AG mayor seeks restraining order on public speaker

October 10, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrara

Mayor Tony Ferrara

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

Arroyo Grande City Council members met Wednesday morning to “discuss” hiring a private investigator who  apparently had already started his job, and Mayor Tony Ferrara angrily asked for a restraining order on outspoken critic Otis Page.

According to the agenda, the council was meeting to discuss hiring a private investigator from Ventura to look into a employee scandal and alleged cover-up. However, city employees said the company had already been selected, the private eye was hard at work, and the meeting was a “sham.”

Several city employees said officers who had first-hand knowledge of a recent city government scandal were contacted for interview appointments by Sintra Investigations in the days before the special council meeting, which had only the one item on the agenda.

Sintra Investigations will be looking into the late-night City Hall rendezvous on July 3 between City Manager Steve Adams and a subordinate employee, Teresa McClish, as well as the council’s handling of the issue. The incident was first reported by CalCoastNews on Aug. 19, and since then numerous Arroyo Grande residents have expressed dismay at the response by Mayor Tony Ferrara and his council mates in meetings and in letters to council members.

Ferrara, responding to one resident’s email asking the council to approve an independent investigation, recommended his fellow council members not reply to the resident.

“No need to reply,” Ferrara said in an Aug. 21 email to council members Tim Brown, Jim Guthrie, Joe Costello and Kristen Barneich, and copies to Adams and McClish: “This is an FYI. I wanted you to know where I’m coming from. Not about to take this crap from anyone.”

About 25 citizens attended the rare morning session, many criticizing a “lack of transparency” by city officials, a failure to fire Adams, and the already-completed deal with Sintra.

Resident Page said both the meeting and selection of the investigator was “a sham” as the council had already hired the firm. Ferrara then ordered microphones and public broadcast television cameras to be turned off, and demanded that a police officer escort Page from the council chambers.

A visibly irritated Ferrara asked a nearby police officer if he could “get a restraining order” against the outspoken Page, a police department employee confirmed. Ferrara was then informed that it was unlikely he would be able to secure a restraining order against Page.

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Emails to Council PRA 09-22-14 by CalCoastNews


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Ishmael09p

So… did the mayor actually seek a restraining order and get shut down? Or did he just make an offhand comment in the middle of Mr. Page’s removal?


LeAnn

Hi Ish—I don’t think was an offhanded comment—I think he is seeking or has sought one. I do not know if one is in place…….


Ishmael09p

Thank you, ma’am.


AAADADDYO

YOU ARE GUESSING


kayaknut

Mr. Page was not “removed” he left on his own accord. It was not an “offhand” comment, the mayor told a police officer he needed a restraining order. It seems the officer suggested that was not going to be possible.


Ishmael09p

I alpolgize for the mis statement. I was sure that I’d read somewhere Mr. Page had been ejected. I’ll let you know if I find it again.

Thanks for the clarification.


LeAnn

Hi Ish, Otis was out of the chamber before the officer arrived. Otis was asked to sit down, when he didn’t, Tony asked him to leave….Otis did, however, leave without a police escort—-I was there and saw the whole thing…….the paper used ejected—-


Ishmael09p

I think it was Otis’ writing from (on this site) that used the word “ejected. ” And the above story says that the mayor cut the microphones and demanded that the police “escort” Page out.

I believe your version, LeAnn, and don’t mean to be argumentative. I like the nice way you handle your comments in response to people who have questions, and thank you for that.

But in a situation like this, where so much has been said, shouldn’t more people be trying to make sure that non insiders get the right idea? What I’ve read led me to believe things that aren’t true apparently about Mr. Page’s exit from the meeting and about the mayor’s efforts to get the restraint order.

Thanks again for your patience, LeAnn.


IronHub

Having been “asked” by Ferrara to leave the chambers, Mr. Page was effectively “ejected.” He needn’t be hog-tied and tossed on the sidewalk to qualify as having been ejected.


Ishmael09p

That point is valid. And it should have been made clear in the stories about it.


LeAnn

Hi Ish, you are a great addition to these posts—I hope that if you live in AG you will join us in our fight to unseat Mr. Ferrara. We all deserve better leadership and the only way are going to get it is if we vote out the people who are currently in the seats……that includes Tony.


AAADADDYO

OYIS USED WORD EJECTED


AAADADDYO

IT WAS OPINION BY OTIS ON CCN


AAADADDYO

probaby done in a fit of emotion which we all have


Dexter

This is wild …


If Ferrara sent this email …. “I wanted you to know where I’m coming from” to all the council members then this a clear cut violation of Brown Act. My gosh he should know better or maybe he is plain arrogant toward the rule of law.


Threatening and 80 year old man with a restraining order for raising a little cain at a meeting? Come on Tony … are you losing your marbles?


We need to toss this guy out of office pronto !!!


LeAnn

Hi Dexter,


What we are seeing from Tony is something called “willful ignorance”. Tony is intentionally disregarding the facts and other information with regards to this entire situation because it contradicts the way he wants things to be instead of being realistic about the way things truly are.


It is truly a time for an ethics audit at the Arroyo Grande city.


LeAnn

I happen to have a copy of a document from the League of California Cities that would allow us to conduct an ethics audit—I bet Tony doesn’t know about this organization who provides ethics based materials to city governments in California.


I read all the documents connected to this last night…..very enlightening. What all the documents point to is that ethics and integrity are lacking in our current city government, and we need to change that. We don’t have the right people on the bus at all.


AAADADDYO

NO CITY OFFICIAL SHOULD BE AFARID SHOULD BE AFARID OF AUDIT

IF ALL IS ABOVE BOARD


AAADADDYO

a restrating order is not a threat its a logical response to someone who is disruptive to meetings there is a resonable way to conduct businwss and still agree to disagree


LeAnn

who said a restraining order is a threat? I agree that there are ways to conduct business and ways to agree to disagree, but Otis, as are many people, fed up with business as usual in AG with regards to our council and mayor…Tony’s time is up….new leadership is needed and that is precisely what we are going to work towards.


If you live in AG AAADADDYO, are you not tired of knowing that this city government is not following the rules, which is a floor for conducting the business of AG, but are so far from the ceiling (ethics) because they continue to lack transparency and concern for the general population…..maybe they care for the people who agree with them and back them, but they could careless what a large contingent of AG citizenry is saying to them in meetings during public comment.


doglover

Hurrah!

Gonna be in the paper again tomorrow.

I can’t wait!!


achillesheal

If someone is accused of cheating on his wife, does that individual hire a private investigator to investigate himself to clear his own name? Isn’t there an inherent conflict of interest in investigating the individual/group that is employing you?


I have never understood why this practice is acceptable.


LeAnn

Ah yes, the illusive conflict of interest debate, which seems to never fully come full circle in this city—–well, it will if you vote for Jim Hill for Mayor—


WRITE-IN JIM HILL


FILL IN THE BUBBLE


It is time for a change in AG! Tony, your time is up!


LeAnn

We need to make the response from Tony to the rest of the council public at the rally next week. We need to have some kind of statement about transparency and the Brown Act and a truly independent investigation. Have people sign it and then turn it in to the clerk.


agag1

Apparently Otis isn’t the only one losing his cool.


With all of his law enforcement experience, one would think he would know when a restraining order is justified.

They’re not handed out like candy to a spoiled child.


agag1

Face it AG, Tony is NOT afraid of Otis, (an 80+ year old man)

He IS AFRAID OF THE TRUTH GETTING OUT!


He’s not the one who should be outraged, and “not about to take this crap”,

WE SHOULD BE! Clearly our council has forgotten they work for US.


Enough of the Ferrara power trip, enough bullying, enough of the council following along like lost sheep, ENOUGH!


Write-In Jim Hill for Mayor, fill in the bubble.

See you all at 5:15 on Tuesday.


Pelican1

OK! The lunatics have run the asylum long enough. In your own words Mr. Mayor, ” We’re not about to take this crap from anyone.”

If any restraining orders are to be issued, YOU will be the first recipient. YOU are history. Adams….history. McClish…history. Any and all co-conspirators…history.

Honesty, integrity, trust, and the city’s moral compass WILL be returned to City Hall..


Julie

The Mayor’s August 21 email to ALL council members is a CLEAR VIOLATION of the Brown Act!!!


AAADADDYO

you may wan to contact http://www.sintragroup.com/


kayaknut

You mean the same group the people who did wrong picked to make sure they did not do anything wrong?, and already had their contract and began working before the city council meeting to discuss if they should hire the firm?


Yeah, that would be worthwhile…


AAADADDYO

nothing ventured nothing gained give it a shot no harm


kayaknut

The harm could be that we believe, the report from a firm handpicked by the same people it is supposed to investigate and already had their marching orders before their contract was even “approved”, a contract created without any input from the citizens, an investigation , if interviews are not done under oath and recorded, with the recordings being made available to anyone.


Ask the council why not involve the DA?


AAADADDYO

criminal acts need to be given to DA before they get iunvolved

people throw around the idea of using DA without knowing thier function , do your research or you just sound like whiners, if you really want change do your homework.


doglover

Choostra@ sintragroup.com

Is the investigator.


LeAnn

Are we going to report this????? I think we should…….I think this needs to go to the DA.


AAADADDYO
Kevin Rice

NO. The FPPC does not investigate Brown Act violations. The FPPC is for campaign finance.


AAADADDYO

that is not correct i have seen them investigate actions by prior community development director rob strong


Kevin Rice

I frankly don’t believe that could be true as pertaining to matters outside campaign finance and/or financial conflict of interest. The FPPC is solely empowered by the Political Reform Act. Their jurisdiction does not extend to the Brown Act. I would require documentation to believe your assertion.


AAADADDYO

call them


Kevin Rice

No. It’s your assertion; you call them. And phone hours are mornings only and not on Friday. This is a distraction. I’m busy. Believe what you wish. The correct party to complain to is the Grand Jury and/or the D.A. However, neither will give much consideration until a “Cure and Correct” Demand is made and receives an unsatisfactory response (see Gov. Code 54960.1.)


AAADADDYO

if Mayor did e-mail comments as your artlcle (8/21 e-mail) please post on line if you have it. I doubt he would actually put Not about to take this crap from anyone.” in any E-mail


kayaknut

AAADADDYOsays:


10/09/2014 at 2:13 pm


where did that rumor come from?


You already thought the restraining order was a rumor, and it was not, not even sure if you saw the email you would believe it.


AAADADDYO

no actual request just inquiry , if that


AAADADDYO
StakeHolder

As is the fact that Sintra had already been hired prior to the vote…which means they all discussed this before public view.


dogeatdog

Tony Ferrara is a BULLY


I was at that meeting, at no time did I see Otis do anything that would make Tony fear for his own safety. Tony will do anything to keep people from speaking their minds, mostly when they are as well informed and articulate as Otis Paige is.


dogeatdog

Also we are having a rally on OCT 14th from 5:15 to 6pm.

There will be folks with signs for NO on the CHARTER


We support the Arroyo Grande police


Write in Jim Hill for AG Mayor


And since TONY tried to get the restraining order because he is a BULLY


Free Otis signs will be there.


TELL 10 FRIENDS, HAVE THEM TELL 10 FRIENDS have people support our rally.


let’s get the word out and get some people attending our Rally to take back our city and say no to Bullys.


doglover

Other than “hey guys, don’t forget to sign the birthday card for Jim” members cannot have SERIAL conversations about council decisions.

This is a no no


Time for big Tony to go down!


agag1

That would be Jim Hill, write-in candidate for Mayor, right?


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