VISALIA – Proposition 64, passed in 2016 has been a boon for some cities, but has also led to a backlash with hundreds of illegal marijuana grows cropping up all over Tulare County.
“Due to the political climate and passage of Proposition 64 we have seen a significant increase in violations to our local cannabis ordinance, Troy has been instrumental in handling these violations and resolving them,” shared Mike Grove, Tulare County Code Compliance Supervisor.
And because of cannabis compliance officer Troy Barker with the Tulare County Resource Management Agency, 312 of the 333 grows that he has documented have been shut down. Meanwhile, 76 sites have been abated with violations and fees.
In his role, Barker deals with very stressful situations and often serves as the lead inspector in several investigations. He handles each case respectfully and professionally obtaining positive results. In just one year, his work has led to the eradication of over 86,630 illegal marijuana plants and recovered associated costs of $78,372.00.
“I am proud of all our County employees and the great work they do each and every day,” stated Board Chairman Kuyler Crocker. “This year our Board has placed an emphasis on code enforcement and we appreciate Troy, the fruits of his labor, and his work in enforcing our local cannabis laws throughout the County.”
Barker began working for the County two years ago as an Extra Help employee to assist in the cannabis program. He has previously served in law enforcement which has proven helpful in his role at the County assisting the public in understanding the ever-changing cannabis laws as well as upholding our local regulations aimed to eliminate illegal cannabis operations.
According to Grove, who nominated Barker for Employee of the Year, his strong work ethic is contagious to other members of the County’s Code and Building Department. He is regarded by his peers as a can-do individual who gets results and often helps out other team members in their investigations. In being named as the Employee of the Year, Barker will receive an extra week of paid vacation along with a year’s worth of appreciation knowing he is truly one of the County’s best assets.
When deciding on the deserving individual the Board of Supervisors were forced to narrow down their choice from all 18 departments within the County.