NORTH FORK — It’s hard to believe on December 20, 2022, Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler chaired his last board of supervisor meeting.
Supervisor Wheeler contributed to the Board of Supervisors meeting with the same enthusiasm as he did his first meeting in 2007, and every meeting in between. Despite Tom’s health struggles, Supervisor Wheeler once again worked collaboratively with the other supervisors to support county policy, promote property rights, and offered common-sense solutions.
In a small reception, Tom delivered a tearful speech thanking friends, family, and coworkers for all of their support and love. Tom especially thanked his fiancé Leslie for putting up with him. Tom recalled his 64 years as a resident of Madera County and his great love for his community.
During Tom‘s speech, he highlighted some of his greatest accomplishments as Madera County Supervisor including representing Madera County during California State Association for County (CSAC) meetings. Tom talked about taking an aggressive stance for Madera County during the CSAC meetings. Tom is very proud of his hard work on General Plans for communities in Madera County to promote growth and prosperity. Tom also talked about working with the City for a fair and comprehensive tax-sharing agreement. Water issues and property rights came to mind during his short speech. Tom could have gone on for hours.
What makes a good community leader you ask? Getting involved with the community by serving on Boards and Committees makes a good community leader. Tom Wheeler has spent decades involved in his community.
Here are some of the Boards and Committees Tom has participated:
- Central Sierra Watershed Committee
- Children & Families Commission (First Five) – Alternate
- Coalition Committee of Madera County, MUSD, and Cities
- CSAC Policy Committee Government Finance & Op
- CSAC Board of Directors
- Crane Valley Project
- Elected Department Head Negotiation Committee
- Fresno/Madera Board of Supervisors Joint Meeting
- High Speed Rail Task Force (Ad Hoc) – Alternate
- Housing/Land Use/Transportation (Native American Issues)
- Jackass Rock Board of Directors
- Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO)
- Madera City/County Joint Projects Committee
- Madera County Industrial Development Authority
- Madera County Public Financing Authority
- Madera County Transportation Commission
- NACO Public Lands Steering Committee
- Native American Liaison Committee/SB 621 Gaming Local Community Benefit
- Oakhurst Community Advisory Council
- Pet Committee (Ad Hoc)
- Regional Council of Rural Counties (RCRC) – Alternate
- Regional Water Management Group
- Request for Proposal (RFP) Development and Evaluation Committee – Alternate
- Resource Conservation & Development
- Riverstone Public Financing Authority
- Road Impact Fee Committee
- San Joaquin River Conservancy – Alternate
- San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
- Sierra National Forest Resource Advisory Committee
- Sierra Nevada Conservancy
- Solid Waste Enforcement Independent Hearing Panel – Alternate
- Solid Waste Rate Committee (Ad Hoc)
- Sustainable Forest Auction Coalition
- Tesoro Viejo Public Financing Authority
- Utilities Special Committee
- Yosemite Area Regional Transportation Strategy (YARTS)
- Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau
When Tom was asked about his plans for the future he enthusiastically talked about spending time with his family, especially with his fast-growing grandsons.
Tom’s to-do list after retirement includes: working on his cabin to enjoy hunting and fishing, working in his shop where he has a small toy company, driving his tractor working his land. Tom also talked about continuing his community involvement by consulting. A full plate indeed!
Tom will be greatly missed in Madera County but we will for sure see him around enjoying a life well deserved.
Robert “Bobby” Macaulay, Supervisor Wheeler’s Chief of Staff will be succeeding Tom Wheeler.
Bobby was elected with a narrow victory over Mark Reed in this year’s General Election. See the story here.