TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Voters across Tulare County will vote for three Tulare County Board of Supervisor seats and numerous ballot and bond measures during the March 3 presidential primary.
Here is a look at what to expect on the ballot:
Tulare County Board of Supervisors District 1
Kuler Crocker (Incumbent)
Kuler Crocker is the incumbent representing District 1 since 2016, which covers the northeastern portion of Tulare County, including Exeter, Farmersville, Lemon Cove, Lindsay, Strathmore, Three Rivers, eastern parts of Visalia, and including Sequoia and parts of Kings Canyon national parks.
Crocker represents the board of supervisors on numerous boards across the region, including the Rural County Representatives of California.
When it comes to public safety, Crocker says he supports “a broad-spectrum approach to fight crime that includes prevention, investigation and incarceration.”
Crocker says he is committed to cutting the “red tape” for existing businesses that hope to expand and for new industries that hope to open shop in Tulare County.
When it comes to agriculture issues in the Valley, Crocker believes fighting for more water storage, including the Temperance Flat Dam project and “leading the charge against environmental extremism” is necessary for farming’s survival.
Larry Micari, a 33-year veteran of law enforcement, is looking to unseat Crocker in district 1. He started as a police officer in Farmersville and retired as a Tulare County Sheriff’s Office captain.
Micari said he felt the need to run for the district 1 seat because he said Crocker failed to represent constituents as he promised.
“He doesn’t return phone calls, he doesn’t respond to tough questions, and he has failed to act in our best interests,” Micari said.
Micari claims a lack of maintenance and poor budget management has made Tulare County roads dangerous and damaging to vehicles. He said he is committed to making road improvements in the county as one of his top priorities.
The district 1 candidate said he is ready to take on the homelessness crisis and supports finding ways of providing mental health treatment to those in need.
“We need to provide hope and help,” Micari said. “We should be finding ways to give a hand up – not a hand out to people who have no place to live.”
Micari said water is a big issue for him and he would go to Sacramento and fight for improved water access and more water storage if he is elected.
As a veteran of law enforcement, Micari said he understands the needs of district 1 constituents. He promises to be your first responder and answer every phone call.
“I will answer every question, and I will represent you because you deserve it,” Micari said.
Robyn Stearns has lived in Exeter since 1961 and is a Realtor serving the Exeter area. She is no stranger to local government though.
Stearns was elected to the Exeter City Council in 2008, serving a total of eight years, was nominated mayor pro-tem in 2010, then served as mayor from 2012 to 2016.
While on city council, Stearns served on many committees and continues to serve on the Tulare County Council of Governments’ Citizens Oversight Committee.
“As your supervisor, I believe citizens and elected officials working together can accomplish so much more than separately, ” Stearns said. “I will work closely with my fellow county residents to attack the complex issues.”
Stearns is committed to tackling homelessness by “taking mental health care and drug and alcohol programs to those who need it on the streets.”
When it comes to water issues, Stearns said she will communicate to Sacramento the need for increased water storage.
Stearns said she has worked 6-7 days a week her entire adult life and added that Tulare county has to many pressing issues and being a supervisor is a full-time job.
She said she will focus on water, homeless issues, public safety, roads and protecting citizens’ values in Tulare County.
“This will take many hours and as an elected official I will work hard not to let down the people of Tulare County,” Stearns said.
Tulare County Board of Supervisors District 2
Pete Vander Poel III
Pete Vander Poel III is the incumbent representing District 2 since 2008, which includes Tulare, Allensworth, Alpaugh, Earlimart, Pixley, Teviston, Tipton, Waukena and surrounding rural areas.
Vander Poel is running unopposed in this election.
Tulare County Board of Supervisors District 3
Amy Shuklian is the incumbent representing District 3 since 2016, which includes most of Visalia and unincorporated areas south and west of the city.
Shuklian served on the Visalia City Council from 2007 to 2016. During her time on the council, she was vice mayor from 2009 to 2011 and mayor from 2011 to 2013.
She represents the board of supervisors on numerous area boards including the California State Association of Counties Administration of Justice Committee and the Visalia Economic Development Corporation.
Shuklian said she is committed to helping Tulare County enhance public safety services, gaining public trust through accessibility and transparency, being a good steward of public funds, developing opportunities for county and city cooperation, and improving the Valley’s quality of life.
Brad Maaske is looking to unseat Amy Shuklian for the District 3 position.
Maaske said he wants to bring back family values and believes in empowering parents to educate their children about sex, gender and equality, not the government.
He said he is also against abortion as a form of birth control.
Maaske also said he is committed to supporting increases in water storage for Valley farmers.
The candidate says homelessness is a big issue affecting California and Tulare County that needs to be tackled and has a plan to solve it locally.
Maaske’s plan is to tackle homelessness in Tulare County that is designed to utilize as many resources as officials can that are already on hand or available to the county.
He wants to build a temporary transitional tent facility to house the homeless on county-owned land north of Visalia.
The facility would provide a one-stop-shop where people could access to services that would help transition them out of homelessness.
Maaske said Governor Gavin Newsom backs his plan as part of a push to provide more shelter space for the homeless across California.
Tulare County ballot and bond measures
Measure K — Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District
To fund the operational needs of the Cutler-Orosi Sports Complex(es) and develop Recreation programs within the Cutler-Orosi area to promote youth activities including sports, arts, music and other experiences that develop young people into active, responsible citizens shall levy a tax of $38.00 per parcel annually with annual cost of living adjustment, initially raising approximately $196,308 annually as long as the Cutler-Orosi School Board oversees the program.
Bond Measure L — Porterville Unified School Facilities Improvement District
To improve the quality of education by constructing, modernizing and renovating classrooms, restrooms and school facilities; repair or replace leaky roofs, and make health and safety improvements, shall the Porterville Unified School Facilities Improvement District measure be adopted authorizing $33,400,000 of bonds at legal interest rates, generating approximately $1,800,000 annually while bonds are outstanding with levies of approximately 3.6¢ per $100 assessed value, annual audits, citizens’ oversight, no money for salaries and all money for local projects?
Bond Measure E — Kingsburg Joint Union High School District
To improve the quality of high school facilities without increasing the estimated tax rate; repair/replace leaky roofs; improve student access to computers and modern technology; and modernize/renovate classrooms, restrooms and school facilities; shall Kingsburg Joint Union High School District’s measure be adopted authorizing $17,000,000 in bonds at legal interest rates, generating approximately $1,000,000 annually while bonds are outstanding with levies of approximately 3 cents per $100 assessed value, with annual audits, citizens’ oversight and no money for salaries?
Bond Measure M — Terra Bella Union Elementary School District
To improve the quality of local schools; make security, safety and handicapped accessibility improvements; modernize outdated classrooms, restrooms and school facilities; and repair or replace leaky roofs; shall Terra Bella Union School District’s measure be adopted authorizing $5,000,000 in bonds at legal interest rates, generating approximately $317,000 annually while bonds are outstanding with levies of approximately 3 cents per $100 assessed value, with annual audits, citizens’ oversight, no money for salaries and all money for local projects?
Bond Measure N — Waukena Joint Union Elementary School District
To repair and replace classroom facilities, including roofing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems, and improve student health, safety, security and access, shall the Waukena Joint Union School District measure be adopted to issue $1.65 million in bonds at legal rates with projected levies of $30 per $100,000 of assessed value, raising an average $113,000 annually while bonds are outstanding, requiring citizens oversight and annual audits and no bond money spent on salaries?