Delenda Est Carlton

The ancient Romans, if you remember your history, had a few kerfuffles with Carthage, a city-state on the north coast of Africa. Cato the Elder famously–and repeatedly–called for its destruction, thus the lingering phrase, “Delenda est Carthago.” Carthage must be destroyed.

I’m not calling for the destruction of Tulare Mayor Carlton Jones. That wouldn’t be very sporting. But I am calling for the destruction of his term of office. So long as he is on the city council–especially as mayor–the city of Tulare will remain underserved. Maybe even misserved.

I suppose that would depend upon whether or not you think Tulare’s having a public hospital is a good idea. If you think the city would be fine without one, not only are you a moron, but Carlton Jones is your man. Your mayor. Sadly, though, he’s also mayor to all those who want to keep the hospital open. They should seek to recall him–and pronto. This afternoon would not be fast enough.

Because Carlton is actively obstructing the survival of the hospital at a time–now–when the whole construct is balancing on a knife edge.

Tulare Regional Medical Center–(TRMC) Tulare’s hospital–is, astonishingly, hard at the oars in a fashion it surely has never quite been before. There are two Tulare Local Healthcare District (TLHCD) boards; one, a new majority–a quorum comprising Kevin Northcraft, Mike Jamaica and Senovia Gutierrez–and a rump, Linda Wilbourn and Richard Torrez.

You can read “rump” however you please.

Since Dr. Parmod Kumar’s TLHCD board recall and replacement with Mrs. Gutierrez, neither Wilbourn or Torrez have attended either of the two special board meetings called by the new majority.

The first was held in Tulare’s City Council chambers on 27 July because Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA) TRMC’s managing company, disallowed the recall election results, claiming that the TLHCD board itself needed to certify Senovia’s victory. Never mind that the Tulare County Elections office already had.

This meant that the usual board meeting venue, Evolutions–a TLHCD property–was out of bounds.

The second special meeting was held in Tulare’s Masonic Lodge on 9 August–because, on the first of the month, Carlton spearheaded a 4-1 city council vote denying the new majority access to the public facility.

Jose Sigala was the lone holdout for sanity in that circus.

We’ll see what happens at the next regular board meeting, scheduled for 23 August. And we’ll see, too, where it’s set to occur.

But if those were straits not narrow enough, TRMC also has two Medical Executive Committees (MEC). One, the old MEC unprecedentedly dismissed by the previous TLHCD board, and a new–and newly elected–body.

This is akin to having two captains at the helm–except that, instead of helping to steer, the old MEC was summarily thrown overboard.

With the result that many doctors jumped ship.

The trial (the old MEC v. the former TLHCD board and the new MEC) is scheduled to resume–to conclude, more properly–in October. It’d be deluding yourself not to think it all won’t truly end with an appeal.

Except for freshly filed litigation and the ever dwindling cash on hand situation, this is the crossroads we now find ourselves at.

Let’s peel back the factionalism and ask ourselves, dispassionately, how Carlton, as mayor, has helped in this tricky situation.

Not at all, would be the answer; in fact, he’s been a hindrance–and his “leadership,” in addition to being partisan, has been short-sighted. The new majority, however new, is still legitimate–and there is no credible reason Carlton can offer for denying it access to a public chamber.

Let’s see Carlton for who he is in his own words:

“If you’ve ever been in recent time to the meetings they have at their facility, they go pretty negative. Their last meeting at their own facility went very negative — to the point that where council members were getting threatened. I don’t think they should be allowed to have meetings here — especially if we have to kick up our own security.

“My position was – they have their own facilities, let them have their meetings, let them worry about their own security, and to protect our public and our library, they shouldn’t be allowed to have meetings in our chambers.

“We recognize the types of meetings they were having in their own facilities, and they have facilities to have their own meetings. We recognize that. We saw them enticing and telling people to come to this meeting, to come have this public war. It’s not about disagreeing with them. I agree with them. It’s not about taking a position — as long as you show up, and you’re respectful, and you don’t make threats, and you don’t create an environment where we have to boost up security, we’re fine with that. We’re talking about a group that did the exact opposite.”

I have been attending these meetings without fail for a year and three-quarters now. I’d call that “recent time.”I’ve never seen anything remotely similar to what Carlton has described. I’ve also never seen Carlton. These meetings can be charged–raucous, even, as we’ve headlined an article from earlier this year–and sarcasm can be thick in the room. But no “council members” have ever been threatened– not least because, properly speaking, the TLHCD board is not a council. No board member has been threatened, period–and certainly not in any way so as to conceivably require a “kick up” in security.

So, if Carlton has not been in attendance at TLHCD board meetings for a year and three-quarters, from where–or whom–did he get his information? It looks to me that someone has Carlton’s ear and is exercising undue influence by lying to him. Of course, Carlton could always have availed himself of his own eyes by going to a meeting.

Failing that, if he had some conflict of schedule with work, say, he could always have checked our website to observe–or sometimes merely listen to–the recordings Tony has made of these meetings.

Repeating things he’s only really heard of and not actually seen–or sometimes merely heard–for himself makes Carlton fake news on legs–only in this scenario, he has no leg to stand on.

And what if the new majority had been unable to secure the Masonic Lodge?

Tulareans–especially those of you who want the hospital to survive–are you going to stand for this?

As mayor, he should be doing everything within his authority to facilitate new majority meetings. Because the new majority is legitimate. Because the new majority is a quorum. Because Tulare needs a hospital, and the hospital needs a board.

Tulare doesn’t need Carlton Jones–it needs him recalled. Yesterday.

21 thoughts on “Delenda Est Carlton

  1. (4) City Attorney:
    a. Discussion of current City of Tulare policy, relating to use of City Council Chambers for purposes other than City business. Based upon the recommendation of the City Attorney and as a result of concerns relating to
    AGENDA
    TULARE CITY COUNCIL
    August 15, 2017
    Page 6
    __________________________________________________________________
    after-hours staffing and public safety, adopt amendment to policy that would limit usage for purposes other than City business or, in the alternative, adopt proposed amendment to policy that would prohibit use of Council Chambers for purposes other than City business.

  2. The mission of the City Council: “To promote a quality of life making Tulare the most desirable community in which to live, learn, play, work, worship and prosper.” I guess money talks louder than committment. Castellanoz sides with HCCA too. Interesting! Where’s Macedo and Nunley? Thank You Valley Voice for you’re column.

  3. The minutes of the 8/1 meeting read as follows:

    Mayor Jones and Vice Mayor Castellanoz expressed concern over the hospital meetings being held in the City’s Council Chambers due to the proximity to the library and the safety of its patrons in light of the tone and tensions of those meetings. City Attorney Heather Phillips encouraged Council to discuss at a future meeting. It was moved by Mayor Jones, seconded by Council Member Macedo and approved 4 to 1 (Council Member Sigala voting no) to place this item on the next agenda.

    Dig deeper V.V, there is one more you need to look at and it isn’t Sigala or Macedo. The city will soon be circling the drain.

    • What about Greg Nunley? Don’t be coy, don’t imply, just tell it straight. If you have pertinent information to share then do so.

  4. I was at the hospital meeting I don’t know where the information came from but everything was done in a very business like manner. There was no discord like they had at Evolution

  5. Just read the VTD article about Carlton Jones and his urgent quest to keep the new hospital board from having meetings in our public chambers at our public library. I think that both Jones and Castellanoz are most certainly compromised and should recuse themselves from voting on this matter as they both have financially benefited from having received HCCA donations. They both have been paid to play and now are aligning themselves with Benzeevi/HCCA. The mayor’s deliberate lying about discord that he personally has never witnessed shows just how biased he has become. I have no respect for this man whatsoever.

  6. Carlton is Mr. Cool and being Mayor is going to his head. He thinks he is above rules and guidelines so if you can’t break them then why not change them to fit his end game.

    He wants to use city facilities to penalize the hospital board probably because his buddy Kumar is bummed that he was recalled.

    But ole Carlton doesn’t follow rules like having a barbecue party without a permit including driving vehicles on the grass in Zumwalt Park. Or what about his newest event, parking a big party trailer on the sidewalk in front of the clock tower at the outlet mall. What a poor role model to others.

    Was Nunley aware and okay with it? Seems like rules aren’t for everyone right Mr. Mayor.

    • Your last sentence is one to investigate. There appears to be more than meets the eye with the Nunley/Jones relationship. Grab a shovel and dig for answers.

  7. I’ve attended very few Council Meetings. But the ones I have attended, I’ve been struck by Mr. Jones unprofessionalism. Recently, when attending the agenda item for making Tulare a Sanctuary City, he was in full cowardly flight. When I pulled into the library parking lot, and saw news vans, demonstrators on Cross Avenue, I knew what he would do. Having worked in City government for many years, I looked at my relative and said Carlton will pull the agenda item and won’t even be smart enough to make it believable. And he did. Said it was a mistake and he didn’t know how it was made. I thought ‘find that evil secretary who dared to type up that agenda with a false item.” Idiot, hew knew it was only a mistake because he now had a huge audience he had to answer to. He’s a coward and not very bright. But hey, that’s just my thoughts.

  8. no one’s even brought up the way he’s spoken to people on facebook….he’s called so many ‘Racist’ because they don’t go along with what he’s said.
    Three of five signed onto a letter they thought was for recruiting more doctors, and when shown what their name was actually attached to they checked out of doing or saying anything else about the hospital.
    Isn’t this one of our biggest businesses and a tax revenue maker? Are they not concerned about the 300-500 workers?
    I knew the public private partnership would not work with Benzeevi and his HCCA….all you had to do is see what his brother has done to Moreno Valley.

  9. The council chambers/ library building are Public not Carlton Jones personal property to do with as he pleases. Many Tulareans have given towards the construction of the library. I as many other of my friends donated and we also have donated to the Hospital Foundation. Mr. Jones needs to recuse himself from this farce to protect Kumar and
    HCCA. The city attorney and Rob Hunt will of course play your way cause who is ultimately over their boss. And you had better not have a Meeting go after 7:00 pm as Rob Hunt was quoted as saying or they won’t be able to have staff available to monitor you guys.

    Tulare needs a Public Hospital not a cash cow for HCCA/Kumar, And by the way many of my friends have been terminated by HCCA with over 30 years of dedication to TDH. Currently employed friends are not allowed to release census for fear of termination. So down the road my family goes to KDDH for baby births and care as do relatives and friends. I do not want to but until the cancer is gone from TDH that’s what it will be. I have the utmost respect for the employees and understand their situation at this time.

    Mr Mayor please refocus your duties to guiding Tulare to growth and prosperity. Drive around town look at the vacant lots, weed filled lots like the one east of Evolutionx that HCCA should of abated in April!! Look at the empty buildings downtown, empty Kmart, half filled Meryyns. Homeless/Pandhandling around Prosperity/Hillman. Where is the new industry and business, Visalia is booming and with it goes our disposable income and sales tax revenue for their quality of life and not Tulare’s.

    Carlton I had great respect for you and supported you but now I feel the koolaid has taken hold. Please do what is right for Tulare or the recall train may be heading your way!

    • My recollection is that there have been some pretty “hot tempers” at City Council meetings; I attended a few myself. Never has there been a need for “extra security” except in the 1980’s when a meeting was held at the Senior Center.

      Tulare Police Dept has officers on duty 24/7 to provide “security” for Council meetings IF needed. All it takes is a call to 911 if criminal activity occurs….

      This attempt to prevent the hospital board from using the Council Chambers goes against everything I DONATED for when I made a donation to the building fund. This was promoted as a “community facility”.

      This is an attempt to be jerks and be uncooperative. This hospital is a critical piece of a community’s infrastructure, and to be so uncooperative makes the City Council look petty.

  10. Pretty much if you dont agree with this group you are “wrong ” and this is the kind of people we want to run the hospital? I dont think so!!! They want to intimidate people, they have lied and let me tell you ” bullying is not ok ” They have not been the businesses model and have failed terribly.

  11. As one who recently witnessed some comments on fb by our esteemed mayor…. there is just no excuse for name calling and unprofessionalism when you are in such a position of power. We all agree transparency and accountability is what we are asking from the hospital? I think it’s only fair to expect ALL leaders from our community to show their fiduciary powers resposibly and do the same. It’s unacceptable to just stop attending board meetings because the board isn’t going your way. Mr Torres & Me. Wilbur, you should be ashamed.Mr Jones has no comment on the situation with the hospital other than to attempt to halt the board meetings at the library? Sad, just sad.

  12. You guys are all bullies. Anytime someone disagrees with your point of view, you guys trash talk them and demand they be recalled. I disagree with all of you, so I’m sure your comments will be nothing nice. You people do not know how to have a civil debate. I don’t agree with everything Mayor Jones does or stands for, but I don’t attack him. I chose not to use my real name in fear you bullies will attack me. Very sad!

    • People who disagree with you are “bullies”, trash talkers, uncivil. Your words sound more self-descriptive of yourself and you hide behind your made up name of “Tulareforlife” out of fear. How very sad. We are simply your fellow citizens who also pay our fair share of taxes in Tulare and have a right to post our opinions….. no need to fear us.

  13. If you really did know your history, you would know the proper meaning and appropriate way of using the Latin term and would put the name Carlton before delenda est. So much for you trying to sound educated. LOL

    • For the patients at TRMC, and their relatives and the hospital employees, this is a very very big deal. Do you understand that people have died because of incorrect and inadequate staffing of the operating rooms?
      We are not bullying anybody, but we do demand that our democratically elected hospital board have a convenient public place to hold their meetings? Is that too much to ask?
      It is difficult to have those meetings at TRMC because Benny the thief Benzeevi will not even allow the meeting agenda to be posted in the usual place near the elevators. In fact, TRMC website, is still showing Kumar as a board member, lol, more than a month after he has been recalled.
      We just want a decent well managed public hospital.

    • If you knew the rules of rhetoric, you’d know the ad hominem attack is a fallacy. That’s the best you’ve got: “I don’t like your tone! And I don’t like smart people!”

      If you knew your Latin, you’d know the Vulgate translation is “delendam esse Carthaginem,” and that the popular quote is an established proverbial expression.

      Apparently, facts don’t interest you. You’re just here to crap on the people with guts enough to speak up.

      You’re clearly only “barba tenus sapientes,” and what we’ve got here is a case of “corvus oculum corvi non eruit.”

      The real question here is: Qui bono?

  14. There is a reason I didn’t use my name, it’s for the very real fear of retaliation. I’ve spent 50 years in Tulare. Born and raised. My family is both political AND well known. We have been in the community over 150 years. Does that mean we know everyone, yes. Does that mean we have been singled out YES.
    We personally know those that have lost lives at TRMC. We also know those that won huge law suits of undisclosed amounts that they are NOT supposed to talk about, due to doctors errors. We will no longer be a party to this.
    Wrong is wrong, there is no bullying involved.

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