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
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 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 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. 

July 30, 2010
Tulare County Files Response in Lawsuit Alleging Brown Act Violations

Today, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors filed its response in a lawsuit alleging Brown Act violations filed by Richard P. McKee, the Visalia Times-Delta/Tulare Advance-Register, and the California Newspapers Publishers Association. 

This is the second response filed by the Board of Supervisors during the lawsuit.  The first petition was dismissed because it did not allege sufficient facts to sustain a cause of action against the Board, according to Tulare County Superior Court Judge Melinda Reed’s June 30, 2010 ruling.

July 26, 2010
Tulare County Seeks District One Resident to Serve on Assessment Appeals Board

The County of Tulare Clerk of the Board Office is accepting applications from interested and qualified District One residents to fill a vacancy on the Tulare County Assessment Appeals Board.

The purpose of the appeals board is to determine the full value of property or to determine other matters of property tax assessment over which the appeals board has jurisdiction.

July 22, 2010
County Seeks Citizens to Serve on Boards & Commissions

The County of Tulare Clerk of the Board Office is accepting applications from interested citizens to serve on various boards and commissions.

July 21, 2010
Court Order Delays November 2010 Tulare Hospital District Election

Rita A. Woodard, Tulare County Registrar of Voters, announced today that due to a court order there will be no November 2010 election for the Tulare Local Hospital District, now renamed the Tulare Regional Medical Center. 

Pursuant to Election Code Section 10002 and the Uniform District Election Law, the Elections Office is a service agency and would ordinarily conduct an election for the district.

July 16, 2010
County Health Officer Offers Prevention Tips to Beat Heat

The heat wave that Tulare County is currently experiencing is making everyone uncomfortable, but individuals with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other lung conditions can be especially sensitive to these extreme temperatures. 

The best defense against heat related illness is prevention.

July 14, 2010
Breastfeeding Awareness Walk Planned in Visalia

The Tulare County Breastfeeding Coalition joins statewide ceremonies in recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, 2010, as they are sponsoring a Breastfeeding Awareness Walk on August 4, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Riverway Sports Park, 3611 N. Dinuba Blvd in Visalia.

Breastfeeding mothers, babies, children, families, friends and breastfeeding supporters are invited to come out for an early morning walk.   The Tulare County Breastfeeding Coalition will provide healthy snacks, beverages and door prizes.  The park also includes a water feature and “Tiny Tot Lot” for small children, creating a perfect summer morning. 

July 6, 2010
Tulare County Offers Community Health Forums

The Tulare County Department of Public Health invites residents of Tulare County to participate in our 2010 community health forums, currently scheduled throughout the month of July.

June 30, 2010
Service Learning Students to Be Honored July 1

A group of Green Acres Middle School students will be honored Thursday for completing the Middle School Cadet Corps program.

The Middle School Cadet Corps is a program designed and implemented by five Charter Alternatives Academy students participating in the Charter Cadet Opportunity Program (CCOP). The Middle School Cadet Corps provided academic tutoring/mentoring to 10 Green Acres Middle School students, as well as gang and drug prevention education and career awareness. In addition, the Green Acres students were trained in drill and deportment exercises by the Tulare County Sheriff's Department.

June 30, 2010
Lawsuit Against Board of Supervisors Put On Hold

Tulare County Superior Court Judge Melinda M. Reed today put on hold a lawsuit filed by Richard P. McKee alleging the Tulare County Board of Supervisors violated the Brown Act - California's Open-Meeting law - when eating meals together in numbers constituting a majority.

June 30, 2010
Tulare County RMA Launches Code Violation Hotline

Tulare County’s unincorporated residents can now report code compliance issues any time of the day.

Tulare County Resource Management Agency (RMA) officials announced today the launch of the “Code Violation Hotline,” a phone number set up to allow residents to report possible code violations. The phone number is 559-624-7060.