Tulare is Copenhagen


Tulare City Councilman Greg Nunley should be positively crimson with shame after suing the city for $16.5 million.

But he’s not.

This is a breach of Nunley’s fiduciary duty not to Tulare itself, but to its taxpaying residents–especially those in the area he represents, District 5.

What’s particularly galling is that this suit represents a betrayal of his supporters, the people who elected him. I can only imagine they feel as if they’ve stumbled into a Kafkaesque judiciary proceeding where some erstwhile friend or family member is suing them for a preposterous, crushing sum of cash.

I’m not going to validate Nunley’s lawsuit by listing its particulars. These can be found elsewhere in this paper and on our website. And I’m baffled by the amount he is seeking. Suffice it to say, though, that a suit of this size against a city the size of Tulare would be more than onerous if he were to prevail in full.

What Nunley is saying with his lawsuit is that his interests are more important than those of his constituents. He’s saying that his interests are entitlements while their interests are concerns. Fair enough, I suppose–if you’re Nunley–but you can’t adequately represent people you feel vastly superior to.

So he should immediately resign his seat. Or drop his suit. Because it seems to me he can’t have both. He can step down and legitimize his suit or, conversely, he can drop his suit and legitimize his seat.

To be clear, there could be many valid reasons for a sitting councilmember to seek legal redress against the city he represents. In the Holly Blair case, for instance, in Lemoore, an anti-SLAPP suit was brought by the city councilmember against her city to quash a temporary restraining order it had filed against her.

But can a councilmember simultaneously represent and intentionally financially harm constituents for his own gain?

This might technically be legal, but it remains far from right. If this is the case then something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and Tulare is Copenhagen.

Nunley, though, is no Hamlet–by which I mean he’s no prince.

It must be difficult to trust a city councilman willing to sue his city for his own motives. His every action, viewed through a lens of revenge or personal gain, would be suspect. And that’s when he hasn’t recused himself.

This is something Nunley has done a good job of in the past, especially regarding Tulare’s hospital. But the ramifications of his current suit must, at $16.5 million, be vast. Who can say how much future city business he’ll have to recuse himself from? That’s why it’s better he resign his seat. Nunley can’t possibly operate at peak effectivity in the present manufactured environment.

I encourage all Tulareans, especially those residing in District 5, to answer this question: Do you trust Greg Nunley? I’m asking you to respond publically, online, as a bellwether.

We recently bought a house in a peaceful Visalia neighborhood. Immediately, I noticed there was not a deadbolt on the premises. Neither was there any kind of alarm. We’re now the second owners of a 30-year old house–and in all that time it has never been burgled. That is telling. We haven’t even moved in yet and already I can feel a trustworthiness about the neighborhood.

Lock your doors, Tulare.

Failing that, you could always avail yourself of a recall. But that would be expensive, and demonstrative of impatience. Why not wait until next year when you can vote him out of office properly and on the cheap?

9 thoughts on “Tulare is Copenhagen

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  1. Nunley is a piece, can’t speak my mind! I have an opinion!!! Cancel your orders because you don’t want to here the truth! Don’t anyone do business with people like this! Nunley your a cheat and as dirty as you come!!

  2. We need more people like you Mr. Oldenbourg. Thank you for speaking out. So many of us sit behind our mobile devices and speak our minds. But how does that really help the situation? More pressure needs to be put on city administration, the city attorney and council to do something about this man. People need to start speaking up in public! Look at how those that spoke out for Chief Hensley made a difference!

  3. I currently reside in Nunleys district. When Mr. Nunley started his campaign for council he made several promises. He ran on making Tulare the best and bringing business to Tulare. Mr. Nunley also wanted to make changes at City Hall that benefiting both the city and employees. I believed he had the citizens best interest. He has done nothing but cause harm to Tulare. Currently he is actively trying to bring a motion to the floor to fire the engineering, building and planning departments subbed out to large engineering firms. That is a huge loss of jobs and many families will be affected. Nunley was the first to purpose layoffs and he is the only counsel member that is allowed to treat employees with such disrespect and belittle them is such a way that causes unnecessary stress. Why? Because he is a counsel member or because he has wealth? That’s not fair to those employees who are harassed by this man daily. He tells people he has the power to fire staff and wants to eliminate departments. Who gives him the power to make such decisions that could hurt Tulare. I feel Nunley needs to step down. Tulare needs a new start free from controversy. I would vote to recall immediately

  4. I also live in Mr. Nunley’s district and strongly believe he needs to resign he will have to recuse himself from multiple issues facing the city and will no longer be an effective representative of district 5. I also find it interest how all of his plans for construction projects are sent to a private firm for plan checks after his altercation with city staff … cost the city additional money for no reason!

  5. Is there a group that has formed or is willing to form from District 5 that would be willing to post signs and start a recall petition?

  6. Not to bring up the obvious, but I will. Who does Nunley do business with? Our infamous, never a dull moment, hospital. Will our hospital and city council ever stop sleeping with each other long enough to bring honor back to their businesses? Geez! Tulare Regional Hospital, who knew darn good and well that Nunley was having issues with City Hall, still decided to sell him the land next to Evolutions. Let’s all sit back and see how this mess plays out.

  7. Greg Nunley and Carlton Jones exemplify humanity at its most self-serving, & arrogant. List the many ways they’ve gutted this city’s people, while convincing themselves they are heroes. The verb is called “Clintoning.”

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