Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Arts Consortium was declared the official arts council of Tulare County. It is a nonprofit organization that hosts many projects and events year-round, such as bridge paintings, studio tours, and poetry competitions.
  • The bulk tire rate was changed from $185 to $230 per ton. This change will not affect the majority of people because this is the rate of ten tires. The cost increase is to cover the cost it takes to collect dumped tires on roadways.
  • A public hearing was held to discuss the appeal of a permit for Catopia, a cat sanctuary. The appellants were Geoffery Parr and Carol Passmore. Neighbors urged the Board to deny the appeal due to the strong smell of cat urine, loose dogs and cats, and public safety. Friends of Parr and Passmore urge the Board to approve the permit because the property is clean and they are doing a good service for the community and the cats. The appeal was denied.

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 8, 2022. It began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. Supervisor Valero asked everyone to “continue to keep Ukraine in our thoughts and prayers”.


  • Board of Supervisors matters
    • Supervisor Vander Poel
      • Upcoming is the Tulare County Employees Retirement Association meeting, Tulare County Employee Retirement Association Investment Committee meeting, Tulare Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee, GKGSA, Tulare County Water Commission meeting, and he will be coaching his son’s baseball team.
    • Supervisor Shuklian
      • Last week she attended the CSAC Board of Directors meeting, chatted with the Hopper in the Morning podcast, and the Historical Society Annual meeting.
      • Upcoming is a Mental Health Board meeting, Workforce Investment Board meeting, Visalia Unified School Districtpress conference, a panel for the 210 forum, her birthday on Saturday, and the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
    • Supervisor Micari
      • Last week he met with the RCRC president, attended a LAFCO meeting, Knight of Columbus officer of the year awards, and a meeting with the Lindsay city manager.
      • Upcoming is a meeting with Sierra view staff regarding the Strathmore clinic, a meeting with Farmersville City Manager, Public Safety Recognition, meeting with Health & Human Services Director, Exeter Chamber mixer, and a Polar Community Services meeting.
    • Supervisor Townsend
      • Last week he had a meeting with the RCRC Director, attended a webinar on the Sierra Nevada conservancy, Eastern Tule GSA, a meeting with Joe Halford, an agenda review, and a Habitat for Humanity meeting.
      • Upcoming RCRC Board meeting, an awards and installation dinner, Mountain community constituent meeting, a meeting with valley children’s, and a dinner with David Shepard.
    • Supervisor Valero
      • Last week he participated in Read Across America in Cutler, attended the Woodlake awards dinner and the Knights of Columbus awards.
        • Winners of the Woodlake awards are
          • Business of the Year – Woodlake Drive In, Youth of the Year – Eric Zarchaias and Melanie Dominguez, Youth Mentor – Rick Rodriguez, Spirit of Woodlake – Carla R. Martin, Educator of the Year – Nicole Frazier, Organization of the Year – Woodlake Flying Tigers, Heritage Award – Woodlake Parks and Recreation Department, Lifetime Achievement Award – Richard and Linda LeFleur
      • Upcoming is a county library meeting, meeting with business owners of Three Rivers, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks meeting, speaking at the Porterville Law Enforcement public safety dinner, judging at the Lions Club speech contest, law library meeting, and working on partnering with Changing Minds One at a Time
  • Consent Calendar
    • Item 5 was pulled, The remainder of the consent calendar was approved
    • Item 5 Approve a letter in opposition to Assembly Bill 1993 which proposes to require an employer to necessitate that each person who is an employee or independent contractor, and who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to show proof to the employer, or an authorized agent thereof, that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
      • Pamela Silva supported this letter. She said that people have lost their jobs and she wants to get people’s rights back. She said the vaccine does not stop transmission so there’s no reason to take it.
      • Approved 
  • Receive a Presentation by the Arts Consortium for the Year of the Youth Presentation Series. Designate the Arts Consortium as the official arts council of Tulare County from March 8, 2022 through December 31, 2023.
    • Ampelio Mejia Perez, Executive Director of the Arts Consortium, gave the presentation.
    • The Arts Consortium is a non-profit arts council of Tulare County. Some of their events and works are
      • Upcoming South Valley Art Tour, a countywide art studio tour that is on a two year cycle. It will be held March 26 and 27, 2022.
      • My Voice Media center, a free weekly art training as mental health outreach
      • Poetry Out Loud, a National competition
      • Art placement on various county bridges
      • Monthly and annual programming
        • First Friday: year round art walk in Downtown Visalia
        • Taste the Arts: over 80 artists selling their art, over 5,000 in attendance
    • It is currently supported by 138 individuals and 27 Tulare County businesses
    • Approved
  • Request from the Solid Waste Department to consider the proposed adjustment to the Bulk Tire rate from $185 to $230 per ton. The rate adjustment is for the purpose of recovering operational and vendor costs associated with the Waste Tire Diversion Program. Approval of rate adjustment is statutorily exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), pursuant to Public Resources Code, and the State CEQA Guidelines. Approve an amendment with Shamrock Recycling LLC, to adjust the Contract Rate from $180 to $205 per ton, effective April 1, 2022. Approve the proposed Bulk Tire rate at the Tulare County Landfill System effective April 1, 2022.
    • Bryce Howard, Director of solid waste
    • This increases the bulk tire rate (more than ten tires) from $185 to $230.
    • Majority of tires collected are tires collected from roadways. The cost to collect these tires will be covered by increased bulk tire rate. 
    • Fresno county charges $222 per ton
    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked what the rate for Kings and Kern County’s rates are. Howard said he does not know but the majority of people will not be affected by this change.
    • Approved
  • Request from the Resource Management Agency to deny the appeal of Final Site Plan PSR 21-005 based on staff findings and affirm the Planning Commission’s denial of a Rescue Kennel for Cats in Exeter, CA.
    • Aaron Bock explained the situation to the Board
    • Appellants Geoffery Parr and Carol Passmore
    • Overview
      • Application for final site plan / Use permit was made in response to a code violation for building without permits and operating a cat sanctuary named “Catopia”.
      • Lower cat count from about 100 to 50
      • Complaints continued while appellants tried to come into compliance
      • The Planning Commission voted to deny the Final Site Plan. Neighbors complain of the smell, attracting abandoned cats, infected cats, and potential pollution. 
      • Health & Human Services commented that “Catopia” is not in compliance and thinks it will not be in compliance given the time they have had to come into compliance. 
      • Violates Zoning and General Plan’s requirements.
    • Appellants Geoffery Parr and Carol Passmore provided testimony
      • Parr said they began in April 2020. He built a continuation of a storage shed and a kennel. He believes the issues have been addressed and has never denied animal control. Last year 40 cats were taken from their property to rescues and they currently have 60 cats. The dumpster is about 100 yards from the neighbors and has recently been replaced. He said that they cannot move the area for additional cats to where they keep their horses and admits his dogs do get out. He said his property is not  the only place with shattered asphalt.
      • Passmore said they started the Catopia because many people were moving due to covid. They have adopted 200 cats out. They receive no money from this and what they do helps the community and the cats. 
    • Public Comment
      • Neighbors Roger Blainey, Caroline Blainey, Keith Douglas, and Tracy Fricky asked the Board to deny the permit. They complained of the smell of cat urine, loose dogs, diseased cats, cats coming onto their property, and they fear for the safety of their families. 
      • Alma Beltran, mayor of Parlier said the neighbors and property owners should come together to find a solution. She also spoke of Bambi’s Army  Rescue and its success. She urged the Board to consider making a solution instead of denying the permit. 
      • Renee Davis, Rebecca Stuckdale, and Elisia Hernandez are friends of Parr and Passmore. They asked the Board to approve the permit. They said they never smelled any cat urine, the cats are being treated nicely and are healthy, and Parr and Passmore are doing a good service for the cats and the community. 
      • Ed Evans, original developer of the neighborhood, says the neighborhood is designed for quiet enjoyment. He is concerned about drainage and thinks this is the wrong spot for Catopia. He believes it goes against the CC&R’s and wants the Board to deny the permit.
      • Michelle Lopez also runs cat facilities. She says the area has a need for the service they provide. The property Is clean and she has had no problem with the dogs. 
      • Pamela Silva, resident of Visalia, asked what the Board will do with the cats if they deny the permit. She believes Parr and Passmore are doing society a service and the county should open another cat sanctuary in a different location if they deny it. 
    • Supervisor Shuklian asked if the other nearby cat sanctuary is still open, it is. She also said Tulare County has a trap, neuter, and release program. 
    • Supervisor Micari asked how long HHSA has been working on this issue. Bock said it has been over a year. Micari asked Parr if he is a contractor. Par said he has 40 years of experience. Parr said he did not think about permits when constructing the kennel. Micari asked if they are a non-profit. Parr said they have received confirmation but not received the actual copy. 
    • Supervisor Shuklian commended Parr and Passmore for their service to the community but thinks they have been given many chances. 
    • Appeal was denied
  • Request from the Tulare County Employees’ Retirement Association (TCERA) to take action on one of the following options regarding employer and employee retirement contribution rates. 
    • Option 1: Approve implementation of the employer and employee retirement contribution rates from TCERA Actuarial Valuation Report dated June 30, 2021, as approved by the Board of Retirement on November 3, 2021, and direct that the rates be adjusted effective with the pay period of the fiscal year that includes July 1, 2022.
    • Option 2: Approve implementation of employer and employee retirement contribution rates from TCERA Actuarial Valuation Report dated June 30, 2021, as approved by the Board of Retirement on November 3, 2021 and direct that the rates be adjusted “not later than 90 days after the beginning of the immediately succeeding fiscal year”. The changes to the employer and employee contribution rates could be delayed until 2022 pay period 20, the last pay period before the end of the 90-day limit.
    • Supervisor Valero left the meeting, Supervisor Townsend took over. Supervisor Micari did not take part in this item due to a financial conflict of interest.
    • Leanne Malison, Assistant Retirement Administrator, explained the options.
    • This is the second year of phase in’s of assumptions. There will be one more year of implementation. Employee rates are essentially unchanged. There is a discount if the Board elects to prepay. 
    • Option 1 was approved 
  • There were no board matter requests

Public Comment

There was no public comment.

The meeting adjourned to a closed session.

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