Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Board recognized Assistant District Attorney Robert Dempsie’s retirement from the District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Tim Ward thanked Dempsie for his many years of work and mentoring. Dempsie said he is thankful that he has never been asked to change. Dempsie thanked his family and was presented with a plaque.
  • Various repairs and replacements for amenities  were approved for parks in Bartlett, Cutler, and Woodville Parks. There are plans to repair and replace amenities in Alpaugh, Bartlett, Culter, Goshen, Kings River, Leadbetter, Mooney Grove, and Pixley as part of year two of ARPA repairs.
  • The Mid-Year Budget Report was presented. The Governor’s proposed budget is $286.5 billion, an increase of $23.9 billion compared to last year. General Fund Departments are within budget. High inflation is expected to persist and it is unknown how it will affect the budget. The County’s total long term debt is $252.2 million.

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 March 29, 2022. It began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence.


  • Board of Supervisors matters
    • Supervisor Townsend
      • Last week he attended a Rotary meeting, a call with Golden State Connect Authority, and a San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council meeting. 
      • Upcoming is a Man Alive planning board meeting, AG business lunch, Government Affairs Committee meeting with Porterville Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club Porterville museum tour, Rotary dinner, Tulare County Cattlewomen association golf tournament, Habitat for Humanity birdhouse auction, and today they honor Vietnam veterans, POW’s, and MIA’s.
    • Supervisor Micari
      • Last week he attended the Common Threads annual luncheon, webinar with the lobbyist, Tulare County Fire Department promotion, Lupe’s Promise youth center opening in Poplar, Kings/Tulare Agency on Aging, TCAG, and he MC’d the 100th annual Exeter Chamber Awards.
      • Upcoming, Supervisor Shuklian will be meeting with Source Leadership Academy, Supervisor Micari will attend Kiwanis’ Farmer of the Year Award, a meeting with the City Manager  of Visalia and Mayor, Habitat for Humanity birdhouse auction, Tulare County museum jamboree, Exeter AG boosters, and an event to support a ranch.
    • Supervisor Shuklian
      • Last week she attended the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority meeting, Air board meeting, Homeless Task Force meeting, Fire Department promotion, made a video with Kaweah Health, and gave an update to the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women.
      • Upcoming is a meeting with the Source Leadership Academy, Tulare County Economic Development Administration meeting, Chamber mixer, will MC the First 5 Hands on Heroes awards, Habitat for Humanity birdhouse auction, Mooney’s Grove museum jamboree, and CSAT Government and Finance Administration Committee meeting with Senator Caballero.
    • Supervisor Vander Poel
      • Upcoming is the Tulare Farmers of the Year Award and the museum jamboree. He also mentioned the Tulare Athletic Boxing Club because of Richard Torrez.
    • Supervisor Valero
      • Last week he attended a meeting with the governor, RKAAA, food distribution in Three Rivers, a conference planning meeting, Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parksupdate, Yosemite Seqouia Resource Development Council meeting, Well Program zoom meeting, gave a presentation at Dinuba High School, participated in a march to raise awareness for national child abuse and neglect prevention, and attended a Three Rivers Fire Council presentation.
      • Upcoming is a Well Conference, Ivanhoe Community Council meeting, United Way video setup at Mooney Grovepark, a meeting with staff for step up programming, and a HHSA and Dinuba meeting. 
  • Receive a Presentation by the Tulare County Farm Bureau, in coordination with the Tulare County Office of Education, for the National Agriculture Week Children’s Art Calendar Awards
    • Tricia Blattler of the Tulare County Farm Bureau presented the winners.
    • This is the 25th year presenting this art project. There were over 1300 entries. 24 students receive honorable mentions.
    • This year’s theme is We’ve Got Good Things Growing. The winners are
      • District 2 Ruby Bobadilla, Kassandra Gonzalez, Jose Jimenez, and Ciria Valdovinos 
      • District 3 Bryce Moore and Bethany Wells
      • District 4 Catricia Alvarez, Mercedes Cuevas, Madison Daniska, Yasmin Garcia Ibarra, Emiliano Lupercio is the back cover winner, and Mateo Martinez
      • District 5 Luke Mathis
      • District 1 Michelle Gaytan Mesinas is the cover winner
  • Recognize Assistant District Attorney Robert Dempsie upon his retirement from the District Attorney’s office for his many years of service with the County
    • District Attorney Tim Ward and the Board thanked Robert Dempsie for his service to the County and for being a mentor to many. The Board presented Dempsie with a plaque and took a picture.
    • Robert Dempsie said it has been a privilege to serve the county and thanked Ward. He is grateful that he has never been asked to change. He also thanked his family for their support.
  • Receive a Presentation recognizing Tulare County’s female department directors in honor of Women’s History Month
    • Plaques were presented to Michelle Baldwin, Michelle Bonwell, Erin Brooks, Jennifer Flores, Tara Freidas, Lupe Garza, Leeann Mellison, Brooke Sisk, Darla Wagner, and Karmjot Randhawa. The Board thanked them for their service to the County.
  • The consent calendar was approved with a correction
    • Item 30 correction. The bid for Avison Construction Inc. should read $1,188,788.
  • Request from the Clerk of the Board to introduce an ordinance amending the Tulare County Ordinance Code, pertaining to the Assessment Appeals Board. Set the adoption of the ordinance for April 12, 2022. 
    • The ordinance is to clarify the responsibilities of the Board of Supervisors versus the Assessment appeals Board, recognizing the clerk of the Board as the clerk of the assessment appeals board and defining the clerk’s duties, add the statutory provisions defining the minimum qualifications and training requirements of new assessment appeal board members, add the statutory provisions requiring the Assessment Appeals Board members to act impartially in all appeals, clarify the Assessment Appeals Board must be five members but act as a three member hearing panel, cautify the existing practices of each member of the Board to nominate one of the five members of the Assessment Appeals Board and not require the nominee to be a resident  of the nominating Supervisor’s district, and to amend the reimbursement provision to clarify that Assessment Appeals Board members are entitled to travel expenses the same rate as county employees. 
    • Approved
  • Request from General Services Agency to approve repair and replacement of arbors, picnic tables, and grills in Bartlett, Cutler, and Woodville Parks, in an amount not to exceed $1,026,800, per the Tulare County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Interim Recovery Plan. Approve the necessary budget adjustments.
    • Brooke Sisk introduced Albert Sendajas as the new Parks Manager. Sisk presented the request.
    • This is part of year one of repairs. Some proposed repairs for year two are
      • Alpaugh: replace arbors, grills, install irrigation and an electric system
      • Bartlett: drill a new well in Bartlett 
      • Cutler: replace existing irrigation, new paving, repair and replace arbors
      • Goshen: install picnic tables, arbors, and grills
      • Kings River: replace existing arbor and picnic tables
      • Leadbetter: improve sports fields
      • Mooney Grove: renovate the bridge, repair and replace arbors and picnic tables
      • Pixley: repair and replace arbors, picnic tables, grills, water distribution system, and irrigation
    • Approved
  • Request from the County Administrative Office to Receive the Mid-Year Budget Report. Approve the proposed schedule for preparation and adoption of the budget. Adopt the personnel resolution to add, delete, reclass, retitle, amend positions, and approve and amend the required job specifications, class designations, and salary adjustments proposed in the Mid-Year Budget Report subject to completion of meet and confer. Approve the capital asset purchase list. Approve recognition and usage of unanticipated revenues and increase appropriations in the amount of $10.9 million. Authorize the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer-Tax Collector, with the concurrence of the County Administrative Officer, to process any budget adjustments proposed in the Mid-Year Budget Report.
    • Jason Britt, County Administrative Officer, presented the report
    • Financial Strengths
      • Economic growth, budget in alignment, investment of capital improvement construction
    • Proposed State’s Budget
      • Governor’s proposed Budget
        • Total budget $286.5 billion, increase of $23.9 billion compared to last fiscal year
      • Special areas of interest are Covid-19, climate change, homlessnes, affordability, and safer streets
    • Local Assessed value and property taxation
      • 4.9% average change from 2015 through 2022 
    • Mid-year budget
      • General Fund Departments are within budget, General Fund Revenues are 36% recognized (same as last year), and the General Fund Expenditure is 51% obligated (1% lower than last year)
    • Unanticipated Revenues
      • Recommends the Board to recognize $10.9 million in unanticipated revenue and dedicate it to three major projects
        • $4.9 million for the Fire and Sheriff Motorola dispatch system
        • $5 million to the Capital Projects Fund for a new morgue
        • $1 million to the Election trust Fund for upcoming elections
    • General Fund Revenue and Expenditures are on track and is as expected
    • High inflation is expected to persist for years. The presentation quotes the Wall Street Journal saying “Consumer prices are the highest in 40 years”. The impact to the County’s budget is unknown.
    • As part of the General Fund the department requests adding 46, deleting 16, amending 187, and reclassing 60 personnel. As part of the Outside Funds the department requests adding 1, deleting 2, amending 9, and reclassing 9.
      • Supervisor Vander Poel asked why they are adding positions if they aren’t able to fill them. Britt says they hope to fill these positions at the level that the state expects. Many departments also hope to continue to hire.
    • Salary adjustments
      • 6% increase emergency dispatchers, 6% increase for emergency Dispatcher-Supervisor, 5% increase for Assistant Sheriff
    • County Financial Challenges
      • Increasing operational and structural costs, increasing financial share of state mandated programs, rising detention facilities operational costs, fiscally unsustainable Zones of Benefit water and wastewater systems, and economic uncertainty due to inflation.
    • Total long term debt is $252.2 million
    • Approved
  • There were no Board Matter Requests

Public Comment

  • Kelly Colver, resident of Dinuba, emailed the Board about ten bills being proposed, including AB-1993. She wants the Board to take action against these bills. She said that not many people know that Kaweah Delta is offering antibody treatment for covid. She wants the County to promote antibodies more. 

The meeting adjourned to a closed session.

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