Lewis Griswold

Griswold: Women are in the majority on Lindsay, Exeter city councils

The city councils of Lindsay and Exeter have women in the majority.

Two years ago, Lindsay broke the barrier with the election of Rosaena Sanchez, who joined Council Member Pam Kimball and Mayor Ramona Villareal-Padilla at the dais.

This month, the Exeter City Council became a majority of women with the swearing-in of Mary Waterman. She joins Council Member Teresa Boyce and Mayor Robyn Stearns.

Exeter and Lindsay are only a few miles apart as the crow flies. Both are small agricultural communities, with Exeter’s population at 10,539 and Lindsay’s at 12,650.

It’s uncertain, but Lindsay’s council may have been the first in the central San Joaquin Valley to achieve the status of a majority of women.

Until the November election, 12% of the 482 cities in California had city councils that have a majority of women members, according to the Women’s Caucus of the League of California Cities.

Updated figures have yet to be compiled.

BEAU FUNDRAISER: Jack in the Box restaurants in Tulare County raised $21,568 in memory of Beau, a beloved canine at the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit.

The money will be used to buy three more canines next year. There are six now.

Beau joined the canine corps in February 2011 and trained with deputy Luis Carrillo.

Only days after passing the certification test with flying colors, Beau apprehended an armed parolee — the first of 16 apprehensions. He also won awards in K9 competitions and “cross-trained” in narcotics detection.

But in November 2013, Beau suffered a seizure. What initially was thought to be epilepsy that could be controlled by medication turned out to be a brain tumor and the seizures continued. In December 2013, the K9 unit made the difficult decision to put Beau to rest and his watch ended, the Sheriff’s Department said.

CENSURE VOTE: As expected, the Visalia Unified School District Board of Trustees voted 6-1 last week to publicly censure board member Charles Ulmschneider.

Board member Jim Qualls said Ulmschneider violated the state’s open meeting law by meeting individually with three board members and calling him on the phone about a packet of information that Ulmschneider had compiled.

That constitutes a serial meeting under the Brown Act and merited board action, Qualls said.

Ulmschneider, who wants to have German added to the high school curriculum, said he simply delivered information about German language and culture, and made no attempt to persuade.

He said he’s been denied the opportunity to make a presentation about the topic to the board, but his intent was to inform.

“I did not violate the Brown Act,” he said.

Ulmschneider keeps his seat on the board. The action puts a statement of disapproval into the public record.

LONDON CALLING: Robert Isquierdo Jr., founder of the Library for London project, will be the grand marshal of the London Christmas parade.

He’s been collecting books and working with the Tulare County library to open a library in his hometown.

The 20th annual parade will begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday in London, and the Library for London float will be in the event.

Isquierdo said this will be the first London Christmas parade to have marching bands, from Dinuba High and Washington Junior High. The Kings River Elementary School band is expected.

Also, there will be more than 20 entries, a record.