Phil Cox, who served on the Visalia Town Council and Tulare County Board of Supervisors for a put together two many years, died Wednesday from cancer.
He was 64.
Before this year, Cox introduced he battled COVID-19 and was bedridden for five weeks.
His little ones and Visalia Metropolis Council colleague Brett Taylor posted remembrances of Cox on Facebook.
“You will be missed Phil,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “I simply cannot believe of a far better instance of another person who loved his family and served his group. I was genuinely blessed to have you in my lifetime.”
“He was devoted to his household and served his neighborhood for the broad greater part of his lifestyle,” his son Rob Cox wrote on Fb.
Visalia Chamber of Commerce also posted the subsequent concept on social media:
“Phil was a great good friend of the chamber as a member, volunteer, and advocate for nearby organizations. Through the chamber, he taught entrepreneurs organization fundamentals. Phil pressured the importance of fiscal accountability in people courses. As a Councilperson, his small business intellect and experience helped make a much better Visalia.”
Cox 1st received election to the Visalia Town Council in 2001 before being elected in 2004 to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors in which he served 3 terms ahead of becoming defeated for reelection in 2016.
Supervisor Pete Vander Poel was 24 decades outdated when he was elected to the board. Cox was the closest supervisor in age to Vander Poel at 53 yrs old.
“His little ones were being more mature than me,” Vander Poel mentioned. “He never ever slighted me mainly because of my age. He constantly appreciated my vital considering.”
Vander Poel mentioned he admired his colleague’s preparedness and recalled that Cox was “not quickly distracted.”
“I experienced nothing but respect for the man,” he stated. “…He cared about Tulare County and the persons.”
Afterwards in 2016, Cox was re-elected to the Visalia Town Council. In 2020 he ran unopposed for the council seat.
“Phil was a person of good conviction and integrity. He experienced a passion for serving his local community and did so in a lot of distinctive methods around the yrs,” City Supervisor Randy Groom said. “I experienced the privilege and honor of performing with and for Phil for many of his a long time in elected office. Phil was really conscientious in his operate, reading through qualifications material extensively, inquiring the hard thoughts, and complicated the staff when he didn’t have enough data or did not truly feel particular about the points.”
Groom noted that even though Cox “could have a tricky exterior” he was emphatic.
“He had fantastic compassion for folks, but took the responsibilities of an elected official really very seriously and made the challenging choices that have been desired,” he mentioned.
His presence on Council will be missed, Mayor Steve Nelsen mentioned.
Nelsen got to know Cox by way of his involvement in North Visalia Advisory Committee.
“He is what I would connect with a trusted colleague and a general public servant,” Nelsen explained. “…Not each time did Phil and I agree. But at the end of the day, we were friends. He will be skipped.”
Much like Vander Poel, Nelsen praised Cox’s “grounded” persona.
“He was not going to waver. Phil was incredibly open up and honest,” Nelsen explained. “He had a wealth of expertise. My thoughts are with Connie and the children.”
Groom stated city staff will now compile the details of how Cox’s emptiness on the council can be loaded. Staff will get the required information and facts and present it to the council at the very first option.
“Many elements go into following steps, which includes the total of time period remaining, decisions of the town council in phrases of alternate pathways, and likely the scheduling of numerous components that could occur into perform this sort of as a distinctive election,” he reported.
A strong advocate for public safety, Cox was a fiscal and ideological conservative and pro-improvement all over his time on the two elected boards. For the duration of his tenure as a supervisor, Cox created the board’s Move Up Gang Avoidance Plan and served as chairman to the Gang Undertaking Drive. He was a powerful advocate for the passage of Measure R operating to improve roadways and transportation assignments in Tulare County.
Cox’s 2016 re-election to the Visalia City Council did not go efficiently. Before he formally retook his seat he was caught on tape contacting his before long-to-be new colleagues “a bunch of dumbasses” for funding a program to shell out for potential Visalia Police Department cadets to go to the College of the Sequoias’ Law enforcement Academy.
Cox was anxious about the uncertainty and the inherent possibility of paying upward of $400,000 for cadets who may possibly have ended up operating for a unique department, he mentioned.
He rapidly apologized when the recording was unveiled.
“I am going to try out pretty difficult about the next few months not to put my foot in my mouth,” he claimed.
Just before serving a combined 20 a long time on elected boards, Cox ran a sheet metallic and paintball company, was a member of the North Visalia Advisory Committee from 1991 to 1998 and the Visalia Setting up Fee from 1998 to 2001.
Cox was married to Connie Cox and according to his biographical web page on the metropolis of Visalia’s web site he has 7 youngsters and 6 grandchildren. At the time of his death, he ran a household inspection and construction enterprise, in accordance to a Fb write-up by his little ones.
Born on a modest farm in Laton, Phil Cox’s loved ones moved to Visalia when he was about 18 months previous. He attended Mt. Whitney Higher University. After graduating superior college, Cox went to Switzerland as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-working day Saints. He later attended the Faculty of the Sequoias.
Memorial aspects will be declared by the family members when finalized, according to a social media write-up.
James Ward addresses leisure, news, sports and existence for the Visalia Occasions-Delta/Tulare Advance-Sign-up. Comply with him on Twitter. Get alerts and maintain up on all things Tulare County for as little as $1 a month. Subscribe these days.