Arroyo Grande candidate stances vary on Adams’ scandal

September 23, 2014

AG signOnly one of the three candidates for Arroyo Grande City Council agrees with the way the current council handled allegations the city manager violated city policy during a late-night interlude with a subordinate.

For more than two months, city official had voted against having an outside investigation into staff allegations that City Manager Steve Adams had lied to officers, was belligerent when discovered in an intimate situation with a subordinate, and had engaged in conduct that has cost other employees their jobs. Adams’ support from city leaders persisted until last week after an employee union filed a complaint about an alleged cover-up of the incident.

Councilman Joe Costello told attendees of Monday’s forum that the city council had handled the incident appropriately.

On the other side, Councilman Tim Brown and candidate Barbara Harmon both said the city should have implemented an independent investigation shortly after the incident occurred. Harmon said the council needs to do a thorough review of management policies to protect the city from future liability.

Over the past 15 years, Arroyo Grande has spent more than $1.5 million on sexual harassment lawsuits. In addition, multiple former victims have been awarded workers compensation, many of whom are still receiving monthly checks.

Brown, Costello and Harmon are running for two council seats. Mayor Tony Ferrara is running unopposed, though several groups are considering backing write-in mayoral candidates because of the current scandal.

All three city council candidates said they support Measure C, which would change Arroyo Grande from a general law city to a charter city. Charter city councils have more control over their cities while general law cities are required to adhere to state rules.

Proponents of Measure C claim the city will save money because it would not be required to pay prevailing wage.

Opponents contend city officials are already playing fast and loose with bidding processes, and that more lenient rules could lead to further abuses.


Old Joe Has Gotta go!

Sing it

Old Joe has gotta go!


Old Joe Has Gotta go!

Sing it

Old Joe has gotta go!


agag1, we in Morro Bay love you!


Hahaha, THANK YOU!

We LOVE Morro Bay too!


If you disagree with Joe Costello, like this Facebook page.


Further policy review should point to the fact that current policies have been violated on several levels in the recent scandal. The money should be spent on ensuring that policies are going to be followed—you know, have a checks and balances protocol in place.

I fully believe the current candidates for City Council in AG are just as hungry for power as the current members and the mayor. We need to ban together and vote against the Charter…….if we don’t, more and more opportunity for true public participation will be thwarted by the

council and the mayor—–who ever the mayor is……..


“who ever the mayor is….”

Gee gang, think Tony will like THAT? Priceless LeAnn, absolutely priceless!


I am voting no on the charter as well…….why would we want a mayor to have more power than he already appears to wield? So who wants to support the write in candidates? Are there any? Maybe I should run……….


Be careful what you wish for, you’ll create a mob scene tonight!

Can we get that it writing, NOW, please?


Is this meeting going to be online tonight? We got rid of Charter purposely so we could not watch any more city council meetings where we live. Watching the corruptness of Mayor Jamie Irons and his council majority Christine Johnson and Noah Schmuckler in Morro Bay was too much to bare. Am hoping AG has a brighter populace then those here on the north coast who voted in Bruce I cant keep my zipper zipped Gibson!


Not sure, but aren’t they available online?

Karen (fringe queen diva) Velie told me she doesn’t have good internet connection, so had to call for a blow-by-blow recap last night.

Laughed so hard her asthma kicked in…WHAT A NIGHT!


I know the feeling. I feel ill when I am around deep fried seafood or dahlias.


Clearly, the Arroyo Grande City Council uses the power it currently has in abusive ways, including the recent cover up and the subsequent under-the-bus throwing of the AGPD.

In addition, the actions of city manager Steve Adams and community development director Trish McClish, coupled with the abusive behavior of the city council, has placed the city and the city residents who must fund it, at risk from litigation due to the hostile work environment which has been created by Adams, McClish, the city council and its mayor in their poor handling of the Adams-McClish nookiegate.

I strongly feel that, since the city council and its mayor cannot be trusted with the power they have, it would be pure negligence on the part of the voters to vote yes on the charter since it will only be handing the city council more power which they can abuse and harm the city and its residents.


Their reasoning regarding prevailing wages is a joke. Survey the charter cities in this County (or other counties) and they all use prevailing wages because they are not going against the unions.

San Luis Obispo is a perfect example of what is wrong with a Charter City. They make, break and change the governing laws as they see fit and no one can complain because the Council/Mayor have the power. General Law is better for the citizens of the community.


This city has run on two different set of books for a long time. One set is people they like and one set is people they don’t like.One person such as Nick Tompkins can get anything to pass and pass quickly through the process, but then Tony Ferrara and he get along.Be on the other side and go against the city at city council meetings such and things will hit snags.

Costello is a friend of Tony’s and is going to tow the line, I expected nothing else from him. Costello sat up there and said how we are not going to have big box stores, yet it was a big smart and final they wanted in on the west side of town. And then they tried to get a home depot in, so get your facts straight Mr. Costello.

Until this city changes the way it does business and who is in charge, I will VOTE NO on the charter.


So true! Ask Cookie Crock and Spencer’s about how our city wants to be business friendly!

I’d be willing to bet they have a different opinion. Threaten ’em with a big box store and watch them all flee.

Makes me wonder where Kristin is doing her grocery shopping (since we all know how much our officials claim to support and even encourage local businesses) and AG no longer has any.

Could be she thinks Trader Joe’s is locally owned, and named after Costello…


It was amazing to hear how our city manager Steve Adams worked so hard to get cookie crock’s long term contracted paid off early.

So we lose a place for seniors to shop that is close to them, we lose a store, employees lose a job, and the city is PROUD of this. How sick is that one. We lost a mom and pop store, one where I shopped all the time.

I thought the point was to bring business to the city. Steve did not care what the public thought, he wants a new center built there, a more modern complex, to hell with people who used that store to buy groceries.

Lets see who wins with making dominoes more, I think they are there to stay until their lease is up.

So here we lose a mom and pop shop that could still be open because Dominoes will stay till the end. Thanks Steve, you cost people a pay check, how is that good for anyone in a terrible economy.


lmfao….Kristen and her anecdotes…..i bet she doesnt even know what i mean by that….