Larry Micari, a retired Captain in the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, kicked off his campaign last Friday to challenge first-term supervisor Kuyler Crocker for Tulare County Board of Supervisors District 1.
“A few months after I retired I started getting phone calls and they never really stopped. The calls came from different people but the issue was always the same – basically they didn’t feel like they were being represented.”
He said he could either sit at home and pout or stand up and do something.
Micari said that throughout his career he always returned calls because “no matter who you are you should receive a call back and that is something that is desperately needed. That is a sentiment that I have been told is missing from the current supervisor.”
“I have a reputation countywide as a doer. I always followed through and got it done. I still get calls asking how do I get from here to there and I make it happen.”
Micari retired in 2017 after serving 33 years in law enforcement. He started at the Farmersville Police Department, then went to work at the sheriff’s department in 1995.
“I spent most of my career serving District 1,” he said.
A relative of Micari would not comment whether Sheriff Mike Boudreaux intended on endorsing Micari, but noted that Boudreaux’ parents and sister were in attendance at the party.
Micari knows there is no magic bullet when resolving issues such as the condition of the roads, but has questioned what exactly Crocker has accomplished in his almost three years in office.
But Micari intends to focus on what he can do to serve the community and not focus on what is not happening. He has a lot of experience dealing with the Tulare County Board of Supervisors when handling its regular business and in closed session. While a lieutenant he was involved in creating the budget for search and rescue and for a time was the head of the sheriff department’s fiscal unit.
President of the Central Valley Tea Party, Dennis Smith, made a few comments before Micari gave a short speech about his platform.
Smith ran for the District 1 in 2016 and only 295 votes separated him from Crocker.
“I raised $30,000 and Kuyler raised $150,000 and it still took him two weeks after the election to take the lead after the registrar of voters finished counting the provisional ballots,” said Smith.
Smith said that he should have spent more money and put out more mailers but that Micari would not make the same mistakes.
Smith and his wife discussed another run but had decided against it. So when Micari called to talk about the election Smith said, “You know what Larry, you would be a great candidate. Let’s win this thing.”
So far as Micari is concerned, he said, “I know I can serve this community and I want to. I have no doubt in my mind that I can win this election. Just look at the support here tonight and it’s only the kickoff.”
A group of about 200 supporters had gathered at his home that evening to launch his campaign.
His main issue is water. “I know it is a given but water is life.”
Public Safety is next, and Micari feels law enforcement preserves the community’s quality of life. Also, he plans on fixing the roads and is aware candidates have been saying the same forever. He said that Measure R was supposed to solve all the problems but it hasn’t and now roads don’t just need to be repaired but replaced, and that is much more expensive.
Finally, Micari said, the county needs to do something about the homeless and lack of metal health resources. Many of the calls he received while working at the sheriff’s department involved the mentally ill, and he and his partners couldn’t help.
“It’s not that we didn’t do anything, it’s that we couldn’t do anything,” he said. “Something has got to be done and the solution needs to be comprehensive.”
Though not a fundraising event, Smith pulled out a check for $1000 and other attendees followed suit asking to whom to give their money. Of course the answer was his wife, Beth Micari, who was just as enthusiastic about the campaign. “We are community people,” she said.
Mrs. Micari is the principal at Exeter’s Community Day School.
Micari ended the evening with the sentiment, “I am a doer. I will move this county forward.”