“I want to bring back common sense, honesty and realism to the City of Tulare and respect for its local government,” Harrell said. “I want to take Tulare forward.”
Currently, he serves as the Executive Director and Curator of the Tulare Historical Museum, and is well known for his community service.
Harrell’s experience and community leadership includes developing fundraisers that have benefited the Tulare Historical Museum, Tulare Teen City, and the U.S. Olympic Team. Other work includes his extensive engagement in the Tulare Improvement Program and helping downtown business owners.
Key among his priorities are restoring civility to Tulare, ensuring public safety, smart growth, and balancing the city’s budget.
Harrell said that it was imperative elected officials act as good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.
“We always need to examine and re-examine, as well as think outside the box to find the most efficient ways to utilize these dollars, and to live within our means,” he said. “We do need to set the City up for the future, but we also need to do what we can for the here and now.”
To support Tulare’s first responders, he said that he’d meet with those in leadership and out in the field to find out what they need, what’s working, and what isn’t — so that he can ensure their needs are represented at the city council.
“Those people are the subject matter experts,” he said. “I will do everything I need to do to learn.”
He said he would work hard to listen to constituents and Tulare’s residents — even when their viewpoints may differ from his.
“There’s always a middle-ground, no matter what,” he said.
Harrell’s past experience in working with a diverse array of people means that he is able to go into situations with an “open and honest mind,” he added.
Shortly after the September 2001 attack on the U.S., Harrell joined the Air Force, spending eight years with Security Forces in South Korea, Guam, Massachusetts, Kyrgyzstan and Oklahoma. He was promoted to the rank of Senior Airman at minimum time in grade and later to Non-Commissioned Staff Sergeant. He’s proud to be an Air Force Veteran.
Harrell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies at Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Arts in Diplomacy/Conflict Resolution at Norwich University.
A 2015 graduate of Leadership Tulare, he continues his community involvement by serving on the Board of Trustees of the Tulare United Methodist Church and on the Board of Directors of the Tulare Masonic Temple Association.
He has led Tulare’s Olive Branch Masonic Lodge for the past three years and is also a member of Tulare Amvets Post 56.
Community volunteer Sharon Allison-Crook, who is serving as his campaign manager, said the campaign has already garnered the support of a strong coalition of residents that have joined together to support Chris Harrell.
Residents can learn more about his stances and how they can support his campaign through multiple avenues.
A “Friends of Chris Harrell for Tulare City Council” group has formed to support the candidate. The campaign’s email address is [email protected]. A Facebook page has also been launched which can be found @ChrisHarrell4Tulare.
Harrell can be reached directly at 559-331-8157. He encourages citizens to reach out to directly.
“I would much rather prefer to discuss things with you individually over the phone or in person, so things can be discussed in depth,” he wrote on Facebook. “I feel that for important issues such as these concerning the city of Tulare, you deserve no less.”
Patrick Isherwood, a Tulare resident serving as Harrell’s treasurer, praised his entry into the race.
“Chris Harrell knows the community. He brings a breath of fresh air Tulare needs. Chris stands for common sense. He is a Veteran, served his Country and wants to serve Tulare. Chris supports Public Safety, agriculture, business and industry and the diversity that is Tulare,” Isherwood said. “He knows and has worked with leaders in business and agriculture. He is involved and engaged. Chris is the right guy for the job!”
Harrell’s love for the Tulare community drives him to make Tulare a better place — even in the face of recent difficulties.
“Within the past year and a half to two years, I’ve been hearing people talk about how they’re ashamed to be from Tulare,” he said. “It’s discouraging to hear that.”
“Tulare is a great town with so much untapped potential,” he added.
That love for the community — and other factors — led him to throw his hat into the ring.
“I’m very optimistic and look forward to seeing the future of Tulare,” he said.