Here’s what you need to know:

  • Chair Valero presented the State of the County. He gave a summary of the County’s progress including having a General Fund of nearly $1 billion, launching CarePortal and having an 89% animal save rate. Other notable developments are the probation connections facility, implementing the modern tax mainframe and being one of the first counties in the state to use genomic sequencing to detect emerging variants.
  • Jessica Guzman of HHSA fiscal branch was awarded as the 2021 Tulare County Employee of the Year. 411 full time employees and 17 retirees received County Service Awards awards for their years of service to the County.
  • The board approved a 3.06% OCF rate adjustment for franchise waste haulers, effective July 1, 2022. Another “dump on us” day was added as well as another half price week instead of one per event.

Board of Supervisors

  • Larry Micari, District One
  • Pete Vander Poel III, District Two
  • Amy Shuklian, District Three
  • Eddie Valero – Chairman, 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 May 24, 2022. It began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. 


  • State of the County presentation by Chair Eddie Valero.
    • Valero began by introducing the Board Supervisors. He described Tulare County as an “all hands on deck” County.
    • The total County budget is $1.6 billion and the General Fund is near $1 billion for the first time in Tulare County history.
      • Some areas that have received significant investment are for county fires ($30 million), county roads, solar projects, housing developments, public health response ($50 million), homlessness, emergency response, and future drought impact needs ($2 million).
        • The County has been awarded up to $600,000 for mortgage and utility assistance for low income families who have been impacted by Covid.
        • The Community Care Coalition was formed in response to Covid to help people in need affected by covid by providing help with utility assistance, testing, vaccines, information outreach, and more. They administered over 530,000 vaccines in 2021.
    • About 1,500 Tulare County residents died due to Covid.
    • CarePortal launched in 2021
    • The Mental Health Diversion program worked 24/7 to help people with mental health needs and to keep them out of jails.
    • Tulare County Public Health Lab used genomic sequencing to detect emerging variants. This is one of the first counties in the state to utilize this technology.
    • The KNP and Windy fires caused 185 animals to need shelter. 
    • Mobile rec center to help places with communities without nearby rec centers
    • Trees were removed by the fire department and the GSA
    • Parks will receive $8 million for improvement of the water system, arbor, benches, and more.
    • He thanked everyone who helped with County redistricting.
    • The new probation connections facility helps people on probation with various services for free.
    • Future
      • Entered into a 20 year agreement with US Forest Service and the USDA to document the efforts at the Sequoia National Forest.
      • A modern tax mainframe will be going live in July.
      • Fix the Friant Kern Canal
  • Board of Supervisors matters
    • Supervisor Vander Poel
      • Upcoming is the Tulare County Employees Retirement Association Board, International AG Center Board, Kings-Tulare Master Plan for Aging Committee, Tulare County Association of Realtors social event, First5 annual retreat, Memorial Day, and an event promoting World Elder Abuse Awareness.
    • Supervisor Shuklian
      • Last week she attended the Mt. Whitney High School FFA Banquet, Homeless Task Force, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District meeting, and a San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority meeting. 
      • Upcoming is a meeting with Kiera Bixler on her podcast, Tulare County Economic Development Corporation meeting, Networking for Women, Memorial Day avenue of flags, and the Elder Abuse Day ceremony.
    • Supervisor Townsend
      • Last week he went to Hope Elementary School and the Knights of Columbus golf tournament.
      • Upcoming is a rural broadband meeting, a tour of the Porterville road yard, Staff appreciation lunch, Government Affairs Committee, reception of the Tulare County Association of Realtors, San Joaquin Regional Policy Council, receiving Friends of SCICON Award, Wine & Beer festival, Memorial Day, World Elder Abuse Awareness, and a Springville community update.
    • Supervisor Micari
      • Last week he attended East Kaweah GSA and met with the Sequoia Council boy scouts in Exeter.
      • Upcoming is the Leadership graduation at the Source, Farmersville Memorial Day parade, sunset service in Lindsay, World Elder Abuse presentation, and speaking at Sequoia Lions Club.
    • Supervisor Valero
      • Last week he attend the State of the County event at Mooney Grove Park, stakeholder review in West Goshen, and the #Lead graduate ceremony. 
      • Upcoming is an HHSA update, California Volunteers Commission Board meeting, Sierra Vista graduation, Sequoia-Yosemite RCDC meeting, staff luncheon, Deep Creek certificate presentation, and World Elder Abuse flag planting.
  • Recognition of Tulare County Employees who have been selected by their respective departments to be honored in the Employee Recognition Program. Announce and select the 2021 Tulare County Employee of the Year.
    • Lupe Garza introduced the nominees.
      • Tim Hudson – Probation
      • Kerissa Moya – District Attorney
      • Jessica Guzman – HHSA-Fiscal
      • Mitzi Malone – HHSA-CWS
      • Lisa Avila – HHSA-Aging
    • Jessica Guzman was awarded as the 2021 Tulare County Employee of the Year.
      • Tim Lutz, Robert Stewart, and Kevin Mikecell recognized and thanked Guzman for her hard work.
      • She was presented with a plaque and pictures were taken. Guzman  thanked the Board and her team.
  • Receive a Presentation by the Human Resources and Development Department regarding the County Service Awards Program.
    • Lupe Garza presented the awards. Awards are presented every five years after ten years of service. 411 full time employees and 17 retirees received awards.
    • All names can be seen in the Grapevine.
  • Present a Proclamation recognizing May 2022 as CalFresh Awareness Month in Tulare County.
    • The proclamation was presented by Supervisor Valero
    • Vienna Barnes and Roxenna Cruz received the award and thanked everyone who supported them. 
  • The consent calendar was approved
  • Request from the Solid Waste Department to approve the Franchise Hauler’s maximum collection and ancillary rates for Service Areas A, B, C, D, E, G, H, and J. Effective July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.
    • Bryce Howard, Director of Solid Waste, gave the presentation
    • OCF Rate increase is 3.06%, effective July 1, 2022
    • Added another “dump on us” day, totaling three per year. There are now two half price weeks instead of one per event. He stressed that they take mattresses for free. They also added a private cleanup program.
    • Supervisor Micari, Vander Poel, and Shuklian said they do not like price increases but support this because of the work they are doing to clean up the County. Shuklian asked if there are places other than CSET that accept electronics for free. Howard said he will have to check but they try to add information to their websites when there are places to dump electronics. Supervisor Townsend thanked Howard for adding more information to the website to help people find out where to go to dump their waste.
    • Approved
  • There were no Board matter requests

Public Comment

  • Crystal Reynolds, resident of Visalia, wants the emergency order lifted in Tulare County. She says there has not been a death from Covid in a while and other counties have lifted their emergency orders. She does not agree with incentivization of vaccines.
  • Marylin Malloy had asked to speak on an agenda item but said that she did not hear back from anyone after leaving her contact information. Supervisor Valero said they passed on her information to the Department of Health and Human Services. She said she agrees with Supervisor Shuklian in believing “Chair Valero is abusing us by keeping us in a state of emergency”. Supervisor Valero said they have never had a vaccine or mask mandate in Tulare County. 
  • Pamela Silva said the Board is elected to represent the people. Supervisor Valero said there is staff  to look out for the people’s best interest as well. Silva said when Supervisor Shuklian was Chair she called the police to make Silva and her friends wear masks. Silva says “In God we trust” should be in every building. She also wants the emergency order to be lifted. 
    • Supervisor Shuklian said the Board does not oversee the Sheriff’s department. 
    • Supervisor Vader Poel asked if the Board ended the County’s state of emergency in 2021. Jason Britt said the County’s state of emergency ended on June 10, 2021. There is a public health order by the Public Health Officer saying they will follow the State.

The meeting adjourned to a closed session.

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