Tulare County seeks to fill trustee vacancy on cemetery board

Visalia Public Cemetery District must fill seat vacated by Pat Felts in 60 days or pay for a special election

VISALIA – There is a vacancy at the Visalia Cemetery but this kind of opening is for the living.

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors is seeking interested individuals to fill an empty seat on the Visalia Public Cemetery District’s board of directors. The seat was vacated by trustee Pat Felts who resigned from the board in early August to spend more time with family.

Felts was appointed to the board in December 2018 to replace trustee Shirley Salas, who died in office, according to cemetery manager Cindy Summers. Felt’s term on the cemetery board would have expired on Jan. 6, 2022.

Felts had previously served as assistant to the director for Tulare County Mental Health Administration. She is an honorary faculty member at San Joaquin Valley College, was Advocate of Year for United Way in 2010, received recognition from the Tulare County Board of Supervisors for work with Turning Point of Central California in 2005, and was the Visalia Chamber of Commerce’s Woman of the Year in 1994.

She was also a member of Tulare County Law Wives, Visalia Women’s Athletic Association, Tulare County Status of Women Legislative Committee, Chairperson of Tulare County Welfare Advisory Board, member of Tulare County Women’s Trade Club, Business and Professional Women, West Visalia Kiwanis Club, and grant writing and project assistance for executive directors of the Good News Center, Sister Ursula Peternel and Sister Kenneth Quinn. Served as trustee on the Visalia Unified School District Board of Education/clerk of the board and trustee T-Cove board, member of Tulare County grand jury from 1995 to 1997.

The Visalia Public Cemetery District trustee responsibilities include:

  • Setting prices, rules, and policies that govern the cemetery, all within the scope of the California Health and Safety Code, which governs all public cemetery districts
  • Oversee the day-to-day functions of the cemetery

Applicants must be registered voters who live in the district. The district is larger than the city of Visalia and includes unincorporated areas—check with the Visalia Public Cemetery District to see if your address is in the district.

The Visalia Public Cemetery District has a five-member board. While the board members are appointed by the board of supervisors, the district is independent of the county. Trustees are appointed for four-year terms. The board of trustees meets on a monthly basis in the chapel at the cemetery. The district provides a stipend of $100 for attending a meeting.

Summers said the board has 60 days to appoint someone to the board before a special election would have to be held at a significant cost to the cemetery district. The board does not meet in November. Board members are appointed to four year terms.

The special district application is available at tularecounty.ca.gov/clerkoftheboard/index.cfm/boards-and-commissions/ under Boards, Commissions, and Committees, or you can contact Kirsten Bain at the Clerk of the Board’s office at 559-636-5000.

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