County News 2011

September 1, 2011
Tulare County Issues Notices of Violation to Operators and Growers of Medical Marijuana Sites

September 1, 2011

In a move to crack down on illegally zoned medical marijuana operations, Tulare County has issued seven Notices of Violation to owners, occupants, or lessees of four properties where medical marijuana cooperatives are operating or medical marijuana cultivation violates the requirements of the County ordinance.
 
On Wednesday, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department officials served the Notices of Violation to the seven people, including one corporation, requiring they cease operations within the next 10 days on the four properties. If the owners and operators do not comply within 10 days, the County will file for preliminary and permanent injunctions to enforce compliance.
 
Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Mike Ennis said Tulare County will be more aggressive in enforcing the County's ordinances regulating Medical Marijuana cultivation, distribution, and operations after winning a civil injunction earlier this month against Foothill Growers Association Inc., an Ivanhoe-based cooperative of about 100 people with doctors' recommendations to smoke or ingest marijuana to treat symptoms of health conditions.
 
“Tulare County will not tolerate illegal medical marijuana operations in our unincorporated areas,” Chairman Ennis said. “Medical marijuana operations like the Foothill Growers Association and the others who received notices of violations are a major threat to the public safety of our residents.”

August 30, 2011
Tulare County Delays Decision on Approving New Redistricting Map

August 30, 2011

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors today delayed a vote to approve one of the three proposed redistricting maps submitted by the 2011 Advisory Committee on Redistricting for the redrawing of Supervisorial district lines.

Tulare County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau said a review requested by County staff and performed by outside counsel hired by the Board of Supervisors identified differences between its results and the population variances in the final maps. The population variances were outside of the two percent deviation goal - used by the Advisory Committee - on maps Plan A and Plan C. Plan B remained within the two percent deviation.

The Board of Supervisors today directed staff to form an Ad Hoc committee to correct maps Plan A and Plan C and schedule a final public hearing for September 27, 2011. At the Sept. 27 meeting, one of the three maps will be considered for approval.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Mike Ennis said all members of the 2011 Advisory Committee on Redistricting will be asked to participate in the Ad Hoc committee to address the issue while preserving the integrity of the proposed maps. Members of the public will be invited to comment at future scheduled meetings.

“I’m confident that members of the Redistricting Committee can address this issue promptly,” Chairman Ennis said.

August 25, 2011
Tulare County to Consider Suspension of Furlough Program for Fiscal Year 2011-12

August 25, 2011

Tulare County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau announced today the 40-hour furlough program could be suspended for Fiscal Year 2011-12 pending approval from the Board of Supervisors during September’s budget hearings, and subject to any meet and confer obligations with the County’s bargaining units.

“Tulare County is in a position to suspend the furlough program due to a small increase in our fund balance that provides one-time funds,” Rousseau said. “We appreciate the patience of all our employees during these tough financial times and are hopeful this proposal to suspend the furlough program can be of assistance to them.”

Rousseau said the increase in fund balance is enough to suspend the furlough program for Tulare County’s 4,000 employee workforce this fiscal year only. County employees will still be impacted with the elimination of the sick leave buyback program and step and merit increases for Fiscal Year 2011-12.

August 25, 2011
Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission to Hold General Plan Workshop

August 25, 2011

A joint public workshop of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission will be held on August 30, 2011 to review the Tulare County General Plan 2030 Update.

The workshop will be held at 1:30 pm at the County Administration Building, 2800 West Burrel, Visalia, CA. The Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission will receive an update from staff on the General Plan 2030 Update project, review the proposed Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), and review recommendations from staff regarding future public hearings.

August 16, 2011
Elections Office to Observe Furloughs on Fridays

August 16, 2011

Rita A. Woodard wishes to inform the public that the Tulare County Registrar of Voters Elections office will be temporarily closed every Friday starting August 19, 2011 through October 14, 2011. This is to fulfill a 40-hour furlough program approved by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors.

August 12, 2011
State Approves $90 million for Tulare County Road Projects

August 12, 2011

Tulare County obtained more than $90 million in road project funding from the state, officials with the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) announced.
 
The California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved $46.6 million for the widening of Highway 99, between Goshen and Caldwell Avenue, $14.5 million for improvements to the Plaza Drive/Highway 198 Interchange and $16 million for Road 80 (phase 3) widening.  Several other Tulare County projects also received approval for more than $15 million in funding.
 
“I would like to give credit to the taxpayers in Tulare County for voting to pass Measure R in 2006,” said Pete Vander Poel, Chairman on TCAG. “Without Measure R, the hard work of both Tulare County and TCAG staff, funding for this award would not have been possible.”

August 9, 2011
Tulare County Fire Department Chief to Retire

August 9, 2011

Steve Sunderland, the first person appointed to fire chief of the Tulare County Fire Department, will retire after nearly 28 years public service in Tulare County and more than 40 years in fire service. Sunderland’s last day on duty will be August 12.
 
Tulare County Administrative Office Jean Rousseau said Division Chief Ted Mendoza has been appointed as the interim chief until a replacement is hired.
 
Chief Sunderland was hired in February 2006 when the Tulare County Fire Department was created. He and his executive staff officers were tasked with developing Tulare County’s first self-managed, self-directed Fire Department.

August 2, 2011
Probation Chief Issues Statement Regarding Traffic Accident Involving Employee

August 2, 2011

"This morning a Tulare County Probation Department vehicle was involved in a traffic collision at the intersection of Highway 190 and Road 152.

July 27, 2011
District Three Supervisor to Host Redistricting Forum

July 27, 2011

Visalia residents who want to have a say on how Supervisorial district lines should be drawn can do so on August 4.

Tulare County’s District Three Supervisor Phil Cox will host a public forum to personally receive comments regarding the redrawing of Supervisorial district boundaries from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 at Visalia City Hall, located at 315 E. Acequia Ave. Visalia, CA.

Three draft maps that detail possible new Supervisorial district lines were recommended for possible adoption by the 2011 Tulare County Redistricting Committee to the Board of Supervisors on July 26.

Supervisor Cox said he would like public input on the recommended maps as well as other possible options.

“Redrawing Supervisorial district lines will have the most impact in District Three,” Supervisor Cox said. “I feel it’s important to receive personal input from the District Three residents as to where the new boundaries ought to be drawn.”

July 22, 2011
Tulare County Redistricting Committee to Recommend Final Three Maps

July 22, 2011

Three draft maps that detail possible new Supervisorial district lines have been recommended for possible adoption by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, the Tulare County Redistricting Committee announced.

The Redistricting Committee will present their final report and unveil the proposed maps at the July 26 Board of Supervisors meeting. The draft maps are available for comment and review online as well as during two Board of Supervisors public hearings, which will be scheduled and announced at a later date. 

July 18, 2011
Child Care Group Seeks Nominations for Businesses with Child-Friendly Employment Practices

July 18, 2011

The Tulare County Child Care Planning Council wants to recognize Tulare County businesses that have child-friendly employment practices.  The Council is currently seeking nominations for the Business and Children Award. The award recognizes a Tulare County business with progressive programs such as "flextime" or job-sharing options, company-provided child care benefits, or an on-site child care center.

July 13, 2011
County Urges Residents to Use Alternative Parking Lots During Construction Project

July 13, 2011

Residents who need to use Tulare County services located in the VIsalia Courthouse will not be able to use Parking Lot VI, located at the corner of Main Street and Woodland Drive, from mid-July to mid-September due to a construction project.

Tulare County Capital Projects Manager Brian Summers said the Parking Lot VI construction project is slated to begin on Monday, July 18 and will end in mid-September barring construction delays.  During the project, there are five alternative parking lots residents and employees may use.  The alternative parking lots provide more than 600 spaces.

July 13, 2011
Map of Alternative Parking Options during Parking Lot VI Construction
July 12, 2011
Tulare County Reopens the Kings River

July 12, 2011

 
Today the conditions of the Kings River were carefully reviewed by Tulare County Sheriff's Department and General Services Staff.  The river water levels have returned to a reasonable level to allow the reopening of the river on Tuesday July 12, 2011.
 
July 1, 2011
Kings River in Tulare County Closed Through July 4 Weekend

July 1, 2011

Tulare County’s General Services and Sheriff’s Departments wants to remind the public that the Kings River in Tulare County will remain closed through the Fourth of July weekend to all recreational use due to dangerous conditions. Recreational uses include swimming, tubing, rafting, and boating. The Kings River in Tulare County has been closed since June 16.

“The Kings River is closed to recreational use due to extreme rapid currents and cold water,” said Neil Pilegard, Tulare County Parks Manager. “By no means should residents attempt to enter the river. These conditions pose a great concern for public safety.”
 

June 30, 2011
Tulare County Appoints Purchasing Agent

June 30, 2011

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors Tuesday appointed Lori Looney as the Tulare County Purchasing Agent.

Looney has more than 20 years of procurement experience in private and public sectors, where she has worked for Unisource, Caskey Paper Company, and Tulare County.

June 28, 2011
Tulare County 2010 Employee of the Year: Mike Dickerson

June 28, 2011

Mike Dickerson, a Tulare County Capital Projects/Facilities Division facilities specialist, has been selected as the 2010 Tulare County Employee of the Year, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors announced today.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Mike Ennis said more than 125 County of Tulare employees were nominated from 16 departments. The Capital Projects/Facilities Division is a branch of the Tulare County Administrative Office.

“Being recognized as the employee of the year of an organization that employs thousands of people is an outstanding honor,” Chairman Ennis said. “I commend Mike and all other nominees for making a difference and taking pride in their work.”

June 28, 2011
Tulare County Intoduces Online Request Form and Speakers Bureau

 June 28, 2011

Tulare County introduced two new web-based customer service tools at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting - an online request form and speakers bureau.

“Our mission is to make constituents more aware of the programs, services, and issues impacting local government and their communities,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Mike Ennis. “Tulare County government employees are an excellent resource in that they have many stories to share and are capable of providing answers to important questions about services.”
 

June 22, 2011
National Weather Service issues weather advisories for Tulare County

Download list of cooling centers

June 22, 2011

The National Weather Service has recently issued several weather products for areas within Tulare County.

June 21, 2011
Tulare County HHSA Issues Heat Safety Advisory

Download list of cooling centers

June 21, 2011

Tulare County is experiencing a sharp increase in daytime high temperatures coinciding with the beginning of summer.  Forecast highs on Wednesday, 6/22, are predicted to reach 106 degrees in some areas of the County, with a high of 104 possible on Thursday, 6/23.  This event will have good overnight temperature recovery, with lows in the 70’s each night.  Temperatures are forecasted return to the 90s by the end of the week.
 
Tulare County and the incorporated cities continue to offer their facilities as Cooling Centers during the hot daytime hours.  The most recent list of Cooling Centers county-wide can be found on-line by visiting http://oes.tularehhsa.org/.