Documenter: Dani Huerta

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Eddie Valero was appointed Chair of the Board and Dennis Townsend as Vice Chair of the Board for 2022.

  • The new IT Director Joe Halford thanked the Board and said he is looking forward to working with them for a long time. 

  • Members of the public spoke out against the approval of item 23 – award money from PHI to be used toward educational outreach for vaccinations. A few concerns were that this money should be used for other issues and that the outreaches do not include other information about the vaccine. Supervisor Micari clarified that this money is not taxpayer money or taken out of the general fund, it is only to be used for outreach.

Board of Supervisors

  • Larry Micari, District One

  • Pete Vander Poel, District Two

  • Amy Shuklian, District Three

  • Eddie Valero – Chair, District Four

  • Dennis Townsend – Vice Chair, 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 and Zoom at 9 a.m. on January 4, 2022. This meeting was held in the Human Resources building. It began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. 


  • Election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors for 2022

    • Supervisor Vander Poel nominated Supervisor Valero for Chair and Supervisor Townsend as Vice Chair

    • Approved. The new Chair of the Board is Eddie Valero and the new Vice Chair will be Dennis Townsend

  • Board of Supervisors matters

    • Supervisor Vander Poel

      • Upcoming is a workshop on water  pumping in Heritage complex, meeting with executive director of TCAG, and a governmental affairs committee meeting for the Chamber of Commerce

    • Supervisor Shuklian

      • IN the past few weeks she volunteered to prepare food Salt and Light

      • Upcoming is the mental health board meeting, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority meeting, and the grand opening of Source LGBT+ in Visalia

    • Supervisor Micari

      • In the past weeks he helped prepared food with Salt and Light, Ivan meeting, Three Rivers Christmas meeting, Tulare County Fire Department Christmas party, Woodville Christmas parade, gave Jack Vickers and Cody Baker a certificate for help with animals, meeting with Tom Rooney, Yosemite sequoia Resources Council meeting

      • Upcoming is a Health and Human Services meeting,Strathmore women’s club meeting, IT meeting, and a Veterans advisory club meeting

    • Supervisor Townsend

      • In the past weeks he volunteered helping the Tule River Indian Commission handing out gifts and food

      • Upcoming is the Eastern Tule GSA meeting, Rotary Club meeting, Tule River Improvement Joint Powers Agreement meeting, and a Success Reservoir enlargement project meeting

    • Supervisor Valero

      • In the past weeks he had a meeting with Denise England and RMA staff, touring a Dinuba facility with HHSA Director, presented certificate to Jack Vickors and Cory Baker, met with Dennis Keller and RMA staff, thanked Armando Villarreal for help with giving presents to students, and had a meeting with Public Health Institute regarding vaccines, 

      • Upcoming is Farmer Bob’s World meeting and a trip to Coachella Valley for the the Water Education for Latino Leaders Well Program

  • Public Comments

    • Jason Britt introduced the new IT Director Joe Halford. Halford says he looks forward to working with the Board

  • Consent Calendar was approved 

    • Supervisor Micari requested items 23 and 30 be pulled

    • Remainder of the consent calendar was approved

    • Item 23 Approve an agreement with the Public Health Institute for COVID-19 vaccination-related activities, in an amount not to exceed $236,249, retroactive from July 1, 2021 through February 28, 2022.

      • Merna Garcia, resident of Visalia, disagrees with this item’s approval because she says the county does not send people to educate about smoking and alcohol. She believes this money should be spent on other issues. She says she is not an antivaxer.

      • Pamela wants this item to be pulled for more consideration and says the vaccine is doing more harm than good. She asks “Why are they hiding what’s in it?” and asks the Board if they want to be complicit with the murder of innocent children. She does not want more funding for supporting the vaccine.

      • Tim Lutz, Health and Human Services Agency Director, said they have historically had tobacco and alcohol abuse education. Karen Elliot was available on zoom to answer questions

      • Supervisor Vander Poel asked who will be doing this promotion work. Elliot says they work with CSET, different healthcare providers, and California Farmworkers Federation. They provide education for people who may not know how to schedule a vaccine and information about it. Vader Poel asks if it is for outside organizations to publicize vaccines. Elliot says they are all Tulare County communities helping others. Supervisor Vander Poel says he is against mandatory vaccines and mandatory masking, but this education outreach is to help all residents receive a vaccine if they want. 

      • Supervisor Shuklian said that she has seen people who are appreciative of this education effort. Lali said she has met people in rural communities who do not know how to get the vaccine. She has partnered with schools, non-profits, and religious groups to provide information and vaccines. People who did not want the vaccine were still provided services. 

      • Supervisor Micari asked Lutz if this money is being removed from the general fund or if this is an award. Lutz says it is awarded. Elliot said it is from the Public Health Institute, not the state. The original amount was $600,000 and has been broken up to different parts of the county.. Micari wants people to know it is retroactive only for education outreach. He says he does not support mandatory vaccinations or mandatory masks.

      • A member of the public asks if people are given risks and benefits as part of the educational outreach. Elliot says they are. The person asks if there are any incentives to take the vaccine and will that cost taxpayer money. Elliot says she is not sure but there have been some vaccine clinics that provided incentives, however this funding does not include incentives.

      • Kelly, resident of Dinuba, requests that this money not be spent on vaccine education. She says everyone knows about the vaccine and how to get it because of television and they don’t talk about real science. Elliot says the outreach talks about the side effects and benefits as well as where to get the vaccine. Kelly asks if they say how to get antibodies. Elliot says that information is new but they pass on information from CDPH. Valero says when he visits events there is no forced information and getting the vaccine is always their choice. 

      • Jeremy, a resident of rural Tulare, asks if these outreaches have opportunities to receive the vaccination onsite. Valero says they do. Jemrey says this is concerning but can see why this is beneficial. He asks if PHI defines success as increased vaccinations. Elliot says they can give information if his contact information is given. 

      • Supervisor Micari says the funding is non discretionary, only for educational outreach. If not approved, this money will come out of the general fund. He encourages people against the outreach to attend an event to see what it’s like.

      • approved

    • Item 30 Approve the distribution of Assembly Bill 109 Base Funding at $25,296,416.23 for Fiscal Year 2021/22 to fund continued implementation of criminal justice realignment in Tulare County; allocate $1,356,897.30 to the Health and Human Services Agency for Inmate Healthcare; $918,511.55 for the Pretrial Court; $516,199.21 for District Attorney’s Office; $516,199.21 for the Public Defender’s Office; $9,589,157.13 for the Sheriff’s Office; $9,589,157.13 for the Probation Department; $1,000,000 to expand capability for data gathering and analyses; $1,000,000 to develop a community grant program to promote service delivery and efficacy; and to deposit $810,294.71 into Trust Fund 590 to replenish CCP reserves. Accept the Fiscal Year 2021/22 Public Safety Realignment Plan. 

      • Supervisor Micari asked if the CCP agreed to use the money for data collection, what the data capabilities are, what they will look like, and whether this item reflects what the CCP agreed to. Someone from the CCP said the agenda item reflects what the CCP agreed upon. They will form a committee who will form data points. This money is to enhance the capabilities of the internal system. Micari asks if they will keep working on the collection program and deciding how this money is distributed among the agency. The representative said that they will. 

      • Approved

  • There were no Board Matter Requests

Public Comment

  • Crystal Reynolds, resident of Visalia, had concerns about misinformation on how bad the virus is. She wants the Board to look into antibody testing and adverse reactions to receiving the vaccine. She says she is not an antivaxer, healthy people should not receive the vaccine, and that the Board should perhaps put money toward mental health instead.

  • Elena Saldivar of Pixley Town Council said there are some conflicts that cannot move forward because of communication issues. She says she will not attend meetings because of this but doesn’t want to end on a bad note and be taken out of Pixley Town Council.

  • Frank Reese, Elisa Rives, and Rebecca Jimenz congratulated Supervisor Valero for becoming Chairman of the Board

  • Kelly, resident of Dinuba, believes experimental shots and masks should not be mandated. She asks if the Board will look into becoming a constitutional county. Supervisor Valero says the clerk will take note of this.

The meeting adjourned to a closed session. Chair Valero closed the meeting honoring those who have died in 2021 including Jordan Daniel Jimenez who died on December 26, 2021.

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