County News 2010

August 27, 2010
County Health Officer Offers West Nile Virus Tips

The Tulare County Department of Public Health is advising residents that even though we are soon heading into the month of September, marking the end of summer for many, it is still important to properly protect yourself from West Nile Virus as the current number of individuals who have contracted West Nile Virus in Tulare County stands at three.

“The risk of serious illness from contraction of West Nile Virus to humans is low,” said Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County Public Health Officer.  “In fact, most individuals who are infected with WNV will not experience any illness, but it is very important that individuals take the proper health precautions and follow proper health tips.”

August 23, 2010
Supervisors Wins Lawsuit Alleging Brown Act Violations

Tulare County Superior Court Judge Melinda Reed Monday adopted a tentative ruling which will result in the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against the Tulare County Board of Supervisors alleging Brown Act violations.

Judge Reed ruled: “Petitioners’ second amended petition is based on speculation and unreasonable inferences. Thus Petitioner fails to allege facts showing that any type of policy making discussions affecting the general public or having to do with the county’s governmental interest have taken place.”

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Steve Worthley issued the following statement:

“The decision by the court affirms the position of the Board that no Brown Act violations have ever occurred. The petitioners did not allege one fact that would support a lawsuit going forward which means that the lawsuit was completely spurious and without any factual foundation.”

August 23, 2010
Supervisor to Conduct Town Hall for Highway 190 Corridor Residents

Fifth District Supervisor Mike Ennis will host a meeting for residents and interested parties that live along the Highway 190 corridor.

“This is a great opportunity for residents to voice their concerns or opinions,” Supervisor Ennis said. “I’m looking forward to open and frank discussions regarding a variety of topics. This will also be a great opportunity for various agencies to provide updates on important issues”

The public meeting will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Aug. 27 at the Camp Nelson Fire Station, 1500 Nelson Dr. Camp Nelson, CA 93265.

August 18, 2010
Internet Access to Improve for Tulare County's Rural Residents

August 18, 2010

A project designed to bring high-speed Internet access to millions of San Joaquin Valley residents received a $46.6 million boost today in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
The Central Valley Independent Network (CVIN) will use the funds for a 1,371-mile fiber optic network called the Central Valley Next-General Broadband Infrastructure Project. This project will provide high-speed Internet service through 18 California counties, from Colusa to Kern counties. Tulare County officials began working with CENIC officials on this ARRA proposal in early 2010, drawing together a working group composed of technology leaders from the Tulare County Library, technicians with the Tulare County Office of Education, local cities and public safety officials from throughout the region.
Steve Worthley, Chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, said this project will be a benefit to County government and its residents.
“This assistance will allow people to access the Internet in a way that helps businesses and families,” Chairman Worthley said. “This type of project is important for all counties who have residents in rural communities.”

August 17, 2010
Tulare County to Administer $2 Million Grant for Disadvantaged Community Water Study Project

Tulare County will administer a $2 million state planning grant to address the drinking and wastewater needs for disadvantaged communities in the Tulare Lake Basin, which includes Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties.

On Tuesday, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the California Department of Water Resources to accept the $2 million in funding for the County of Tulare Disadvantaged Community Water Study Project.

District One Supervisor Allen Ishida said the Tulare County Water Commission pushed to seek the funding, which comes from Proposition 84 bond money. In 2006, California voters approved Proposition 84, which authorized $90 million for planning and incentives to reduce energy consumption, conserve water, improve air and water, and provide other benefits. 

August 13, 2010
HHSA Phone Number Changes

Nine Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) phone numbers have changed.

The phone number changes are part of an ongoing effort to improve the reliability of the of the county’s telephone communications system and to reduce costs. Departments are switching to Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. VoIP is a technology that allows for voice communication over computer networks.

August 10, 2010
Tulare County RMA Changes Hours for Public Interaction

Tulare County’s Resource Management Agency (RMA) received approval from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, August 10 to reduce the hours its Government Plaza offices in Visalia are open to the public. RMA officials say the move will enable its building and planning staff – reduced from 62 to 31 in the last two years – to be more effective by providing at least 2.5 hours of uninterrupted work time each day.

August 10, 2010
Tulare County Adopts Furlough Hours for Departments

Furlough schedules for the County of Tulare’s government offices were approved Tuesday, August 10 by the Board of Supervisors.

Employee furloughs are mandatory time off work with no pay and are used as an alternative to a layoff.

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved the 40-hour unpaid furlough program for themselves and approximately 500 unrepresented employees on July 21. Last year, the Board of Supervisors also approved a 40-hour unpaid furlough program for employees represented by unions that extend into the 2010-11 fiscal year. The 40-hour – equivalent to five 8-hour days in one fiscal year – unpaid furlough equates to a 1.9 percent salary reduction for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“Enacting furloughs is one tool to close the budget deficit without creating a major financial burden on our employees,” said Steve Worthley, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

August 10, 2010
Gloria Simoes Honored as 2009 Employee of the Year

Gloria Simoes, a Tulare County Fire Department emergency dispatch supervisor, has been selected the 2009 Tulare County Employee of the Year, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday, August 10.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Steve Worthley said more than 120 County of Tulare employees were nominated from 15 departments. Gloria Simoes is the first Tulare County Fire Department employee to be recognized as the employee of the year. The Tulare County Fire Department was created in 2006.

“Being recognized as the first employee of the year from the Tulare County Fire Department is an exceptional honor,” Chairman Worthley said. “The Board commends Gloria for her hard work and dedication, which has proven to be second to none.”

August 2, 2010
End of Nomination Period for Candidates: Aug. 6

Rita A. Woodard, Tulare County Registrar of Voters, would like to remind all Tulare County residents that the General Election will be held on November 2, 2010.

Friday, August 6, 2010 at 5 p.m. is the end of the nomination period for any candidate who wants to file for office.