Documenter: Dani Huerta

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Fire Department provided updates on the Windy and KNP fires. Estimated containment dates are 11/1/21 and 11/3/21 respectively. Both fires still have some areas that are uncontained.

  • Tim Lutz, Director of Health & Human Services, provided an update on COVID cases in Tulare County. New COVID cases have been increasing but hospitalizations have been decreasing. However, hospitals are still running at 100-110% capacity and there have been 949 deaths as of this meeting. Booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson could be approved later this week.

  • The long-term conveyance contract for the Cross Valley Canal was approved.

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

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 19, 2021. The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence.


  • Board of Supervisors matters

    • Supervisor Valero

      • Last week he MC’d Farmer Bob’s World Tree to Table event where they raised about $35,000, attended the Dog Days event in Dinuba, Hands in the Community Event, KTAAA meeting, law library meeting, TCAG meeting, TCRTA meeting, and helped at the Woodlake pantry this morning. 

      • This week he will attend Kaweah Health Master Facility Planned Stakeholder group meeting, Kings Basin Water authority meeting, and facilitating a new class of Northern Tulare County

    • Supervisor Townsend

      • Last week he helped at the new porterville rescue mission and attended the Porterville Exchange Club Treasure Trove fundraiser at the Strathmore memorial building.

      • Upcoming is the Mighty 190 meeting, Porterville Rotary Club meeting,speaking at the 100 years of rotary in Porterville celebration on the 23rd, Sequoia Riverlands Trust meeting, Harmony Magnet Academy Q&A, Southern California Edison meeting, and a focus group for Springville community plan update

    • Supervisor Micari

      • Last week he presented certificates for Cattlemen & Cattlewoman of the Year, attend the Woodville cleanup, and a TCAG meeting

      • This week he has a disciplinary hearing, joint town hall, and will judge in the Porterville veterans queen pageant

    • Supervisor Vander Poel

      • Yesterday he attended the TCAG meeting in which they announced Madera will be widening Highway 99 from 4 to 6 lanes. They support the widening in Tulare as well.

      • Upcoming is the Southern California Gas meeting, Celebration of Agriculture Luncheon, and this weekend is his 11th marriage anniversary

    • Supervisor Shuklian

      • Last week she MC’d the Web By Design awards, received her flu shot, Virtual Town Hall, spoke at Walk For Freedom in Visalia, attended Taste the Arts festival, filmed a segment for TC Hope, and a TCAG meeting

      • Upcoming is the Task force on Homelessness meeting, Airboard meeting, the Armenian food festival at the Saint Mary Church of Yettem, Make a Difference Day on Saturday at MooneyGrove, Pride Visalia, and she will be MCing at Pride Visalia’s Halloween Gala

  • Pet of the Week

    • Cassie Heffington, Director of Animal Services, introduced new veterinarian Dr. Alexandra Myhal and pet of the week Bailey. Bailey is a 7 month old great dane mix (A220930)

  • Update from the Fire Department on active fire and emergency response efforts

    • Windy Fire is “very good” but they lost about 20 structures and there is an area around Fairview that is uncontained.

      • Estimated containment date is 11/1/21. Current cost is about $72.4 million

    • KNP fire 55% contained. There is fire creeping around areas with dead trees but nearby structures are defendable. There was an issue on Sunday with fire growth but this balanced out with snow

      • Estimated containment date is 11/3/21. Current cost is about $77 million with projected cost about %100 million

  • Update from the Health & Human Services Agency on COVID-19 status and response efforts

    • Tim Lutz, Director of Health & Human Services provided the update.

    • New COVID cases down 27%, hospitalization increased 6.3% over last week, 949 total deaths

    • Ages 0-17 have the highest infections (27.4%) and ages 26-40 have the second highest (26.8%)

    • Case rate has decreased since September, settled about 20-30 cases per 100 thousand

    • Testing positivity has a slow decrease. These trends are consistent across the Central Valley

    • Hospitalization has plateaued at a higher admissions rate than last summer. It is currently 160-170 admissions, was about 110-120 admissions last summer, 100-110% capacity

      • 40.6% hospital admissions are between the ages of 41-64

      • 92/675 hospitalizations were fully vaccinated

    • School cases have leveled, 1012 cases linked to students schools, 8-11 year olds have highest amount of cases

    • 237,685 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This is only 60.4% of people who are eligible

      • Supervisor Vander Poel asked if it is true that over 80% of the senior population in Tulare County have been vaccinated. Lutz says this is true.

      • Supervisor Vander Poel also asked about students vs staff vaccine mandate. Lutz responded that states are waiting for full authorization from FDA rather than emergency authorization. This will probably be implemented next school year and the COVID vaccine will probably be added to the list of vaccinations required for school after January.

      • Vander Poel asked if the mandate for staff will be the same for the students. Lutz says staff will be held to the same requirements as the students

    • Onboarded snap nurses at new vaccination locations

    • Normal flu season, respiratory virus (RSV, rhino viru, colds, etc) are increasing. Some clinics offer both flu & COVID vaccines

    • 1.2 million Pfizer doses coming to California for 5-11 year olds which are different than doses for ages 12+

    • Booster approved possibly with week for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson

      • Supervisor Valero asked if breakthrough cases are linked to one vaccine type. Lutz says he does not know but will look into it. Supervisor Valero says he heard on the news that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should have been two doses

  • Present a Proclamation recognizing October 23-31, 2021 as Red Ribbon Week in Tulare County

    • Supervisor Micari presented the proclamation and Tony Cavanagh, Tulare County Office of Education, thanked the board and presented a video made by Tulare County after schools program. 

    • Gibert Rivez, Division manager for the Department of Health & Human Services, thanked the board for their support of Red Ribbon week. He thanked Michelle Reynoso who will continue to work as a public health manager

  • Item 24 Request from Resource Management Agency to authorize the Execution of a Long-term Conveyance Contract among the Department of Water Resources of the State of California, the United States Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation and the District for Conveyance to the County of Central Valley Project Water, effective October 19, 2021 through February 28, 2035. Item 25 Request from Resource Management Agency to authorize the Execution of a Contract between the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the County Providing for Water Service and Facilities Repayment

    • Sherman Diggs, Resource Management Agency, presented items 24 and 25 together. 

    • Cross Valley Canal (CVC) is a water conveyance facility that extends from the California Aqueduct to the Kern River. It is an open channel that transports water from East to West or West to East. All contractors are located along Friant-Kern Canal. First contract was signed by Tulare County in 1975-76. Extended contract to February 28, 2022. WIIN Act to convert to repayment contracts

    • Tulare repayment obligation $271,879

    • Long-term conveyance contract extending through February 28, 2035 is purpose as part of the WIIN Act

    • Request to approve execution of long-term conveyance contract

    • Items 24 and 25 were approved

  • Board matter requests

    • Supervisor Vander Poel askes the Board to consider a resolution prohibiting the use of mandatory vaccine passports within the county, even for private businesses

The meeting was adjourned to a closed session. Next meeting will be October 26, 2021 at 9 a.m.

Public Comment

Tim Hire, Tulare County Superintendent of Schools, spoke about vaccinations. Mandates for students are only a press release by the Governor, not a public health order and they are still waiting for final approval. This could be a public health order or a law. If it is a public health order it would allow for exemption. If it becomes a law, it would not allow for religious or personal exemption in schools, like the current vaccine list.

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

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