The Tulare (Calif.) City Council voted unanimously this week to replace Carlton Jones as mayor, responding to citizens' outrage over disparaging comments that Jones made toward agriculture last month on social media.
The council named David Macedo as the new mayor late June 21 after local residents and businesspeople packed the council chambers, with many speakers voicing their opposition to Jones, KFSN-TV in Fresno reported.
Jones stirred a hornet’s nest last month when, in the Facebook exchange he claims was between him and another person, he wrote in part: “Ag strips the natural resources and contaminates our water and air. Ag causes asthma and valley fever, cancer and kills bees.”
Screen shots of the comments were made and shared on the Facebook page “My Job Depends on Ag.” That page, developed and managed by a Dos Palos farmer and a friend of his who used to sell tractors, boasts 81,000 members. Local media soon picked up on the story.
A subsequent noontime rally in support of agriculture June 1 in Tulare drew thousands, as yard signs and stickers were given away. The event at Garton Tractor in Tulare was co-sponsored by GAR Tootelian of Reedley, which teamed up over a year ago with the nonprofit group “My Job Depends on Ag,” to provide yard signs to help people show local politicians how many people derive their living from agriculture. GAR Tootelian hosted a tailgate gathering before the council meeting, KFSN reported.
Jones has steadfastly defended his comments. He will remain on the City Council, as his term ends in 2020.