Gov. taps F'ville man for Valley task force

By Reggie Ellis

Paul Boyer of Farmersville was recently appointed to a Valley task force by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley is a collection of local, regional and state officials that will make recommendations to the governor about how to improve economic development and quality of life in the Valley. The 26-member California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley includes 18 business and local government leaders, and eight state Cabinet secretaries, including Boyer, Board of Supervisor Chair Connie Conway and Fred Ruiz of Ruiz Foods from Tulare County. The task force met for the first time on Sept. 16.

&#8220For years the Valley has been overlooked,” Boyer said. &#8220We haven't had any clout or influence at the state level. With this I think we get both because we are working directly with the governor's cabinet members. These are the people that make things in the state happen.”

Boyer, former Farmersville mayor and current city councilman, was chosen for his experience and perspective in dealing with small cities and rural communities. Boyer has worked for Self-Help Enterprises as a community development specialist for 28 years. His primary duties are working with unincorporated communities to improve their water and sewer systems through government programs and funding.

&#8220I know the small community aspect of water and bring that to the table,” Boyer said. &#8220And now I get to learn more about water on a broader scale from all of these experts at the state level. It makes a great partnership.”

Boyer said the connections he has made at the state level have already paid off for Farmersville. Boyer was recently informed by the Tulare County Association of Governments, the agency that handles transportation funding throughout the county, that Farmersville's application was the last to be awarded money in the last round of transportation improvement funding. The money will go to help improve the intersection at Visalia Road and Farmersville Boulevard with curbs, sidewalks and gutters, a safer flow of traffic and updated signal lights.

&#8220I have been told we have one of the oldest signals in the entire county,” Boyer said. &#8220I think the idea for this has been great and I hope I can help the Valley and Farmersville build a better future.”

The task force will meet again to discuss issues for the first time in December. At its first meeting, the task force was split into the following nine subgroups to identify and recommend responses for the main issues facing the Valley. The partnership expires Nov. 1, 2006. At that time, members will submit an action plan on how to improve the region, which extends from San Joaquin County south to Kern County.

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