Arroyo Grande City Council lied to the public
September 10, 2014
OPINION By OTIS PAGE
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.