AG officer raises pale in comparison to Adams
September 30, 2014
OPINION By JULIE TACKER
In spite of City Manager Steve Adams attempt to characterize events surrounding his own bad judgment on July 3 by insinuating the police would benefit from “damaging my reputation.” In spite of being characterized as liars by their own bosses. In spite of waiting for the city council to do the right thing and watching them fail. In spite of it all, effective Sept. 26, Arroyo Grande police officers will finally see a raise.
While it’s a win for the city to put negotiations behind them, the win is bittersweet in light of the saga that has unfolded over these last months. Compounded by watching Adams get a 10 percent raise on July 4 and legal counsel, Tim Carmel get a 3 percent raise in August, the POA settled on a 2.5 percent increase, for only the remainder of fiscal year 2014-15, then a 2 percent bump in fiscal year 2015-16 and some changes to their cafeteria plan.
The Arroyo Grande Police Association (POA) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) expired on June 30. Over the past several months, on nearly every city council closed session agenda, negotiations had been under way for a successor MOU. At one point the POA had to hire their own legal counsel to defend their benefits as the city asked for concessions.
At long last, the terms finally agreed upon were voted on and approved by the POA’s 30 members on Sept. 15, putting that matter to bed. The very next vote made by the membership was a vote of ‘No Confidence’ in Mr. Adams and the next, another vote of ‘No Confidence’ in Mayor Tony Ferrara. Their letter of Sept.17 was sent to the Arroyo Grande City Council reflecting the POA has no confidence in their leaders.
A special meeting of the council was held on Saturday, Sept. 20, when the council changed course to include an independent investigation. Yet the mayor’s letter out of closed session further disappointed and at the council’s Tuesday night regular meeting members of the POA expressed their dissatisfaction and remain steadfast in the position of no confidence with the council over the handling of the Adams/McClish incident and the cover up.
When most of the public had said their piece and left the crowded meeting, the council went about their business. There, buried on the consent calendar, and in spite of it all, the POA’s MOU was passed without a word, a question, or congratulations. Today, the hard working men and women of the AGPOA will begin being compensated, in the manner agreed, for their dedication to the City of Arroyo Grande, in spite of it all.