Public input unwelcome in Arroyo Grande

August 29, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrara

Mayor Tony Ferrara

COMMENTARY by DANIEL BLACKBURN

Up until today, I’d never met a newspaper that didn’t love a good, old fashioned investigation by some official agency.

Now that the Arroyo Grande City Council plans to meet publicly to discuss once more a particularly prickly personnel problem, an independent investigation (the best kind) looms.

Not appreciating this, however, is the county’s daily. But maybe that shouldn’t be surprising given the reality that this incongruous McClatchy publication doesn’t much like to do its own investigations.

Editors of The Tribune chose today to editorially chastise residents of Arroyo Grande for showing up at their city council’s meeting earlier this week to vocally express their thoughts. The editorial whines, “Why is A.G. wasting time on inquiry?”

Same editors must have chugged some of the “tea” that has become central to a story being told by City Manager Steve Adams.

Adams and a subordinate department director, Teresa McClish, were found in a darkened City Hall near midnight July 3 by police and emergency workers who were responding to a 911 call from McClish’s husband. Adams and McClish were reported to be “disheveled,” a situation responding police officers later described as “uncomfortable.”

CalCoastNews broke the story Aug. 19, after trying unsuccessfully for two days to contact city officials involved, who, like the Godfather’s Corleone family, had apparently “gone to the mattresses.”

First came Mayor Tony Ferrara, telling a local civic group that all was well, he’d looked into the situation, CalCoastNews is unbelievable, and Adams and McClish are the salt of the earth.

Then Adams and McClish and the city’s legal team made themselves available to… The Tribune.

The pair claimed they had been drinking wine at nearby bars, and were sipping tea and waiting to sober up before driving home.

The spoon-fed  Tribune printed what can only be called the pair’s questionable version without question.

Ferrara would later concede that Adams had been “seriously reprimanded” by the council. But for what?

At Tuesday’s council meeting, a standing-room crowd jammed into city hall, with more people overflowing into an adjacent conference room. Nearby restaurants, also packed, were airing the meeting on the local government access television channel. Dave Congalton, on his Hometown Radio talk show on KVEC-920, broadcast the public hearing portion of the meeting.

When is the last time you heard of that happening?

The reason for this occurring, quite simply, is public interest. People want to know why Adams and McClish put themselves — and the city — in this terribly awkward position, regardless of what transpired behind closed doors that night.

I believe that a primary function of journalism is to give voice to those stifled by powerful interests. The local daily simply gives the politically potent a bigger club with which to pound the citizenry.

From The Tribune’s editorial: “So, again, why is the City Council seriously thinking about funding another investigation? Is it to satisfy the contingent hollering that the city is transpiring to cover up inappropriate conduct on the part of two top employees?”

In a word, yes: That’s exactly why. It’s a matter of responding to the people.

What is happening here boils down to politics 101, because any independent investigation will exacerbate and complicate this situation, keep it in the public eye longer, and generally make things worse. Much better if said independent investigation never occurs.

When the council eventually meets within the next two weeks to vote on such an independent investigation, Ferrara will need two council allies to kill it. Kristen Barneich has made clear in her public comments that she likely can be counted on to be one.

The Trib’s editorial is Ferrara’s truncheon to pummel just one more council member into submission.

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gangsta1

fishing village. you said it yourself, you don’t live in AG”. I did for 53 year.s and these officials are NOT as pure as the new driven snow. You might want to refer your comments to a city you have more info about. Maybe the residents of arroyo grande would like representation of persons in power that have higher moral fortitude. The saying” it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood” does not apply here. Sorry wrong hood. Perhaps your comments would be more accredited when applied to a city you really do live in.


ToHellinaHandBasket

Disclaimer: I’m going to assume that [and yes, that means I make an ass out of you and me], that not only are Adams, McClish and Ferrara liberals, but that the make up of the AG City council are as well.


Having said that, from “Townhall.com”: [ I am an independent sick of liberal lies and immorality]


The more completely a person, group, or organization embraces liberalism, the less virtuous it becomes. It’s almost like a mental sickness in that respect. People or groups who are lightly infected can soldier on without having it eat them alive. However, the deeper the sickness goes, the more it changes them. Eventually the liberal disease inside of people can grow so much that it warps their morals, their religious beliefs, and their way of thinking until they can no longer tell right and wrong. This destruction of virtue is a natural consequence of the fundamental beliefs that go along with liberalism.


5) “When one becomes a liberal, he or she pretends to advocate tolerance, equality and peace, but hilariously, they’re doing so for purely selfish reasons. It’s the human equivalent of a puppy dog’s face: an evolutionary tool designed to enhance survival, reproductive value and status. In short, liberalism is based on one central desire: to look cool in front of others in order to get love. Preaching tolerance makes you look cooler, than saying something like, ‘please lower my taxes.’” — Greg Gutfeld


4) “There are no bad guys on the left. There are only people who’ve been driven to desperation by conservative evil.” — Allahpundit


3) “Liberals have created, and the minority leadership has exploited, a community of dependent people, unaware of the true route to prosperity and happiness: self-reliance and self-investment. Instead, people are told that America is unjust, unfair, and full of disadvantages. They are told that their only hope is for government to fix their problems. What has happened is that generations of people have bought into this nonsense and as a result have remained hopelessly mired in poverty and despair — because the promised solutions don’t work. And they will never work — they never have.” — Rush Limbaugh


2) “Indiscriminateness of thought does not lead to indiscriminateness of policy. It leads the modern liberal to invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. Why? Very simply if nothing is to be recognized as better or worse than anything else then success is de facto unjust.

There is no explanation for success if nothing is better than anything else and the greater the success the greater the injustice. Conversely and for the same reason, failure is de facto proof of victimization and the greater the failure, the greater the proof of the victim is, or the greater the victimization.” — Evan Sayet


1) “That is one reason ‘feelings’ and ‘compassion’ are two of the most often used liberal terms. ‘Character’ is no longer a liberal word because it implies self-restraint. ‘Good and evil’ are not liberal words either as they imply a moral standard beyond one’s feelings. In assessing what position to take on moral or social questions, the liberal asks him or herself, ‘How do I feel about it?’ or ‘How do I show the most compassion?’ — not ‘What is right?’ or ‘What is wrong?’ For the liberal, right and wrong are dismissed as unknowable, and every person chooses his or her own morality.” — Dennis Prager


kettle

An ass of you for sure because your broad brush is about your politics not Arroyo Grande anything. Rush Limbaugh the drugie?


You do everyone a disservice with the off topic cut and paste, political racism is what you brought to share today.


catdude

Mind boggling; ToHellinaHandBasket, that is about the biggest crock of shit I have ever read. Oh those evil deluded liberals “….the less virtuous they become….” … kind of a broad brush here? Do you actually believe this garbage? Do you realize our country was started by, our constitution written by; OMG, Liberals! Oh no! Watch Faux much? It’s mind numbing to think someone could be so incredibly arrogant and ignorant as to think this way…. unreal…. how do people become so twisted? Hard to get my head around the concept of people actually thinking this way…. You are SO SO right, your opposition must be just garbage, huh? And, oh, yes keep quoting Rush, that lends tremendous credibility…. It would be funny if not so scary…


catdude

BTW: On topic, I certainly do not support McClish & Adams; sounds like AG is as corrupt as SLO and the County. SLO County: known throught the state as the most corrupt county in California!


catdude

throughout


changes

It is somewhat disappointing to see the Tribune failure to honestly report

the incidents and embarrassment happening with City Government of Arroyo

Grande.However, I’m not surprised by this as the Tribune has not shown any

indication to honestly investigate and report actual news for a long time.


Everyone is allowed to write or express their opinion and the recently posted

letter to the editor is somebody’s opinion. Even if I do not agree with it.

Maybe the person would like to attend the next council meeting and verbally

express their support of this wasted time on two city employees.


Thank you Cal Coast News for keeping the Central Coast abreast with this

situation. The citizens need to continued their request for transparency and the

truth.


fishing village

I don’t live in AG, but if I did I’d say this is a case of ‘much ado about nothing’, the police and fire responded, the situation (missing woman with medical potential medical problems was found safe)!! All was fine, EXCEPT, there is some sort of quagmire lovers who want to get out the people involved? I don’t know these people, but I agree with the Trib, drop the whole thing, get past this stupid thing of stiring up trouble. and get back to the business of the City, for the good of the citizens!!


Kevin Rice

fv– At this point it’s as much about the cover-up. This wreaks with cronyism and unaccountability to the electorate. Huge red flag. Of course, some have seen through Ferrara’s stonewalling for years. South Sanitation District customers will pay the sewage flooding fine for years. Thanks, again, to Ferrara for protecting a good ol’boy friend sucking ratepayers dry.


agag1

Honestly fv–for someone who doesn’t live in AG you sure have a lot of opinions about what those of us who do, should be, or not be doing. Fish more in your own village.


Myself

Sarn,I was hoping the Village AG would adopt him the Village of MB wqould like to loose him,hopes dashed again.


MaryMalone

AG has not yet informed its residents/customers that a major security breech occurred when the front door of the AG office was left open overnight and into the next day, thanks to confusion about locking the front door.


As residents of AG, we deserve to have a full disclosure about this major security lapse, including measures we need to take to ensure our financial information at the AG office is secure.


phoenix.rising

Costello just needs to vote with Tony F. to hush the independent investigation and he is unelectable!


Kevin Rice

I almost hope he does. Unelected would be good for A.G.


Paso_Guy

Newspapers are always disappointing, the Times in particular.


falconbh

I always thought newspapers played a really important role as a watchdog for the people.


Have been disappointed as well with our local Times Press Recorder. Public comments have virtually been eliminated online. I find it interesting that it all has taken place after the Fire Tax, Sanitation Tax, Road Tax, and other controversial issues.


Sad day as the people are finding it more difficult to bring balance to a system that is rigged against taxpayers.


Just remember these AG Council Members, City Manager, and Senior Staff are the people that have supported the Defeated Police Tax, Defeated Fire Tax, Extended Sales Tax without a Vote of the People, Automatically Raise Water Rates, without fair democratic Vote, and will wait until after the Election To Automatically Raise Sanitation Rates, to cover up Waste, Mismanagement, and Legal Costs.


Vote In November-Inform- Support Tax Relief Candidates


dogeatdog

Along with the supported police tax, if people were paying attention, the police remodel is running 100%, yes 100%, over budget. Tim Brown was the one who mentioned that during the water issue,he said he does not like the word”consultant”.because of how badly they do on true cost of projects.


The city also purchased the building next door (old VCA pet hospital) and tore it down, so they have some place else to park cars. I would love to know what we paid for the extended parking lot,I bet is was over a half million.


We can thank Tony Ferrara for the extra cost in sewer rates after the election, he thought his buddy John Wallace was doing a great job, and there was no conflict of interest. Did you hear his plug for the possibility for adding to the ground water if Sacramento approves some bill?


He says the sanitation dist will be able to do something with the water that right now is just dumped I believe. But basically with a little more cost and piping, AG will be able to claim some 800,000. gallons of water a day or some crap.Tony is going to be faithful to the end with his friend John, and make us think it is really for the best no matter what.


falconbh

dog- you must be wrong ! they told us they needed a” New Tax to build the Police Station”?


ever noticed how they always find the funds for their projects.


dogeatdog

Of course I have seen they ALWAYS find the funds and then some.


I like how Kristen sang praise about Adams, if he was doing such a good job, why did the police remodel cost us 100% over budget. SO FAR


And remember when we got the new city hall, we paid more than market price.Then again it ran over cost. And the pesky little business with the elevator to make the building ADA compliant. Because after all we left the old city hall because it was not ADA compliant.


I could go on and on, but the bottom line is we need new officials.


Again VOTE NO on the CHARTER.


agag1

Anyone else notice how quickly the eucalyptus trees came down after the police station remodel began?

The vet clinic was not allowed to remove the trees, but SHAZAAAM, once the City owned the property ALL the trees came down almost overnight…AMAZING!

Yet another example of how our city supports businesses—-until they don’t!


agag1

Can anyone else see the Charter City ship sailing off into the sunset?


kayaknut

There are some things about being a charter city that I think are good but it would require having a honorable captain in charge and currently with the captain A.G. has, along with the ship of fools running things, I would have to agree with you, voting A.G. to be a charter city would be about as wise as buying a ticket on the Titanic.