Here’s what you need to know: 

  • The bid by Don Berry Construction, Inc., in an amount of $8.6 million was approved for construction of the 2022 Road Repair and Accountability Act (RRAA) Project 1. The received bids were over the estimated amount due to the rise in crude oil prices. 
  • The uncodified ordinance adopting military equipment for Tulare County Sheriff’s Office was approved. This ordinance is associated with AB-481. Supervisors Vander Poel, Shuklian, and Valero believe that it goes beyond what they need but were in support and approved the ordinance anyway. 
  •  Thomas W. Degn was appointed as the County Hearing Officer. He will serve as the Board’s representative on all personnel hearing panels, grievance panels, and the Chair of the Local Appeals Board. He has been a litigator for 20 years. 

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 17, 2022. It began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. Due to a family emergency, Supervisor Micari was not present.


  • Board of Supervisors matters
    • Supervisor Vander Poel
      • Upcoming is a reception of the California Transportation Commission honoring Commissioner Egan. He congratulated all graduates.
    • Supervisor Shuklian
      • Last week she attended mock interviews with Kiera Bixler, presented a certificate for Employee of the Year for Kaweah Delta Hospital for Chaplain Mark Wilson, and presented a proclamation for Foster family picnic. 
      • Upcoming is a Mt. Whitney High School FFA banquet, Homeless Task Force meeting, Air Board, and San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority meeting.
    • Supervisor Townsend
      • Last week he attended the San Joaquin Regional Regional Policy Council conference, he congratulated Ted Smalley for receiving the Darrel Hildebrand Award, Porterville Fair junior livestock auction, recognized Kody Ridenower for his service in the coast guard and to the Porterville College Veterans Resource Center, Tulare County Association of Governments meeting, and a Tulare County Transportation meeting.
      • Upcoming he will be speaking at the Porterville Veterans Hall, State of the County, Porterville Town Hall, and a Sierra View Foundation board meeting.
    • Supervisor Valero
      • Last week he spoke to Supervisorial Academy graduates and attended a Tulare County Regional Transportation Agency meeting, 
      • Upcoming is a Mineral King Association meeting, stakeholder review meeting, #Lead graduation for the County’s youth, and the State of the County event. 
  • Recognize Julie Allen for her 28 years of dedicated service to the Tulare County LAFCO Commission.
    • Presentation by Supervisor Townsend. Allen has volunteered for 28 years on LAFCO. She thanked the staff and the Commission for their hard work. Townsend presented a plaque to Allen.
  • Present a Proclamation recognizing May 15-21, 2022 as Emergency Medical Services Week in Tulare County.
    • Supervisor Townsend presented the proclamation. Karen Elliot, the public health emergency preparedness manager and representatives from a few local ambulances were honored during the proclamation.
      • Supervisor Valero thanked Dustin Espino for saving his life in 2019 when Valero fell unconscious while walking his dog.
  • Presentation by David Wetmore with Carpi & Clay regarding an update on Federal Legislation.
    • David Wetmore attended via Zoom, although his audio was hard to hear at first. His audio then cut out completely for his entire presentation for those watching the Youtube livestream. However, a recording of the meeting including his presentation was uploaded later.
    • A bill was passed that provides direct federal assistance to all local governments. The CARES Act limited it to jurisdictions with over 500,000 people. Tulare County did not meet the cut but will receive $91 million through ARPA.
    • A bipartisan law was signed that provides five years of funding for federal service transportation programs. 
    • There is a bill targeting 73 groves to encourage local collaboration in protecting sequoias. They are redrafting the legislation to hopefully be presented in June.
    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked about community funding projects for next year. He said the list of 15 projects that the Congressman will be putting forward has been submitted and finalized and asked Wetmore if he could give any details about them. Wetmore said the list will be posted when they are ready to present it.
    • Supervisor Townsend asked if Wetmore knows what the Save Our Sequias legislation will look like on the Senate side and what the President’s opinion is. Wetmore said Senator Feinstein has been helpful in trying to promote common sense forest management legislation. Wetmore said he is hopeful.
    • Supervisor Valero asked about the Internet For All initiative. Wetmore said funds were recently approved for internet service providers and he can look more into that for the Board.
  • The consent calendar was approved.
  • Request from the Resource Management Agency to approve Option A or Option B regarding the award contract for construction of the 2022 Road Repair and Accountability Act Project 1: 
    • Option A: Approve and award the contract to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, Don Berry Construction, Inc., of Kingsburg, California, in an amount of $8,609,905.48, for construction of the 2022 Road Repair and Accountability Act (RRAA) Project 1. Authorize additional funds, to cover higher-than-expected project costs, in the amount $724,257. Allow funds for contingencies, to cover unexpected construction conditions, in an amount $442,995. 
    • Option B: Reject all bids received on April 25, 2022, for the 2022 Road Repair and Accountability Act (RRAA) Project 1. Approve the re-advertisement for bids for the 2022 Road Repair and Accountability Act (RRAA) Project 1.
    • Reed Schenke presented the item. The bids were over the estimated amount due to the spike in crude oil prices. This project will not negatively impact other projects. There will likely not be any major price fluctuations in oil prices. He recommended Option A. 
    • Option A approved
  • Request from the Sheriffs’ Department, to introduce an Uncodified Ordinance Adopting a Military Equipment, Use Policy for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.
    • Assistant Sheriff Mark Gist presented the request. AB-481 passed this year. Gist said they have created a policy and worked with the County Council about this ordinance.
    • Supervisor Vander Poel said he thinks it is unnecessary because they need to keep the public safe with whatever equipment they have. He said it is “creating work for no reason”.
    • Supervisor Shuklian agreed with Supervisor Vander Poel. She isn’t sure it needs to go beyond what they need but she is in support of this. Supervisor Valero said he agees.
    • Approved
  • Request from the County Administrative Office to appoint Thomas W. Degn as the County Hearing Officer. Appoint the County Hearing Officer as the Board’s representative on all personnel hearing panels, the Board’s representative on all grievance panels, and the Chair of the Local Appeals Board (if that board is reactivated at a future date with a membership that includes the County Hearing Officer).
    • Degn said he has been a litigator for about 20 years and is very familiar with the law. His goal is to make everyone who goes through the administrative hearing process feels heard and that the process was fair. 
    • Supervisor Shuklian asked if Degn will be handling all of the hearings. Staff said this item approved Degn to sit in place of the Board member.
    • Approved
  • There were no Board matter requests

Public Comment

  • Marylin Malloy, resident of Tulare County, said she is concerned about Covid in the County. She asked that a draft resolution ending Tulare County’s state of emergency be added onto the agenda for the next meeting. She said if they do not want to pass this resolution then they should provide proof that Covid has been isolated.
  • Reed Schenke, RMA Director, said May 15-21 is National Public Works Week. Ross Miller, American Public Works Association Chapter President, presented a poster. Miller said there are currently about 300 active members in the chapter. The theme for this National Public Works Week is ready and resilient. The chapter will be hosting an event this Friday at the Clovis farmers market.

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

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