Battle to replace Arroyo Grande mayor begins

September 26, 2014
Jim Hill

Jim Hill


Following police officer allegations that Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara participated in a cover-up over a city sex scandal, a group of city residents have announced their plans to unseat the controversial mayor.

A group of citizens seeking a “transparent and law-abiding city government,” announced Friday they are supporting write-in candidate Jim Hill for mayor. A write-in candidate’s name does not appear on the ballot, but is a candidate residents may vote for by writing in the person’s name.

Before moving to Arroyo Grande, Hill was twice elected to the Oceano Community Services District Board. He resigned after several of his fellow board members refused to investigate allegations of employee wrongdoing. Those allegations were later proven correct.

Hill also sat on the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District. At that time, he was the only member questioning if it was a conflict of interest for John Wallace to serve as district administrator while giving engineering work to his private firm, the Wallace Group. The San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury later determined there was a conflict of interest.

Hill is an engineer at PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. He has a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology from Excelsior College and a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Luis Obispo School of Law.

“Jim considers reestablishing trust in local government by providing openness and respectful, fair treatment of citizens and employees alike, in full conformance with the requirements of the Brown Act, to be a top priority,” his campaign flyer says.

While write-in candidates rarely win, candidates such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy won presidential primaries as write in candidates.

For more than two months, city official elected to ignore police officer reports that City Manager Steve Adams had lied to officers, was belligerent to employees, and had engaged in conduct that has cost other employees their jobs.

On July 3, shortly after Community Development Director Teresa McClish’s husband called 911 to report that his wife had not arrived home and he was worried because she has a heart condition, police, after knocking repeatedly, entered and began searching the darkened building. As officers yelled McClish’s name, Adams walked from his office initially lying to officers, saying McClish was not in the building.

After officers noticed a partially-dressed McClish holding her clothes in front of her chest, Adams became angry with officers, according to officer reports.

Ferrara responded by asking the city attorney’s office to conduct an investigation, which officers said was more of an interrogation aimed at silencing the police during salary negotiations.

Local developers and business owners have accused Adams and Ferrara of providing favors to friends through contracts and lax development procedures while pushing others to use their associates for engineering and design services.

For example, a recent vote to give a $70,000 a year, five-year contract to Verdin Marketing to provide Water Conservation Education to the citizens of Arroyo Grande, included discussions of the need to give a developer with close ties to Ferrara a political favor, a council member who did not want their name used said. In this case, the spouse of Mary Verdin had been a private pilot for the Arroyo Grande developer, the city official added.

After a CalCoastNews exclusive about the July 3 incident, Ferrara announced at a Chamber of Commerce meeting that the matter had been “fully investigated” and that “nothing illegal” had occurred. Ferrara and Adams also hinted that officers may have colored their formal reports to benefit current labor negotiations.

That angered officers, who last week issued a vote of “no confidence” in both Adams and Ferrara.

According to city policy, managers cannot engage in intimate relationships with their subordinates. In the past 15 years, the city has paid out more than $1.5 million in sexual harassment claims.

At 3:50 p.m. Friday, Hill is scheduled to discuss his candidacy with KVEC’s Dave Congalton on AM station 920.

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TIM BROWN must separate if he is going to beat Old Joe!

this is going to get worse Tim before it gets better. BTW: did you notice that the City Attorney called you a liar in his response to Kevin Rice’s Brown Act complaint?




Julie has compiled almost the documents that citizens/press have requested.


Any reason why both fronts should not be worked on at the same time, a write-in candidate to unseat the current mayor, and a recall effort to remove Mr. Ferrara?


I don’t know, but I do know the group working for Jim Hill has been very busy, and focussing their efforts to that end. A recall effort would need to be handled by others.


This from a reliable source:

The California Elections Code disallows recalls in the first 90 days and the last 6 months of an elected official’s term. Appointed officials can be recalled in the first 90 days but not the last 6 months. The scheduled election after the last 6 months is the opportunity for relief.

That’s why recall is not possible now.


So a politician in office, within the last 6 months of their term, can basically do anything they want and do not have to worry about being recalled?, Sounds like something written by politicians for politicians…..


Can someone get more action on youtube? Clips from the police officers at the meeting or Vanessa?


I looked it up, someone can’t be recalled 90 days before or 90 days after an election, so focus on winning on one front, winning a write-in election will be tough enough.


Electing a write-in candidate is difficult to say the least. It was tried in Paso following the

Ms. Solomon affair and her being paid off to disappear. But, unfortunately the write-in

candidate was worse than the incumbent.

Hopefully, the effort in Arroyo Grande will be better. The mayor needs to know that what

he did was totally unacceptable – and the only way this message can be stated in a

convincing manner is that he is out of a job. Only then, will he even come close to

understanding that what he did was against all that would be expected of a duly elected


Good luck to all those citizens of Arroyo Grande that really care about their city and are

willing to put in the time and effort to send the only message that has any meaning.


Drop the remote go ahead and vote….

Give those statisticians something to talk about….

If you want the best, you have to vote for the best….

Make your vote count….

Your vote is your voice. Speak up…



Please help elect JIM HILL for Mayor! As a write in candidate, you have to be sure to check the box under Tony’s name and write in JIM HILL.

You can help with passing out flyers, posting (and creating?) signs, writing letters to the editor, etc.

CALL: (805)441-5133



FACEBOOK: coming soon!


I have tried and tried to get on the web site to no avail…Can you let us know when that may. be working?

Thank you


Yes! Bear with us, please.


Go to the dollar tree, purchase bright neon yellow poster board and make a yard sign.

Also put a smaller on your cars windows, let everyone know who you support.

I will walk my neighborhood Sunday and Monday to get the word out.

Grass roots means take some initiative and talk to the people you know, meet some new people when in line at the grocery store, we only have a few weeks



I got a Write-In Jim Hill for Mayor badge.

I will be wearing it EVERY day thru Nov 4.

If folks ask, I will explain, if not, not…

But at least the yellow badge will have them wondering what’s going on in AG,

As we all should be.


Where are buttons available?


Allan Real Estate is hosting a meet and greet this evening from 5-7. Badges will be there. Consider making a donation if you stop by!


I’ve known Jim for years. He’s a stand-up guy that would bring real integrity to any position in government.


In reply to casaappton. This is about community the harvest and bounty of hard work of a community and in part, about showing the children what community is all about .The fact remains that some of these children will grow up to consider such said professions in the political realm as city manager, mayor etc.. What these youth growing up visually see and audibally hear “does matter”. Let us show them “this circus” is NOT how a city should run.

Hey! lit’l man lucas appleton could present a better example!


I was asking for respectable protest vs the idea of say Ferguson. yes my sons Luke and Will are amazing young men


5 really? again know something. I don’t


In reply to Jorge Estrada. it’s a jim hill battle as well as a up hill battle. how right you are Sir either way.