Micari reunites with county family

Larry Micari is sworn into board of supervisors with 33 years of experience with the sheriff’s department

TULARE COUNTY – Two years after making the decision to run for his first public office, Larry Micari was sworn into Tulare County’s highest ranking government body last week.

The retired Sheriff’s Department captain took the oath of office on Jan. 5 to take his place on the dais of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. Micari drew a sizable crowd for the quiet January meeting and thanked his supporters, friends and family.

“I offer my wife Beth the most thanks, sticking with me through the entire time,” Micari said in a brief statement after the ceremony.

Micari likened the ceremony to reuniting with his county family after some extended time away alluding to this 33-year career with the Sheriff’s Department before he retired in 2017. He defeated incumbent Kuyler Crocker for the District 1 seat on the board in November with about 55% of the vote and leading a three-way race in the March primary, which included former Exeter mayor Robyn Stearns, with 46% of the vote.

“I will work as hard as I can for people of Tulare County and our county family,” Micari said.

Micari is also the first resident of the Exeter area to represent District 1, which encompasses the eastern portion of Visalia as well as Farmersville, Lindsay and Exeter, in at least four decades. Tulare County’s online election results only go back to 1984 but showed the southeastern edge of the district had a firm grip on the seat.

Clyde Gould briefly lived in Exeter before moving to Lindsay where he started growing oranges and worked as a Lindsay Police officer. He served as the District 1 Supervisor from June 1984-1992. Lindsay’s Bill Sanders served from 1992-2004, and Strathmore farmer Allen Ishida from 2004-2016 before mentoring Crocker to take over the seat from 2016-2020.

Joining Micari in the swearing in ceremony were returning supervisors Amy Shuklian and Pete Vander Poel. Shuklian handily defeated Visalia realtor and Valley radio host Brad Maaske in the March primary by nearly 60% of the vote, which eliminated the need for a runoff in November. Shuklian thanked her family and wife Mary for their support.

“It takes a lot of support to not only run a campaign but to sit up here and be in political office,” Shuklian said. “I thank her for all of her love and support.”

Sitting chairman Vander Poel ran unopposed and was elected to his fourth straight term. He now continues to hold the distinction of being the youngest but also the most tenured member of the Board of Supervisors. He thanked his wife, whom he noted was his girlfriend at the time of his first swearing in ceremony and is now his wife and mother of their three children Pete John, 6, Emily, 4, and James, 3.

“We have made some significant strides over the time I have served on this board,” Vander Poel said. “This board will continue that into the future and continue to help us invest in this county, invest in the communities, and keep our communities safe and help us to navigate whatever difficulties state or federal government may throw our way.”

When it came time to nominate new leadership on the board, Micari seconded a motion by Supervisor Dennis Townsend to name Shuklian as the new chair after serving as vice chair for the last year and to name Supervisor Eddie Valero to replace her as vice chair. The motion passed unanimously. Shuklian then presented Supervisor Pete Vander Poel with a plaque of his gavel commemorating his time as chair. Shuklian is tentatively scheduled to deliver her State of the County address at the Feb. 23 Supervisors meeting.

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