Authority, reconvene as Tulare County Board of Supervisors

  • Board Matter Requests

    • Supervisor Townsend requested to look at initiative for 2% of general fund state budget for constitutional amendment for water storage and conveyance projects

  • The meeting adjourned to a closed session

Public Comment

Michael South, resident of District 3, complained about the district attorney’s office. He is a victim of domestic violence assault two years ago. The DA filed a domestic violence assault and he had to wait 2 years for his day in court due to COVID. The Victim Witness Advocate’s office called him and said they made a deal with the criminal defendants attorney and the Deputy DA to make it to plead out to misdemeanor trespassing instead. The Deputy DA did not inform him of this change. South spoke to John Sliney, he said the Deputy DA should not have done this deal and the case should have gone to a jury trial. He believes his civil rights are violated because he is a male victim.

Lupe Garza, Human Resources Director, spoke about Breast Cancer Awareness month. Today is Pink Tuesday. On-site mammography screenings are available for eligible employees this month. This is covered by their health insurance

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

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