By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
EXETER —Tulare County District 1 Supervisor Kuyler Crocker is coming into the final year of his first term, and some challengers are running to see if they can make a change come the beginning of 2021.
Larry Micari has already thrown his hat into the race, and now Exeter’s former mayor Robyn Stearns is going to try and give it a go. As the latest candidate to declare her candidacy to take on the incumbent from Strathmore, Stearns made her announcement last Friday, April 12 to a room full of friends, family and supporters.
“She has always had the community at heart. I know she would do a spectacular job representing our District 1,” fellow former Exeter mayor Ted Macaulay said.
In her remarks, Stearns said she is looking forward to the job, but hesitant on the campaign trail to get there.
“I will do an excellent job as supervisor I have no doubt. It is this campaigning stuff that I’m not too excited about. It’s a necessary evil,” Stearns joked.
The former mayor and current real estate agent says her time on the dais has provided her a level of insight that has prepared her to take on the role of Supervisor.
“With this new endeavor I feel like I’ve been walking the walk for quite a while. With city council and the different committees I was on,” Stearns said. “It gave me a really good outlook for what’s to come with this supervisor position. I’ve already been thinking about ways for the County to save money.”
Stearns spent a total of eight years on the Exeter City Council, two of which were as a councilmember, two more as a mayor pro tem, and then half of her total time was spent as mayor. When she left her elected post she said she enjoyed all eight years on the council and took to being mayor enthusiastically.
“The position allowed me to help people in a way that I would not have been able to in another position,” Stearns said.
In 2016 Stearns stepped aside to allow other council members to sit at the head of the council, while she took on a new role as representative of District 1 on the Republican Central Committee. She continues to serve on the Tulare County Association of Governments Citizens Oversight Committee. In the past Stearns has been involved with the Exeter Chamber of Commerce giving tours as a mural docent, a Chamber ambassador and she served on the Exeter Art Gallery and Historical Museum board for 10 years.
But professionally Stearns says she has been self employed her entire adult life. In 1991 she started the Exeter beloved Wild Flower Café and sold it in 1998, and then began working as a real estate agent. Almost two years ago, in partnership with owner of Monet’s Jennifer Davis and Stephanie Guy, Stearns opened E Street Market.
The store epitomized Exeter’s “Shop Local” motto. Every item in the store was made in Tulare County, unless it can’t be produced or found here, and then the products fell into the Central Valley and Central Coast region or, at the very least, are made in California. Some products were even being sold under their own label after being bottled and preserved at local packing houses, wineries or canneries.
The store has since recently closed.
But being self employed is one of Stearns hallmark attributes for running for supervisor, she said. Stearns says that being self employed has properly groomed for the type of out-of-the-box thinking required for the job.
“When you’re self-employed, and I have been my entire adult life, you become a problem solver pretty fast. And especially in real estate because every day there is a problem with everything so you learn to think outside of the box. So, I think that is a benefit with this position,” Stearns added.
Leading up to the election, over the next year Stearns says she is going to be spending her time in many communities across Tulare County to hear the issues and concerns of citizens.
“She has the background for this position, along with coming from a family of citrus growers. Robyn understands the importance of public safety, the water issues facing our County, along with the concerns over the homeless problems,” stated a press release from Stearn’s campaign.