June 27, 2023 — Tulare County Board of Supervisors
Documented by Dani Huerta
Here’s what you need to know
- At its July 27 meeting, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors recognized the Woodlake Varsity Baseball Team for its 2023 CIF Central Section Championship was presented by Supervisor Eddie Valero to coach Juan Gamez and the team. Gamez said “this is 15 years in the making”.
- The Tulare County HHSA Mental Health Branch will continue to provide Assisted Outpatient Treatment/Laura’s Law for fiscal year 2023-24. In fiscal year 2022-23 six new AOT (Assisted Outpatient Treatment) referrals were evaluated. Four are currently participating. Supervisors Larry Micari and Amy Shuklian recognized the numbers are low, but voiced their support for continuing Laura’s Law, a state law that provides community-based assisted outpatient treatment to those who meet legal requirements and who are unable to voluntarily access community mental health services because of their illness, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center.
- A presentation was given by Mike Washam about the Resource Management Agency (RMA) Economic Development and Planning Branch for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Each of the five divisions’ (economic development office, grants and resources, planning division, building department and code compliance) duties were explained, including some updates. Some updates are that the Permit Center has a new online portal, Illegal Cannabis Abatement has 184 active cases, and there have been 7,012 vehicle abatements since 1995.
- Why are there not more Assisted Outpatient Treatment referrals in the county?
- Larry Micari – vice chair, District One
- Pete Vander Poel III, District Two
- Amy Shuklian, District Three
- Eddie Valero, District Four
- Dennis Townsend – chair, District Five
- Jason T. Britt, county administrative officer
- Jennifer M. Flores, county counsel
- Melinda Benton, chief clerk
The Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting was held simultaneously in-person and streamed via YouTube at 9 a.m. on June 27, 2023. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation led by Lance Ainsworth.
- Board of Supervisors matters
- Vander Poel
- Last week was the international AG center interchange groundbreaking, he MCd an event honoring Lynn Dredge, and attended the Tulare Kiwanis Club meeting,
- Upcoming is a Tulare County Employees Retirement Association Board meeting, International AG Center Board meeting and the Tulare Fireworks Spectacular.
- Last week was Family Services’ 40th anniversary celebration, Power of the Purse, Women in Transportation meeting and a Tulare County Association of Governments meeting.
- Upcoming is a Downtown Visalia Property Owners Association meeting, Visalia Economic Development Corporation meeting and a Realtors Association meeting.
- Last week he was part of a theater production, attended the unveiling of the new exhibit at the Three Rivers historical museum, a Yosemite Sequoia Resource Conservation and Development Council meeting and a committee for housing meeting.
- Upcoming is an Ivanhoe Community Council meeting, a tour of the new Dinuba High School, Latino Caucus of California Counties, Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park update, the Woodlake July 3rd blast and the Three Rivers hot dog festival.
- Last week was the Family Services 40th anniversary celebration, Power of the Purse, an animal clinic spay/neuter event, Tulare Chamber Salute to dairy, a Washington, D.C. advocacy trip, a meeting of the East Kaweah Groundwater Suitability Agency, Tooleville consolidation agreement, International Ag center overpass, and a Tulare County Association of Governments meeting.
- Last week was the Washington D.C. advocacy trip, a San Joaquin Regional Policy Council meeting, and the international AG center interchange groundbreaking.
- Upcoming is the Miss California Outstanding Teen pageant and a meeting with county staff about the new Springville Library.
- Vander Poel
- Presented a certificate recognizing the Woodlake Varsity Baseball Team for its 2023 CIF Central Section Championship.
- Valero presented the certificate to coach Juan Gamez. Gamez said “this is 15 years in the making.” He has been coaching at Woodlake High School for about five years.
- Presented a certificate recognizing the Woodlake Robotics Team for its success in competitions at the local and state level.
- Valero presented the certificate to coach Alex Castillanoz. He said there are five girls and one boy on the team.
- (Approved) Consent Calendar (Items 5-87)
- An addendum to the consent calendar included an item that stated “Ratify an Amended Local Health Emergency due to Flood Water Contamination by the County Health Officer, originally proclaimed on March 11, 2023.”
- Item 58 was pulled for consideration.
- Item 58: “Approve a tentative agreement for a successor Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Tulare and the Service Employees International Union, Bargaining Units 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, effective July 1, 2023-June 30, 2025”.
- Lupe Garza, Human Resources and Development director, explained the item. Sabina Ramos, chapter president of the union for the department of child support, thanked the county for being able to complete the bargaining on time. She said employee retention is still an issue.
- Item 75 has a verbal correction. It should refer to the final ARPA Recovery Plan instead of the Interim ARPA Recovery Plan.
- Townsend commented on items 11, 28 and 29, thanking those involved.
- Vander Poel commented on item 14, thanking Jose Moreno.
- Remainder of the consent calendar was approved
- Some of the approved items included the approval of an agreement with Fuentes Security Services to provide security guard services for the county (item 20), reaffirmation of the existence of an emergency due to the failure of the irrigation well at Ledbetter Park (item 25) and the approval of the capital asset purchase of two new vehicles to support the day-to-day operations of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Patrol and Investigations Divisions (item 87).
- (Option A approved) Receive a presentation from the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) regarding Assisted Outpatient Treatment/Laura’s Law from Tulare County HHSA Mental Health Branch and recommendation to take action on one of the following options:
- Option A: Authorize the Tulare County HHSA Mental Health Branch to continue to provide Assisted Outpatient Treatment for fiscal year 2023-2024. Allow for the combined use of federal financial participation, Mental Health Services Act, and 1991 realignment funding, in an amount not to exceed $200,000.
- Option B: Opt out of providing Assisted Outpatient Treatment in Tulare County for fiscal year 2023-2024.
- Gilberto Rivas, HHSA Deputy Director for mental health, gave a presentation. To qualify for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), patients must be at least 18 years old, have a mental illness and either have two hospitalizations/incarcerations in the last 36 months or one act/threat of violence in the last 48 hours. In fiscal year 2021-22 six AOT referrals were evaluated. Two did not meet the criteria. In fiscal year 2022-23 six new AOT referrals were evaluated. Four are currently participating.
- Micari said he recognized the numbers are low but he is in support of continuing Laura’s Law. Supervisor Shuklian agreed.
- Option A approved
- Received a presentation from the Fire Department regarding July 4th safety.
- Fire Chief Charlie Norman and Kevin Riggi told supervisors there are 27 fireworks booths in Tulare County this year. To be legal, the seal must be a California safe and sane seal. They will get rid of vegetation along Road 296 and Reservation Road to avoid fires. Some 500 pounds of illegal fireworks were seized last year.
- To report the sale of illegal fireworks call 559-802-9800. To report the use of illegal fireworks call 559-733-6218.
- Received a presentation that provided updates on the Resource Management Agency (RMA) Economic Development and Planning Branch for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
- Mike Washam gave the presentation. The Economic Development and Planning Branch is made of five divisions: economic development office, grants and resources, planning division, building department and code compliance.
- Economic Development Office
- Business Opportunities concentrates on cost, time and certainty the project will be approved.
- The Tourism Program markets Tulare County as a great place to live, and partners with Mighty 190, Sequoia Tourism Council and local museums.
- The Film Commission supports the film industry and partners with the Slick Rock Film Festival.
- Grants and Resources
- There are 21 active grant awards and 10 pending awards. Resources include the Broadband task force, water commission, forest health task force and the agricultural advisory committee.
- Planning Division
- Project Processing includes reviewing and processing zoning requests, parcel maps and notification of special hearings, among other things.
- The Environmental Planning Group works according to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
- Special Projects does long-range planning, including for the diary program, surface mining program and the general plan.
- Building Department
- The Permit Center has a new online portal for submitting building permit applications, scheduling inspections and more.
- Inspections ensure projects are up to code.
- Code Compliance
- General Code enforces violations of public safety and nuisance. There has been a spike in complaints since COVID-19.
- The Abandoned Vehicle and Abatement Program has had 116 new cases. There have been 7,012 vehicle abatements since 1995.
- The Employee Housing Program in Tulare County is one of nine enforcement agencies. There are 955 dwelling units.
- Substandard Housing Abatement responds to cases such as burned or deteriorating houses. There are 20 new cases.
- Illegal Cannabis Abatement has 184 active cases.
- The Solid Waste Program has closed 76 cases from self-abatement.
- Public Nuisance investigates loud parties and illegal roadside vendors.
- There were no board matter requests
- Miguel Ramirez, public affairs manager with SoCalGas, said they recently announced their 2023 Filling Our Community Initiative that helps feed families. They also donated to the gas assistance fund, he said.
- The board’s next meeting is July 11.
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