Keeping Up With The Jones

Carlton Jones should step down as Mayor of Tulare and resign from its city council. It would be the correct–and decent–course of action.

Ask yourself if Jones is a decent individual.

Over the years we at the Valley Voice have received numerous complaints about Jones, most amounting to nothing more than gossip. Gossip because people seem to fear him, and don’t care to substantiate their claims by a willingness to be named for the record.

We can’t, for instance, print the finer points of a lengthy letter we received detailing Jones’ character. It will have to suffice for me to say that the author felt threatened enough by him to have installed security cameras and taken “a gun class and got a CCW.”

That’s a license to carry a concealed weapon.

How very charming that the City of Tulare’s mayor inspires such civic-mindedness!

I can, though, substantiate Jones’ 2009 arrest for–and eventual acquittal of–felony spousal abuse.

And I recall reports of the scuffle he had with Derek Thomas at COS during a forum for the 2014 State Assembly election.

See a pattern?

Lest you think these are things of the past, Carlton Jones accosted one of his constituents, Alex Gutierrez, in city council chambers immediately following the regular meeting on 19 September.

I fielded a phone call about the incident from an outraged citizen just now, on 2 October, as I’m writing this.

In Gutierrez’ own words, via Facebook:

I approached calmly and very politely asked for clarification when it came to the two letter agenda items.

My clarification stemmed from the unanimous vote by council to send a letter to our federal representatives, who serve in the Congress, in support of DACA. The mayor stated this federal government issue was a city issue because it affects the community.

Now not even 20 minutes before that the mayor himself said that city council had no business sending a similar letter to our state representative in Sacramento about the hospital which is in the heart of the city. That somehow a letter by council for an audit of millions of dollars of local taxpayer money is 1) not city business and 2) would not do anything anyways. It was pushed to be voted on next council meeting.

Regardless about whether people feel these items should have been on the agenda or not the statements made on each item by him were EXTREMELY interesting, eye-opening and I wanted an explanation as to why the obvious contradiction before the public.

I first spoke to Councilmember Sigala who then asked me to ask the mayor. The mayor, over hearing him say that, asked me what the question was. I didn’t intend to speak to him at all because at that moment the mayor was speaking to Alberto Aguilar who had stood before Council and was questioned at length. So I walk over and looking up at the mayor standing on the dais I asked for the clarification. To my shock he began yelling and insulting me in front of the entire public present at the end of the meeting getting loud. When I asked him if he was angry because of the contradictions he made on the two agendized letters he began a slow mumbling walk down from the dais, passing the fire chief and other city employees, to get down to me and got in my face. He stuck his finger in between my eyes and started yelling ” you don’t tell me how to vote, you don’t tell me how to think.. you don’t tell me anything!” The entire council chambers went silent.

Before I could tell him you can’t scare away the truth or intimidate people the chief of the fire department grabbed him by the left arm and pulled him up back onto the dais. The look in his eyes was of pure rage and although I couldn’t make out what he was mumbling to me, maybe those closer to him did, I felt he threatened me.

Afterwards I spoke to many present and it was mentioned that a public records request can be made for the video. I plan on doing so and encourage many to do so as well so anyone interested can see what kind of person the mayor is. I wonder if any others have had to deal with him in similar experience?

The short answer? Yes.

But you can’t believe everything you read on Facebook, so I interviewed Gutierrez.

“He just got right in your face,” I asked, “and was doing this [pointing inappropriately too closely] and was all puffed-up and pissed off?”

“Yes,” Gutierrez said. “Yes to all that.”

Gutierrez said he filed a public records request for chamber surveillance between nine and ten o’clock, the hour when the incident occurred.

This short video, sans sound, can now be viewed on the Valley Voice’s Facebook page.

According to Gutierrez, Jones–from the dais–called him stupid for not understanding the difference between the two letters.

Gutierrez responded by asking if the mayor was upset about what Gutierrez referred to as “a very obvious contradiction.”

“That’s when he backed his whole body up,” Gutierrez said, “and, I promise you, his eyes were filled with rage. He then comes all the way down the dais and gets into my face.

“His finger was literally between my eyes.

“It almost looked like he was going to push me, and the fire chief saved him, grabbed him by the left arm and pulled him back onto the dais, where the police chief was, where the city manager was. The whole council was still sort of there.

“Mind you, the whole council chamber is quiet at this point because he’s been screaming his head off. I see the city treasurer, I see the city community developer, I see the city engineer all in the corner, staring, and it was really awkward.

“When he went up to the dais, after the fire chief had pulled him away, he told me that I better be careful. And I asked him for clarification. ‘What do you mean, be careful?’ And he said, ‘You’ll see.’”

Sterling behavior in a mayor, right?

The man sits on a dais–by definition a place of elevation–and as such has a responsibility to speak with an even tone to his constituents.

That he should descend from it to menace one of them is beyond the pale–even if it’s after the meeting. I guarantee you that he never would have done so if Gutierrez were seven feet tall.

Carlton Jones is a bully.

But don’t take my word for it. Ask Alex Gutierrez. Ask Alberto Aguilar, who was there, and who I also interviewed.

Ask the numerous letter writers about him.

Ask the concerned citizen who phoned me.

Ask the city officials who were present at the time. Ask around.

I tried to ask Fire Chief Epps. But my calls to him went unreturned.

It’s up to you, Tulareans, to tolerate this–or not. I don’t have a horse in this race and I don’t care who your mayor is.

But you should.

20 thoughts on “Keeping Up With The Jones

  1. He is a phony that acts like he is full of love for God and others but yet he is a cheating fool that bully’s those around him. Being Mayor has gone to his head. He ought to research the history of the past mayor of Detroit so he can avoid the path that he went down. Carlton has the making of heading the same way.

    Some day there won’t be a Willard Epps to keep him in line and he will lose it. Thug life in action.

  2. How do we not know the other person said something insulting to him?? Just because he asked maybe for clarification and approached the person? How nieve people can be. People maybe we SHOULD have voice to the video. No voice? don’t just assume!!! ALL THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE MAKE LIES IN A MINUTE AND THE WHOLE COMMUNITY FALLS FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The chirf had to restrain him that tells you he was out of hand. I will take Williard’s Epps actions to restrain our of of hand mayor. If you do not agree with him he will go off on you. Have firsthand knowledge. Have you ever spoke to him

  3. A public servant or official is suppose to to conduct themselves so as not to bring discredit to the position they hold no matter what the provocation. Since the actions we see on the video are not the first time Mayor Jones has been said to have acted in a similar manner towards people who disagree with him I see no reason to doubt this account.

  4. In this day of social media, it is easy for rumors to get started and it seems that people are extremely quick to spread sensational stories before doing their research. Taking the word of a person or people who may have their own agendas is unfair. Bringing up something someone was acquitted for is unfair. And as far as him bringing up the “R” word – Pointing out that it exists is not a crime nor inappropriate. The use of the word “thug” in itself makes me wonder about one of the people posting. Do not take every rumor at face value. This man is a firefighter and has served his community for a long time. He deserves the benefit of the doubt until something concrete is proven.

    • It is obvious that you haven’t had a conversation with him. Do not judge others if you haven’t ‘been there amd done that.

    • Karin, we know each other, and I suppoted Carlton’s campaign because I thought he would be a good addition to the City Council in Tulare.

      However, I also know Alex and Albert, who I know to be of good chracter and have worked hard to improve their city.

      What Carlton did is unexcuseable for an official; especially when the appearance of corruption at hospital has the entire ciry under scrutany. We need level headed leaders; not ones that act like bullies when the pressure is on.

  5. It doesn’t surprise me that it was Willard who led Carlton away from this confrontation. Willard has always taken the higher road with his quiet dignified leadership. Carlton would do well to follow Willard’s lead when it comes to work ethics, personal ethics, and especially public persona. Willard who very early on in his young life following right into his career as a fireman faced and experienced very real racism exhibited not only by words but by actions. I have never to this day ever heard of him pulling out the “r” card. Through his grit and determination to keep on going and persevering and eventually through his love of this community, Willard to this day continues to enjoy the love and respect of this entire community. He is a beautiful person who has given so much more to this community than it could ever give him back in return. He has earned this city’s love and respect through his words, deeds, and actions. Always the statesman, always the one who we can count on when it comes to volunteering and working for our kids well-being, a tireless community activist, always exhibiting kindness, and as our Fire Chief he stands head and shoulders above so many of his predecessors. Carlton stop your drama, learn to communicate appropriately, and above all please learn to really listen so you can hear what citizens say about what they are experiencing when they try to communicate with you. Respect is a two-way street. Willard Epps was the only one on that city council who had the good sense and common decency to pull you away from that dreadful confrontation with Mr. Gutierrez. It also doesn’t surprise me that he elected not to talk to the news media about that evening…..it probably seemed too distasteful to him to comment about it publicly. I hope you thanked him properly.

  6. Carlton Jones is an arrogant, self righteous bully. His rants on FB has everyone blocking him. In a post that we shared I told him that I respectfully disagreed with him and let him know that I was going to unfriend him, the next morning he started sending me messages via messenger and they were bullying in nature so I gave it right back and blocked him. The Mayor representing Tulare should care and represent all of us not just those of color, all lives matter, but not in his mind. He has bashed families by name of folks in our community because of heir kids/grandkids indiscretions, yes, let’s just poor salt in their open wounds. He’s a total embarrassment, no self control, his “it’s all about me attitude” has got to go. For the sake of our community I pray that he agrees to step down or is just simply voted off.

    • I hope he steps down, but will most likely have to be voted off. Whoever runs against him will have my vote by default just based on how I’ve seen him attack other citizens on Facebook while defending Kumar.

  7. I have seen Alex Gutierrez in action – he incites and insults and says outrageous things and then tries to act all innocent and paint himself as a victim. He purposefully causes problems – and then acts surprised when folks dish his shenanigans right back at him. He is nothing but a meeting troll.

  8. That is no excouse for the mauor to act like that. In his position he has to have tough skin and act like a mayor. If they had to. Pull him back he over reacted.

  9. I personally have had to deal with his bully behavior. I have also blocked him from my Facebook page. He needs to step down as Mayor!!

  10. Seems to me Gutierrez was looking to cause problems. It would surprise me if he was put up to by the Voice, since they have a personal agenda to attack Jones.

    • I’m the Voice’s editor. The paper has no “personal agenda to attack Jones.” What the paper does have is an obligation to get at the facts. Jones’ sole relevance is as Mayor of Tulare; if not for that, he’d get no more mention than a stray dog.

  11. You can’t ask for the the Mayor to quit when most of the voters in this valley voted for Trump and love him for his “behavior” and demeaning of others. I don’t know Mr. Jones or who is telling the truth or the reason for the police chief to be put on leave but I do know the gangs are everywhere and the police have failed to stop them and the druggies & thieves are . treated like babies. And. This is not just a criticism of Tulare but every town and yes the: Sheriff, DA and judges and every county. They get big money & pensions for what? The DA complains about Gov Brown and the legislature new laws but why don’t they all say where not going to follow the new stupid laws?

  12. PS Even though I thought Trump was wrong to pardon Sheriff Arpio of phoenix because I think he thought he was in charge of immigration (not just a local sheriff) and I’m a liberal person I have respect for Aprio in a way. These sheriffs in California run the jails like a kindergarden. Gang members shouldn’t get bail period and druggies & thieves are not non-violent criminals or crimes.

    • Thanks…pHX does still love sheriff Joe.
      CA. Taken Yu off vacation list.
      Can’t spend my dollars in a state that pay illegals to rob, Murfreesboro, kill.
      Sanctuary city or State. shameful

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