Mayor Ferrara responds to vote of no confidence

September 21, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrera

Mayor Tony Ferrara

Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara responded in writing Sunday to the city’s police officer association’s complaint against the mayor and the city manager.

On Thursday, the Arroyo Grande Police Officer Association lodged a formal complaint and a vote of no confidence against both City Manager Steve Adams and Ferrara because of disagreements over the city’s failure to investigate an alleged violation of city policy following a late night romantic interlude between Adams and a subordinate.

At a special meeting Saturday, the Arroyo Grande City Council voted to seek an independent investigation into the July 3 incident between Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClish. Police reported they found a partially undressed McClish in Adams’office which officers said appeared to be a violation of city policy.

Ferrara contends that because Adams and McClish were not caught having sex, no wrongdoing occurred. But nevertheless, the council has agreed to pay an outside firm for an investigation.

Ferrara said Saturday he expects the investigators to agree with his conclusion.

In addition, the city has not announced plans to have the investigator examine the allegations of a cover-up that led the officers to a vote of no confidence against Ferrara.

The following is a response from Mayor Tony Ferrara to the Arroyo Grande Police Officer Association:

“Let me begin by stating that despite what you have read in the fringe media or listened to on talk radio shows affiliated with the same source, I am very proud of the City and Community of Arroyo Grande. I have the greatest respect for our employees and I further believe we have one of the finest Police Departments in the State.

“In the letter of “no confidence” the AGPOA alleges a “cover up” relating to the incident involving our City Manager and that the City should have investigated further. The letter was not specific as to what they believed was “covered up.” It also cites that as Mayor, I should have pushed for another investigation. As the presiding officer in a general law city, I have a single vote as relates to decisions. And the majority decision of the Council determines the direction that the Council moves. And when those decisions are made, the Council should move as one body. The Council determined initially that based on the information before us, there was no basis for expending city revenues on another investigation.

“Most of the community and certainly the media are well aware of the incident involving our City Manager. I won’t go into the details of that incident. Let’s deal instead with what the Council had in front of it that led to our decision. We had 5 trained, experienced police officers that responded to City Hall. After their response they were directed to write memorandums by their commander outlining what they saw. I do not believe that either of the Police Commanders or the Chief would try to influence what their officers wrote. So we take it at face value that they wrote what they saw without any interference from anyone. Within approximately 48 hours, there were follow-up phone calls to each of the officers from the Deputy City Attorney. He was not interested in innuendo, he was inquiring about facts. Did the officers at any time observe the parties involved in anything illegal or inappropriate? Their collective response was “NO,” both in their memoranda and in their statements to the Deputy City Attorney. These are police officers that are used to testifying and being questioned by attorneys. The Council had confidence they were telling the truth. We still believe this. Based on the officers’ statements, there was nothing more to investigate other than the judgment issue on the part of the City Manager, which he acknowledges.

“The Council did not take this lightly. We took preliminary steps to prepare for an additional inquiry. The costs for an outside investigation ranged from approximately $5,000 to $25,000. We took further steps to ensure the list of potential investigators were outside of the county and had no prior connection with the City.

“The Council also received many messages from our community stating that they did not want their tax dollars spent on another investigation that likely would not produce any new information. They too had confidence in the statements made by the officers. The words from many in the community were, “move on.” This notion was also supported by media editorials.

“Now, more than two months after the incident, the AGPOA is alleging a “cover up.” I’m puzzled by this and I suspect the Council and some in the community are as well. The Council acted in a manner that was consistent with the nature of the information provided to us by the officers themselves.

“A letter of ‘no confidence’ with allegations of a ‘cover up’ serves no useful purpose unless it is accompanied by more than accusations. The only body of information we could possibly “cover up” is the information provided to us by those officers who were in the building that night. And that, we clearly have not done. If there is additional information that the 5 officers are not sharing, we would encourage them to step forward through their chain of command and let the Council know.

“At our special meeting this afternoon, the Council recognized that there are some in the community that apparently are not satisfied with just the statements of the officers. As such, the Council is in agreement to move forward with another investigation of this matter. The Council appointed a task-force of the Council consisting of Council Member Brown, Mayor Pro Tem Guthrie, and the City Attorney to select an independent investigator. We have also requested that a representative from the AGPOA participate in the selection process if willing to do so.

“In closing, despite the emotional statements by some in the community, I firmly believe the integrity of the Council remains intact. There was and is no cover up.”


So Mike Brenner retired Atascadero chief states the cameras were CLEARLY MANIPULATED. Hey Tony could that be why we are thinking this is a cover up?

Well how about when you hired Rich Thomas a school mate of yours to be the investigator for the sanitation dist.

Tony you are corrupt and a liar right down to your DNA.

So now we need to send letters to him stating we want the investigator to do a report, a complete report, and should Steve quit prior to the report he does not get his golden parachute.

Now I understand why Tony can say the investigator will come to the same conclusion the council did, he thinks he is not going to have to show us the report.

I think residents of Arroyo Grande need to wake up and get rid of this council, AND we need a write in candidate. Again lets take away some of Tony;s power. Chip away at him a little at a time


I am so looking for Tony to stop in our booth this coming Saturday as he always does. We’ll see if he answers some tough questions…


I’m not sure what else someone could be doing at 12:00 at night, in a darkened office, except for a little footsies. Especially when both are surprised, one looks “sleepy” and hair is tousled, and the women is covering her chest with her blouse, hiding behind a door.

If it was 2:00 in the afternoon, and it was 100 degrees, and she was at Raging Waters in the locker room, then it might make sense. Not in this case.

I typically don’t turn out all the lights when I drink tea, and hide behind a door..

Mr. Holly

It’s hide and seek, But seeking what?


Isn’t highly caffeinated green tea supposed to wake you up,

and NOT make you sleepy?


Tony Ferrera’s response letter to the public reads very condescending and

arrogance towards the AGPOA and citizens. From the beginning both his

and the city manager, Steve Adams, conduct and behavior have been nothing

short of unprofessionalism and zero integrity. It puzzles me as to why Adams and

McClish have not been put on leave from start. And then we have Ferrera

flip flopping, publicly bashing the officer and not listening to the citizens. And

he is still in office.

I hope the AGPOA appoints a representative to be on the investigation panel.

And this investigative report should encompass EVERYTHING. Adams and McClish

relationship prior to this lie and cover up, missing tapes, why and how the tapes

from Village and city hall were missing, everyone who had access to tapes

and hard drives, phone and email, prior incidents of city officials losing

recordings. You get the point.


Teresa DID NOT quit, or so an employee just told me.


Something changed between Fri/Sat and today.

Something definitely changed…


Did she take a leave of absence?


I guess we are supposed to e mail the Mayor and tell him you want an investigation from Jul3 until now of the events the council has been unable to respond to appropriately.

Any word on tMcClish this AM? Are her and Adams at work?


I want you to resign

I want you to fire Adams and

I want you to ask the DA for assistance with all the Brown act violations and the independent investigation

Oops! And I want you to apologize to all involved, especially the AGPOA for your demeaning and arrogant remarks and for souring our view of our city

Please consider this my e mail as I know you read this “fringe media”.


if you think the arroyo grande city council is corrupt, please like the following facebook page.


Robert enough with this post, you posted it 4 times in the same article.


Don’t forget candidate forum tonight, 5:30 at the regional center.

It may be interesting to have council members have to answer a question or two.


My guess is the questioning will be controlled and the incumbents will not be asked let alone answer the questions we really need the answers too.


None the less, we need to let them know we’re STILL paying attention, and not about to let them off the hook.

Besides, we all know how much they look forward to seeing us, hate to disappoint!


There were some distinct differences between the candidates with respect to Adams/McClish.

Joe stated everything was handled correctly, Tim said he’s been in favor of an investigation from the beginning, and Barbara said pretty much the same.

Which one of these things is not like the other? Which one of these things just doesn’t belong?

Daniel Blackburn

Dave Congalton and I will discuss this issue at 4:05 p.m., KVEC920 AM on Home Town Radio. Also, Dave may reflect on the Ferrara “press release” at 3, he said. So there could be a lot for AG folks to talk about at the 5:30 candidates’ forum. Think ‘missing video.’


I thought all the video had been accounted for, are you referring the the city hall tapes?


Everyone needs to demand the missing video. If missing video does not indicate a cover up, then what does? WHO DELETED THE VIDEO? WHERE IS THE MISSING FOOTAGE? If the mayor and the council are not involved in the cover up, they should be demanding answers about the video tampering.


Supposedly it has been “recovered”. So the question is now, where was it? Who had it and how it got separated from the original video. Who had the missing minutes????