Vander Poel delivers annual State of the County Address
Tulare County Board of Supervisors Chairman Pete Vander Poel on Tuesday delivered his State of the County Address, pledging to “improve life in Tulare County.”
Vander Poel touched on four issues that he said would help him stick to his pledge, including health and wellness, public safety, investing in youth and building communities.
He said Tulare County, like many other counties, faces challenges during these difficult times and said its residents have shown their desire to improve life here and have voiced the priorities.
“Low-ranking health statistics, high crime in some neighborhoods, a growing marijuana problem, nuisance properties, inadequate recreational opportunities for youth, aging infrastructure and high unemployment numbers,” he said. “Like the residents of Tulare County, I too see challenges, but I also see opportunity to improve.”
Vander Poel offered strategies that would help reach that goal.
He said the county would continue to participate and implement new programs under the Health and Wellness Program, develop plans for tobacco-free living, healthy eating and active living, and healthy and safe physical environments.
As a means to improve public safety, the county will continue to seek funding to continue its community-based officer program. It will also continue to fund its marijuana enforcement team and launch multiple-department programs that would address nuisance properties in unincorporated communities, Vander Poel said.
The young chairman said the county will maintain a level of funding and expand existing programs under its Step Up gang initiative and that it would seek funding to build additional youth centers in the county.
He also highlighted major “community building” infrastructure projects, such as completing broadband infrastructure, major road projects and the launch of three flood control projects in northern Tulare County. He also said the county will continue to work with stakeholders to deliver clean water to disadvantaged communities.
“Looking forward, this board is dedicated to partnering with residents and organizations to preserve and create new programs and initiatives in order to confront our challenges and take advantage of opportunities to improve life in Tulare County,” Vander Poel said.