Supervisor Vander Poel Takes over Gavel from Crocker

Former Chair Kuler Crocker hands gavel over to Pete Vander Poel

Tulare County Board of Supervisors’ (TCBOS) Kuyler Crocker stepped down as chair on January 7, bringing his year-long tenure to an end. The board elected District 2 Supervisor Pete Vander Poel as the new chair and District 3 Supervisor Amy Shuklian was elected as vice chair.

Supervisor Vander Poel took a moment to honor Supervisor Crocker for his work and dedication while serving as chair by awarding him a plaque recognizing his service in 2019.

Vander Poel has been TCBOS Chair twice, so his comments came from a place of understanding and appreciation.

“There’s a lot that goes into being chair of the supervisors. It’s not something to be taken lightly. It’s something that takes a lot of effort and preparation. I appreciate the work that you put in 2019.”

Supervisor Crocker did not give the customary speech at the end of his service, but posted a video on the Tulare County Facebook page detailing the changes and accomplishments he oversaw while serving as chair: accomplishments such as new consolidation of probation offices at the former K-Mart location and the groundbreaking of Tulare County Fire Station 1.

Other important contributions included developing a county-wide economic development plan and the grand opening of the Visalia Wellness Center. Crocker also encouraged the board’s involvement in becoming a leader in forest health issues and stricter code enforcement for a cleaner county.

“As you can see we have accomplished a lot in 2019,” Crocker said. “And I know that we’re going to accomplish quite a bit more in 2020.”

Former Tulare County Deputy Sheriff Larry Micari is challenging Crocker for TCBOS District 1, and found some of his comments on Facebook and the Trevor Carey Show disingenuous.

“He alludes to we, we, we. Someone not in the know would not understand that the accomplishments he lists are the result of hard working county employees,” said Micari.

Referring to Crocker’s comments on the radio show about the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Farm at the Bob Wiley Detention Center, Micari pointed out that the farm is the result of the work of the sheriff’s department and has been in operation for years. “Crocker gives the illusion that he is an integral part of the farm. All the hard work is done by county employees while the BOS just approves the expenditures,” said Micari.

Often, expenditures are listed in the consent calendar that is voted on en-masse and not discussed.

Micari expressed concern that Crocker has a pattern of making exaggerated claims about himself. When Crocker first ran for supervisor in 2016 he was working for PG&E and living in Fresno. Micari takes issue with Crocker’s saying in the same breath that he is a fifth-generation farmer in Tulare County.

“I have three acres of cherries next to my property that I take care of. Does that make me a farmer?” said Micari. “Growing up on a farm does not qualify someone as a farmer. A lot of Tulare County residents grew up on a farm.”

It’s an insult to those people who do make their living farming, said Micari.

Catherine Doe contributed to this article

5 thoughts on “Supervisor Vander Poel Takes over Gavel from Crocker

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  1. Gloves coming off now as we get closer to primary. Of course Crocker would use We to describe projects the county completed. The collective WE. As the TCBOS they provide direction for county staff to carry out. That’s how it works. Someone in the know would know that.

  2. Congratulations Mr Vander Poel. As for re- appointing Mr Aguilar Tulare Cemetary Board I trust Mr Vander Poel has his reasons.Looking forward to better 2020 for Mooney Grove

  3. I question the election of an retired law enforcement official who is obviously receivng a rightly earned pension for his work in law enforcement. My question involves a possible conflict of interest where an individual receiving a pension as a retired law enforcement official is sitting as a paid official on the Tulare County Board of Superrvisors. Wouldn’t law enforcement issues in Tulare county be potential conflicts requiring Micari to recuse himself from those critical issues? It would help voters to know the answer prior to the election.

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