Arroyo Grande City Council lied to the public

September 10, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrara

Mayor Tony Ferrara


In the Arroyo Grande City Council meeting of Aug. 26 the Council unanimously agreed to a hold special session regarding the Steve Adams/Teresa McClish affair.

The video of the Aug. 26 meeting confirms that fact. It is important to understand that council member Tim Brown made the distinction about a review of the facts of the matter as compared to any closed session related to personnel discipline.

The council agreed to schedule the special session. Ferrara stated he had conflicts and the matter was eventually rescheduled to the regular meeting of Sept. 9.

When the agenda for Sept. 9 was published there was no time scheduled for the special session as promised on Aug. 26.

There was a schedule for a closed meeting with allotments for a performance review of Adams and a labor relations matter with the police. It became obvious from the posting of the agenda the “fix” was in to avoid a discussion of the matter as promised.

The schedule for the closed session was at the very end of the meeting of Sept. 9 — a typical tactic to run out the time so citizens would be inclined to not attend because of the lateness of the issue.

Nevertheless, two citizens spoke during the regular public comment at the beginning of the meeting expressing their concerns that the promise of an open discussion of the matter was not on the agenda as promised on Aug. 26.

But here is the reason why the council was wrong in not addressing the mater in an open session:

At the beginning of the closed session Mayor Tony Ferrara asked City Attorney Timothy Carmel to state the reason for a closed session as compared to open session.

In responding to Ferrara’s request, Carmel gave the “personnel” confidentially rationale as an answer — as it addresses what the council does in disciplining Adams.

Carmel’s parsed the matter. His answer denies the issue of the cover-up by parsing the issue from a review of the facts of the matter, as promised in the meeting of Aug. 26, to the personal discipline of Adams. Carmel’s answer avoids the larger question of implied guilt caused by the cover-up.

In condoning this false rationale by Carmel and by denying the open session on the matter as promised on Aug. 26, I believe Mayor Ferrara and the council have lied to the citizens of Arroyo Grande.

Otis Page is a citizen of Arroyo Grande.



  1. agag1 says:

    This headline should read: Arroyo Grande City Council lies to the public,
    because they’re not done yet.

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  2. Otis says:

    The City Council of Arroyo Grande was advised on the promise to place the matter on the agenda in an Email on September 2, 2014.

    Confirming that the August 26 Council decision for a special meeting was set on the agenda for the regular meeting of September 9, the Email emphasized that the council had agreed to an investigation of the facts surrounding the allegation of misconduct.

    Further the request was made that because of the high citizen interest, the item should be the only matter considered in the meeting, and if not, the item should be the first item to be discussed. Further, a budget was suggested for legitimate arms-length depositions that may cost as much as $40,000.

    The point was made that the Council approved $70,000 to convince the citizens there is a drought. Funding the depositions will quench the thirst for truth and is a far more important matter than spending $70,000 on the water problem.

    The final point was made that the failure to provide sworn testimony, established in a legal format of depositions, will serve to confirm the validity of the initial report of August 19 and the subsequent reports on the matter in CalCoastNews. That to clear their names and the reputation of the Council, Adams and McClish deserve “their time in court” with formal depositions of all concerned.

    Ignoring the fact the City Council had a fiduciary obligation to the citizens to firmly and transparently establish the facts in “process” involving the citizens, the Council denied putting the matter on an agenda for an “Open Meeting” as promised in the meeting of August 26.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  3. OnTheOtherHand says:

    I think that it is time to start pushing for a recall of Ferrara even if there isn’t yet a suitable replacement. My first contribution to the effort will be to suggest that we start referring to him as “Crony Tony” Ferrara. The name gives quick identification of one of his biggest flaws — a tendency to place the interests of his friends over the interests of the public. Anybody else have any suggestions? Is anyone familiar with the recall process to get a petition going?

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  4. AGDUDE says:

    I see Mr Byrd, all over in here,signed in on different names,

    Mr.Byrd , I say Get a group, get your stuff together & Run for Mayor .. Come out with it ..

    You tell them just how it is.. If your the right person for the job, then you will get the votes..

    Right now I think a good Dog catcher would stand a good chance of wining over the current Mayor.

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  5. AGDUDE says:

    First off I know I have made a joke of this, I spent well over 40 years in AG, I went to Paulding& AGHS, I know big deal, I spent over 15 years involved ,in Charity groups,& 5 years on a city com. I was a appoint by one Large Mustached guy. I have seen personally How this So Called group of City leaders ,act it’s not very “above the Board”

    I see All these people on here saying things , and thumbs up.. There are at least 100 people of those 100 people each person knows 10 people and so on,do the math. So together there may be about 1000 like thinkers.

    I joined one charities officer core because of problems like this,do not sit on the side line,Let The city hear your views.. This is over the line,its not what happened it’s how it has been handled simple.

    Look here are the facts,you have 5 police officers ,in a written report a member of the city stuff holding her shirt in front of her, how many of you see professional people partially clothed, well myself I have never heard such a load of crap.. What is your police feel? if I was a young Cop I’d get the H out of your city. We always hear Support your firemen/Police dept. From the mayor on Down ,these people have been insulted. I say Support you AG PD!

    This whole matter is about How it’s being handled , I say clean house! What about our children , whats this say , I’m not sure whats in the water but if this the best we can do ,we had better go back to living in caves. Pretty stupid stuff! When you get in that booth write in anyones name! not the people running .. Recall them ALL!

    (13) 15 Total Votes - 14 up - 1 down
  6. shelworth says:

    A show of hands please from all of those shocked that their government lied to them. Thought so.

    (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
    • dogeatdog says:

      And your point is?

      (-11) 13 Total Votes - 1 up - 12 down
      • shelworth says:

        Q: How can you tell that a politician is lying? A: Their lips are moving.

        I’m just very tired of being lied to.

        (12) 16 Total Votes - 14 up - 2 down
    • AGDUDE says:

      All those in Favor of the motion say “I” … Motion carries..

      The Court Jester , Will Guide Brother Tea Bag to the Door , and please Kick His Rear end out Brother Tea bag You are now Banned from All City Offices .. Here in Arroyo Grande!

      Kangaroo Court.. The people of Arroyo Grande Did not even get that… This is how all this stuff sounds..

      Once upon you had a group to preserve the village Remember that?

      What about a Group To preserve Arroyo Grande, We need a clear path for our kids to see good people are here.. Reasonable ,honest people .. Who work hard,Bright Caring people live & work!

      Preserve Arroyo Grande !! Where Bright Futures begin & end!

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  7. MikeB says:

    I have followed this story with great interest.

    Here is my take on why the AG council has swept it under the rug.

    To begin It is of concern that in the not so distant past, AG has had significant payouts of public monies related to sexual discrimination law suits/actions.

    If the council were to advance an honest independent investigation, that investigative report would be discoverable in future litigation. Assuming that McClish were to file a suit for sexual harassment then she could potentially use the results of the investigation to bolster her case. The same thing would apply to any future case filed by other AG employee’s.

    In a sense, this is akin to what Paso Robles did when there female Chief of Police was accused of sexual improprieties by some of her subordinates. Initially Paso conducted an investigation, but then they shut it down before a report was generated. I suspect they did this so a paper trail would not be available to potential litigants or the public.

    At least the Paso Robles council didn’t stoop so low as to call their police officers “liars.”

    In reality, the AG council has chosen a short term remedy that has far reaching implications. It’s like ignoring a symptom of cancer … it’s only going to get worse.

    The council should have had the political will to do what is in the best interest of their community, but they chose to do what was politically expedient and in their own interest .

    Has anyone noticed the similarity in what has happened in the case of the National Football League?

    From all appearances the NFL Commission swept a video tape under the carpet before imposing a light punishment on a star running back who was involved in an instance of domestic violence with his fiancé. Initially the commissioner denied that the league had received or reviewed the tape but when it was revealed that the NFL had received this video prior to the imposition of punishment the public began to call for the resignation of the NFL Commissioner.

    Bad behavior is bad behavior and feigning ignorance is no excuse.

    What happens in the North County effects the Central and South County and it is also true in reverse.

    I hope the good people of AG take the corrective actions to return your government to the people.

    (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
    • sharshofar says:

      Mike Thank you for writing this, helping all of us to understand what is really behind all of this, this is very well written. Can you suggest to all of us what our next move should be to begin the correction of corruption. I believe there are several citizens in Arroyo Grande that do not want their city to stay the way it is under the authority of our current City Council and City Manager. Thank you Mike for your help.

      (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • dogeatdog says:

      Tony tried to play this game with the sanitation district, he wants this to go away, and I say we need the truth. Yes, we might have to endure some more lawsuits, and I would hope it might teach them a thing or two.

      I think the worse thing that occurred with this whole cover up was Steve Adams calling the police liars. Can you bring morale in your city and with your employees any lower?

      I don’t know what to do to stop this bull crap. I heard that Steve went looking for employment else where because he thought his job was gone. But Tony told him to hang tight, they would make this blow over too.

      How do you do a recall? will it work? I sincerely think we need to get Tony out of office, then the chips will start falling. I vote and I will be voting out those who are up for election, enough is enough.

      We need a write in candidate for mayor.

      I wish someone would come forward and maybe be in the harvest festival in a car with a sign that says MIKE B for mayor, write me in.

      (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
      • AGDUDE says:

        I think a protest should be held…. Get a group to show how “other People feel in the city” What do you think of that ,or we worried King Tony will have us banished from the kingdom.. We want Change NOW!!!

        (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down

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