Documenter: Dani Huerta

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Board received and reviewed four community maps —  Equity Coalition Map, Wells Map,Verduzco Map and Kindschuh Map — for the redistricting that occurs every 10 years and requested a few changes to each map, which will be discussed further at the next meeting. Dec. 15, 2021 is the legal deadline to adopt new district boundaries.

  • Many members of the public spoke in favor of a map during public comment, most in support of the Equity Coalition Map.

  • Supervisor Shuklian and Supervisor Vander Poel will remain as the representative and alternate, respectively,  on the California State Association of Counties Board of Directors. Supervisor Micari was appointed as the representative on the Tulare County Remote Access Network Board of Directors.

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 25, 2021. Closed session was held at 8:30 a.m. The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence.


  • Item 3 Presentation from the County Administrative office regarding the 2021 Advisory Commission on Supervisorial Redistricting meetings and public outreach, receive testimony regarding recommended maps and the composition of one or more supervisorial districts, and accept the Final Report from the 2021 Advisory Commission on Supervisorial Redistricting and Commission map recommendations for new supervisorial district boundaries.

    • John Hess, Assistant County Administrative Officer, gave the presentation

    • Redistricting occurs every 10 years, 4 maps are for consideration. December 15, 2021 is the legal deadline to adopt new district boundaries

      • Tulare County growth is the slowest it has been in 100 years, although it has increased by 7%

      • For Race & Ethnicity, white only has decreased while some other race alone and two or more races has increased since 2000 and 2010. Hispanic or Latino has increased and the Hispanic citizen voting age population is the majority of the citizen voting age population with over 51%.

    • Redistricting criteria

      • Population equality, legal compliance, contiguity, community integrity, city or CDP integrity, identifiable boundaries, compactness, and no political parties

    • Outreach efforts included flyers, press releases, social media, in-person presentations, etc. Some complications were COVID and the fires. There have been 14 commission meetings and 70 meeting preparation hours

    • Some communities of interest requests are that West Goshen remain in District 4, Tule River Tribe lands stay in one district, and the Foothill-Mountain community stay in one district.

    • Maps were drawn around the themes of an Effective Hispanic citizen voting age (H-CVAP) of 51-55%, splitting the city of Tulare, and creating a single mountain district.

    • Mark Clark showed the Board the 4 maps, then the map makers presented their maps in detail

    • Lori Pesante of the Dolores Huerta Foundation presented COM-001B aka Equity Coalition Map

      • 650+ community of interest surveys collected

      • 0.13% population equality deviation

      • Mega-mountain district, Tule Reservations kept whole

      • Splits Tulare because of a dense cluster of voters as well as a cluster of predominantly white voters. Splitting allows for more representation of rural areas

        • Porterville is not split because income is mostly homogenous 

      • Supervisor Townsend asked how many communities of interest in the mountain communities were surveyed. Pasante did not say a specific number but said many people attended the meetings.

      • Supervisor Shuklian asked if any groups spoke against this map. There was a Tulare City Council member as well as many members of the community who were against this map. She also asked why this mao was adopted before the other maps. Hess responded that the commission included it to have a diversity of maps. It was adopted before findings were shared.

      • Supervisor Micari said the Board received a letter asking if some guidelines were not followed by this map. It suggested this map did not receive as much scrutiny as the others. Hess said it did receive as much scrutiny as the other maps but it was adopted earlier. Supervisor Vander Poel asked for this conversation to only be about the maps. Supervisor Micari asked to not be interrupted and asked his question again. Supervisor Shuklian said more information about this map will be discussed at the next meeting.

    • Korey Wells presented COM-002A1 aka Wells Map

      • 0.04% population equality deviation

      • Visalia is kept in 3 districts, majority in District 3

      • Hispanic Citizen Voting Age Population is 51%

      • Mountain Communities are naturally split into 2 districts based on social and economic separation

      • Supervisor Townsend asked why he chose to make the mountain communities into 2 districts. Wells said he split them based on how they interact and use commerce together.

    • Verduzco spoke through Zoom and presented COM-003A aka Verduzco Map

      • 4.72% population equality deviation

      • Mega-mountain community as one district

      • Tulare and Visalia are not in the same district

        • Tulare intact in District 2

        • Visalia divided into 3 districts

      • Supervisor Vander Poel asked if the objectives of this map would be thrown off if the mega-mountain district was divided into 2 districts. Verduzco replied that it would. Supervisor Vander Poel also asked how he made his divisions. Verduzco said it was mainly based on communities of interest. He believes it makes sense to keep Tulare whole.

    • Steve Kindschuh presented COM-005B aka Kindschuh Map

      • 0.41% population equality deviation

      • Mega-mountain district

      • Visalia split into 3 districts, majority in District 3

      • 3 districts have over 55% Hispanic Citizen Voting Age Population

    • Board Discussion

      • Equity Coalition Map

        • Supervisor Vander Poel asked if the map can be adjusted to meet the metrics achieved by maintaining Tulare and keeping Terra Bella and Ducor in District 5. Supervisor Shukilain and Supervisor Townsend agreed with this request.

        • Supervisor Townsend clarified if the mega-mountain district is adopted it will reduce the amount of influence the residents have on the board.

        • Supervisor Micari says having 3 board members cover the mountain communities helps them. He commented that this map does not meet all of the criteria.

        • Supervisor Vander Poel said none of these maps will be removed but they can be tweaked

        • Supervisor Shuklian says people in the mountain community would be better served if there wasn’t a mega-mountain because their supervisor would be less accessible.

        • Modifications that the Board requests are that Terra-Bella Ducor be part of Porterville, keep Tulare together, the area around Exeter should be expanded or combined with Farmersville, and to split the mega-mountain

      • Wells Map

        • Supervisor Vander Poel likes that it keeps Tulare together. He asks that there be a boundary between Tulare and Visalia.

        • Supervisor Townsend agreed with Supervisor Vander Poel and asked that this map be moved forward. He said this is the only map that addresses the issue of compactness and there is no need to add a mega-mountain to this map

        • Supervisor Valero asks if the mega-mountain can be added to this map, considering H-CVAP

        • Supervisor Micari says it does not meet H-CVAP criteria of over 55% but it is more equitable

        • Supervisor Shuklinan asked to move District 3’s borders

        • Modifications that the Board requests are to expand around Tulare and adjust District 4 boundaries

      • Verduzco Map

        • Supervisor Micari says it meets all of the criteria. He says the line between District 1 and District 5 should be adjusted near Exeter.

        • Supervisor Vander Poel says there should be some minor tweaks to include Tulare addresses

        • Modifications that the Board requests are to expand boundaries around Exeter, include Tulare addresses, and move the northern boundary of District 2

      •  Kindschuh Map

        • Supervisor Shuklian says she likes this map but does not like the mega-mountain.

        • Supervisor Vander Poel wants lines to be adjusted to keep Tulare addresses in Tulare. 

        • Supervisor Micari says this meeting meets all the requirements and agrees with Supervisor Vander Poel and Supervisor Shukilan

        • Modifications that the Board requests are to divide the mountain district and expand Tulare boundaries to include Tulare addresses.

  • Item 1 Board Supervisor Matters

    • Supervisor Vander Poel

      • Upcoming he will be at the Tulare Retirement Association meeting, California Transportation Commission discussing widening Highway 99, International Agriculture Center, and a meeting with Charter Communications discussing proposal to bring broadband to Pixely, Tipton, & Earlimart.

    • Supervisor Townsend

      • Upcoming is the Finca Serena housing groundbreaking ceremony in Porterville, the Topping ceremony at Eagle Mountain Casino, Town hall meeting in Poplar, and the Springville school golf tournament fundraiser

    • Supervisor Valero

      • Last week he participated in the Tulare County Book Festival, spoke with the CEO of Kaweah Health during the master facility plan stakeholder feedback session, and Kings-Basin Water Authority Meeting.

      • Upcoming is the Goshen Harvest Festival, meeting with Veterans for a potential program, TCRTA campaign, and Yettem-Seville town hall meeting

    • Supervisor Micari

      • Last week he attended the Southern California Gas Subsidence Monitoring Project, joint town hall meeting in Visalia, KNP complex meeting, Yosemite Sequoia resources conservation development council, and was a judge at the Porterville Veterans Day queen pageant.

      • Upcoming is the District attorney memorial quilt unveiling, sequoia resources conservation council meeting, remote access network board meeting, sequoia river lands trust, ImagineU where he will be handing out candy, and the Woodlake Trunk or Treat program

    • Supervisor Shuklian

      • She participated in the Tulare County book festival, homeless task force meeting, air board, helped at make a difference day, and MC’d Source’s halloween gala.

      • Upcoming is the Visalia Property Owners Association meeting, speaking District Attorney victims memorial quilt, Tulare County Economic Development Corporation meeting, Resiliency outreach, Rancho Robles ribbon cutting, reopening of The Clubhouse where she will be speaking, and she will also be handing out candy at ImagineU

  • Consent Calendar was approved

    • Item 12 should read “Approve the In Lieu of Election appointment of Gary Romoff to a seat on the Ducor Water District Board of Directors. Mr. Romoff’s term will begin immediately upon filing his oath of office with the registrar of voters and will end on either December 1, 2023 or December 5, 2023. The District Board will assign the term ending date and then notify the registrar and the Board of Supervisors thereof”

    • Item 25 should read “Approve the In Lieu of Election appointments of Michael Carlisle, Jeffrey Giumarra and Michael Smith to seats on the Ducor Water District Board of Directors. Their terms will begin immediately upon filing oaths of office with the registrar of voters and will end on either December 1, 2023 or December 5, 2023. The District Board will assign term ending dates to these seats and then notify the registrar and the Board of Supervisors thereof”

    • Supervisor Vander Poel believes Item 27 is a good collaboration and would like to highlight it

  • Item 4 Request from the Resource Management Agency to introduce an ordinance amending the Tulare County Zoning Ordinance, for Change of Zone No. PZC 21-003 to change the zone district on one 12.67-acre parcel from AE-40 Exclusive Agriculture – 40 Acre Minimum to R-A-100 Rural Residential 

    • The Planning Commission recommends changes to the zone on one 12.67 acre parcel from AE-40 to R-A-100 (PZC 21-003)

    • Approved

  • Item 29 Request from the Clerk of the Board to appoint a member and alternate member of the Board of Supervisors to serve as representative on the California State Association of Counties Board of Directors for 2021-22

    • Supervisor Vaner Poel is alternate

    • Approved, no changes

  • Item 30 Request from the Sheriff’s Office to appoint a member of the Board of Supervisors to serve as its representative on the Tulare County Remote Access Network Board of Directors for 2021-22

    • Bobby Saldana, Sheriff’s office. Remote Access Network board handles California ID and manages the budget of the program.

    • Supervisor Vander Poel recommended Supervisor Micari be the representative.

    • Approved

  • Board Matter Requests

    • Supervisor Townsend requests future discussion of endangered species called fishers

    • Supervisor Shukian requests an update on employment background checks and why they are taking longer

A break was taken at 12:34 p.m. Meeting was resumed at 1:05 p.m. The meeting adjourned to a closed session. Next meeting will be November 2, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. The Board will approve final changes to district boundaries at the November 9, 2021 meeting at 1:30 p.m.

Public Comment

  • Vincent Salinas, citizen of Visalia and member of Visalia Measure N Committee, spoke on Zoom about his map. He requested his be considered as an alternate map (COM-006).

  • Roberto de la Rosa Jr., Virginia Gerolla, Angel Reese, Jesus Garcia, Luis Sepulveda, Helen Ranchuria, Maile Melkonian, Carol Green, Euler Torrez, and Jasmine Rivera spoke in support of the Equity Coalition Map

    • Angel Reese, GIS student at Bakersfield college, said he was the one who took surveys from Three Rivers, California hot springs, and Camp Nelson.

    • Jesus Garcia, drawer of the Equity Coalition map, emphasized it was made by the community and they will be providing more data analysis in the future He also said Dolores Huerta had no input on this map.

    • Maile Melkonian, Vice President of the League of Women Voters, supported this map because the tribal lands and mountain communities are kept whole.

    • Euler Torrez, District Director of LULAC, spoke in support of the Equity Coalition Map because the community came together to create this map.

  • Maggie Blesher, resident of three rivers, supported the maps that keep the hills as one district.

  • Janet Laberin, citizen of Tulare, spoke in support of the Wells Map because it splits people the least.

  • Bob Irvine, a staff member of Tulare County and resident of Visalia, did not speak in support of any map. He thanked everyone involved in the process.

  • Darlene Mada, member of the commission, spoke against the Equity Coalition Map because she says it goes against her as a Latino voter.

  • Leslie Caviglia, City manager of the city of Visalia, said she wants to keep Visalia together as much as they can.

    • Supervisor Shuklian asked if they wanted a buffer between Tulare and Visalia. Caviligia said that the do want to keep a buffer so the community lines don’t blur together

    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked where the boundary of Visalia is. Caviglia said that there is nothing official that she knows of.

  • Supervisor Micari asked if contention against the Equity Coalition Map is against representation of the City of Tulare, not the County of Tulare. Hess responded that some complaints are that some city government services are less accessible, not county government.

    • Supervisor Valero asked if the communities of interest are affected by these lines. Hess said there are different definitions of this.

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

Support our nonprofit journalism.


Your contribution is appreciated.