Documenter: Dani Huerta

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The board denied an appeal regarding a broadband tower being built. The main argument of the appeal was that the cell tower is harmful, the surrounding residents are not informed well enough of the tower, and the appellant did not have adequate time to speak when the project was discussed during the Planning Commision meeting. Supervisors Townsend and Micari voted against the motion.

  • Environmental health fees were waived for restaurants and other affected businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic from February 2020 to January 2022 in an amount not to exceed $925,000. Refund amount for each business is based on risk.

  • A public comment letter regarding readoption of Cal/OSHA’s emergency temporary standards was approved. The letter requests that the ETS not be approved, but if they are, to align with CDC and CDPH guidelines regarding the exclusion of employees who are in close contact with a COVID-19 case and to not require documentation for COVID vaccination status.

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 December 14, 2021. The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. 


  • Board of Supervisors matters

    • Supervisor Vander Poel

      • Last week he attend a Greater Kaweah GSA meeting

      • He will be attending the TCAG meeting, First 5 bi-monthly meeting, and a meeting with Congressman Valedao

    • Supervisor Micari

      • Last week he attend the Probation Department ribbon cutting, Sergeant promotions at the Sheriff’s office, Neil Pilegard’s retirement event, a meeting with Sierra View officials, San Joaquin Valley Interest Authority meeting, Mid Valley disposal luncheon, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office employee recognition, Lizzie parade, a food giveaway Sikh community, a food giveaway with the Farmersville Hester School, and a disciplinary final review hearing 

      • Upcoming is the National Park Mineral King meeting, helping with food preparing for Salt and Light, Ivan Task Force Meeting, Three Rivers Lions Club Christmas party, Tulare County Sheriff’s posse meeting, awards for animal services, and a meeting with Superintendent of the Lindsay Unified School District

    • Supervisor Townsend

      • Last week he attended an RCRC Board meeting and Knights of Columbus council

      • Upcoming is the Golden State Natural Resources board meeting, a meeting with Charter meeting regarding broadband, a meeting with Jack Garamendi on solar and storage, Frost Fest at Porterville Fairgrounds, Rotary Club meeting, Sierra View Foundation meeting, and a blog interview with Blain Smotherman

    • Supervisor Valero 4

      • Last week was the Sheriff’s event, TCSO Winter Wonderland opening ceremony, Breakfast with the Grinch, London Parade, Woodlake Parade, Mid Valley Luncheon, Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting for Dinuba’s storage drain water project, and met with CPUC Martha Guzman

      • Upcoming is a meeting with Superintendent Yolanda Valdez of Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District, administering the Oath of Office at the COJUSD board meeting, Step Up committee meeting, Tulare Kings HIspanic Chamber Ambassador luncheon, Statewide volunteers commission meeting, meeting with East Orosi residents regarding sewer and water, Ivan meeting, Christmas chamber mixer, and a presentation at Cutler-Orosi joint unified

    • Supervisor Shuklian

      • Last week she attended the Workforce Investment board meeting, Probation Department ribbon cutting, Sergeant promotions, met with Chief of Staff of Senator Hurtado, Neil Pilegard’s retirement event, Animal Services Advisory meeting, San Joaquin Valley Insurance Authority Meeting, Sheriff’s Office ceremonies, Visalia Veterans memorial arts project 

      • Upcoming is a Homeless Task Force meeting, Tulare County Economic development meeting, Salt & Light, Air Board meeting, and a meeting with Supervisor Garamendi

  • Tulare County Board of Supervisors Pet of the Week

    • Cassandra of Tulare County Animal Services says clinic will be open to the public near end of January

      • Supervisor Vander Poel says he doesn’t want spay/neuter services to take away from private sector vets. Cassie says the spay/neuter services they provide will be to people who would not be going to private vets.

    • Daisy is a one to two year old Boxer mix (A221634)

  • Present a Certificate to John Word recognizing his actions during the September Lightning Fires and his service with Tulare County

  • Presentation of the 2021 Movember Challenge and Announcement of the Challenge Winners

    • Lupe Garza, Human Resources Director, presented the winners. 

    • The Movember challenge is to grow mustaches in November to raise awareness for men’s health risks

    • Second place is Luiz Arellano, first place winners are David Case and Jimmy Ibarra

  • Consent Calendar was approved, item 13 was pulled for separate consideration

    • Supervisor Valero requested to have February 8th be an afternoon meeting and February 15th be a dark day instead. The Board decided to have meet at 4 pm on February 8, 2022 and no meeting on February 15, 2022

  • Request from the Resource Management Agency (RMA) to deny the appeal for a Special Use Permit based on staff findings and affirm the Planning Commission’s approval of a Special Use Permit to allow a new 110-foot-tall telecommunication tower, with associated equipment, and with the added condition it be designed as a faux pine in Porterville

    • Aaron Bach, Assistant Director RMA

      • On September 8, 2021 the Planning Commission approved a faux pine cell tower with New Cingular Wireless through AT&T (applicant).

      • Some of the main appeals to this project are that it is a 5G tower, it is harmful to people nearby, and the Planning Commission did not fully hear the appellant’s concerns

    • Supervisor Townsend asked if levels can be monitored in the future. Kevin Gallagher from AT&T said they could run testing after the facility is on air. Townsend asked how frequently they run tests. Gallagher said it is normally done once or every few years. Townsend asked if the levels are constant over the years. Gallagher said it depends on service use. 

    • Kevin Gallagher from AT&T (applicant)

      • The theoretical study assumes the worst case scenario. It is higher than what is actually seen. 0.15% is significantly less than the FCC’s limits. 5G is treated the same as everything else. If they plan to upgrade to 5G in the future, there will be a new report and AT&T will implement changes according to any new FCC guidelines

    • Ms. Doyle (appellant)

      • She said for this testimony she was told she would only have three minutes instead of fifteen. She said a neighbor was given more time than her at the Planning Commission hearing.

      • She argues that information from AT&T and the FCC is outdated. She wants information regarding the tower available to the public and opposed this project from a public safety standpoint. She says health concerns are not included in the report. Information on this tower is based on FCC standards that are 21 years old. 

      • She says 5G has negative health effects and the tower could affect her property value

      • She asked if the nearby school district was notified of the original hearing and if  the Board has read her appeal

    • Supervisor Micari asked Gallagher what the average numbers were for existing towers. Galagher says it is always less than the theoretical study’s numbers. A short tower would have higher numbers. Micari asked about 5G’s numbers. Gallagher said he does not know. Micari asked who’s responsible if there are more multiple vendors on the tower. Gallagher said the measurements don’t distinguish between carriers. Each carrier is responsible for their own equipment. Micari asked if there are three vendors, are the numbers added. Gallagher said the total number is cumulative (additive). 

    • Supervisor Townsend asked what are the FCC standards. Gallagher says he believes the date of adoption of the standards is about 1999. They have been reviewed since then and have not been updated since then. Townsend asked if future vendors would mount at the same height. Gallagher said they would want to mount as high as they can and the tower would still have to comply with FCC standards.

    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked if everything is compliant and if there are similar scenarios to this. Bach said similar projects are safe at the location and safer the further you are from the tower. 

    • Gallagher’s rebuttal

      • The FCC regulations are based on science and AT&T is compliant. If the regulations are updated they will comply

    • Supervisor Townsend asked if the Board can attach additional conditions. He wants to add quarterly testing for the first year and add testing when each provider is added. Notification of the results should go to people within 300 feet of the tower.

    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked how many cell towers have been approved in the County. Bach said hundreds. Vander Poel asked if they all follow regulations and their numbers are consistent. Aaron said they all follow regulations and some numbers are different based on height but the numbers seem normal. Vander Poel said he doesn’t want to add conditions in Tulare County that can make adding towers more difficult. Testing should be done in accordance with regulations.

    • Supervisor Valero doesn’t want to set precedent and have Tulare become a deadzone because of it.

    • Supervisor Townsend asked if there are any required testing. Aaron said the county and FCC do not require it.

    • Supervisor Shuklian asked if the faux tree is in the policy and are they hoping future towers be faux trees. Aaron says it is decided by the Planning Commission. 

    • Supervisor Townsend motioned to deny the appeal and add the conditions of quarterly testing of the 1st year. If the numbers are over .15% then the board will meet to ask why. Testing would  also happen when new vendors are added. People nearby will be notified.

      • Motion failed

    • Supervisor Valero motioned to dey the appeal and proceed according to RMA recommendation

      • Motion passed. Micari and Townsend, no

  • Request from the RMA to approve General Plan Amendment and Change of Zone amendment to Tulare County Zone Ordinance No. 352 for the County Adopted City Urban Development Boundary for the Delano Area. Approve General Plan Amendment amending the Delano Urban Development Boundary to include 67 acres and amending the land use from Valley Agriculture to Mixed Use. Introduce an ordinance amending the Tulare County Zoning Ordinance to change the existing zoning districts on 154.6 acres located north of County Line Road. Set the adoption date of the ordinance for January 11, 2022.

    • Aaron Bach, RMA

    • Expand by 67 acres and change the 67 acres to mixed use. Change the zone to 154.6 acres. 

    • Supervisor Valero wanted to make clear of the service providers in those areas. Bach said they will show a full plan so there is no confusion of service providers.

    • Approved

  • Request from the Health & Human Services Agency to approve the waiver of Environmental Health fees for restaurants and other impacted businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in an amount not to exceed $925,000 retroactive from February 1, 2020 through January 31, 2022

    • Nilsa Gonzalez, Director of Environmental Health Department, summarized timeline of emergency state and health orders of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tulare County

    • Refund is based on risk, usually $300-500, but could potentially be over a $1,000

    • Jena Rodriguez, Visalia chamber of Commerce, and Kevin Mooney, Tulare Chamber of Commerce are in support of the waiver

    • Approved

  • Receive a presentation introducing the Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency Homeless Multi-Disciplinary Team and Tulare County Probation collaboration

    • Francina Martinez, Tulare County Mental Health

    • Homlessness Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) was formed earlier this year, Co-located at Tulare County Probation

    • Noah Whitaker, Homeless Initiatives Program Coordinator, introduced the team members and mentioned some partnerships they have been working with, such as Project Roomkey and vaccine efforts

  • Request from the General Services Agency to approve a program to aid Museums, Non-Profit Arts Organizations, Memorial, and Community Service Districts, in an amount not to exceed $1,500,000. Approve the necessary budget adjustments

    • Brooke Sisk spoke about the program to the Board

    • Organizations must report any COVID-19 funding received. The funding maximum amount $20,000

    • Organizations under a larger entity which recipe other AARPA funding do not apply

    • Supervisor Townsend asked if they will be notifying CSD’s. Sisk said they will.

    • Approved

  • Request from the Board of Supervisors’ staff to approve a Public Comment Letter to Cal/OSHA’s Proposed Second Readoption of the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards

    • Cal/OSHA wishes to readopt Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) while waiting for Federal ETS. If approved it will be effective January 14, 2022 through April 14, 2022.

    • Public letter asks them not to readopt at all, if it is readopted it should align with CDC and CDPH guidelines regarding the exclusion of employees who are in close contact with a COVID-19 case, and that requests for documentation of COVID vaccination status be eliminated.

    • Supervisor Shuklian asked how this letter is different from the one they received a few weeks ago. This ETS is a readoption of the one they adopted in June 2021. It does not include vaccination or test requirements. 

    • Approved

  • No Board Matter Requests

Public Comment

Fire Chief Charlie Norman presented a badge to each board member to thank them for their help in public safety efforts.

The meeting adjourned to a closed session. This is the last meeting of 2021. The first board meeting will be January 4, 2022 in the Human Resources building due to remodeling.

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

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