Arroyo Grande Council attendees pick sides, the mayor or police

October 29, 2014

wet paintBy KAREN VELIE

At Tuesdays Arroyo Grande City Council meeting, proponents and opponents of Mayor Tony Ferrara spoke out during public comment while three San Luis Obispo sheriff deputies and a police commander stood by in case of any altercations.

Fifteen people spoke during public comment, five in favor of the mayor and 10 supporting the police department or speaking out against Ferrara. At one point, a speaker asked those who support the mayor to stand up and about half the room rose to their feet. Than another speaker asked those who support the police officers to stand and the other half of the room stood up.

Members of the public and the police officer’s association have accused Ferrara and the council of attempting to coverup a late night romantic interlude between City Manager Steve Adams and a subordinate employee.

On July 3, police officers found Adams and Teresa McClish, the city’s community development director, in Adams’ City Hall office. Memorandums written by five officers the night of the incident reported McClish was discovered partially dressed, an apparent violation of city policy. A few years ago, Adams terminated a police sergeant for violating the same policy.

City Manager Steve Adams and Teresa McClish

City Manager Steve Adams and Teresa McClish

Immediately after the incident was first reported by CalCoastNews, Ferrara and Adams began claiming the police officers had fabricated the story in an attempt to manipulate salary negotiations between the city and the police officer’s association.

The officers fired back with a vote of no confidence against both Ferrara and Adams.

Since then, supporters of the police officers have shown their alliance by attending council meetings.

Two weeks ago, city staff removed several rows of chairs lowering the amount of public seating in the council chambers. Consequently, the 140-person capacity room was limited to about 55 people, with another dozen-plus in an adjacent room.

On Tuesday, the council chamber doors were opened at 4:45 p.m., more than an hour earlier than usual. Multiple people arrived early and quickly took up the bulk of the still limited seating.

In addition, the benches outside had been painted earlier in the day and had wet paint signs on them until after the meeting started prompting some to claim the city was attempting to dissuade Ferrara opponents from attending.

Members of two unions which have endorsed Jim Hill for mayor, the Arroyo Grande Police Officers’ Association and the Carpenters Local 1800 in Arroyo Grande, and off duty police officers attended the meeting to show support for a change of leadership in Arroyo Grande.

Mayor Tony Ferrara

Mayor Tony Ferrara

Shortly before the meeting concluded, Ferrara took time to explain why city staff had removed a fallen tree from his yard. It is a violation of city and state laws for public officials to use government employees to do work at their private residences.

Ferrara said he arrived home and tried to move the tree, but wasn’t able to. And because the Harvest Festival was the next day, Ferrara then called the city’s public works department to have staff and equipment sent to remove the tree which had branches blocking the sidewalk.

Ferrara said he helped staff load the branches into a city vehicle to be taken to the city’s corporate yard for disposal. After CalCoastNews inquired about the use of public services, the city sent Ferrara a bill for $198 for the use of three employees, two trucks and backhoe for an hour while stating that the removal was justified because branches were blocking a public right-of-way.

At the end of the meeting, Ferrara took a few minutes to tell the public that after he is reelected on Oct. 4, the city will return to the way it was before the scandal.

Ferrara’s opponent, mayoral candidate Jim Hill, announced plans to run after being approached by critics of the mayor and the current council. He is running as a write in candidate.

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Pelican1

TOP 10 REASONS WHY MAYOR TONY SHOULD BE RE-ELECTED

10. He helped city staffers remove a tree from his yard,

9. He reduced the seating capacity in council chambers

8. He once said..”take the gun, save the Canolli

7. He loves the cops.

6. He supports City Halls “open door” ;-) policy (even after hours)

5. His uncle Luigi works in concrete

4. He is not a crook

3. He recognizes integrity when he sees it.

2, He can spell WET PAINT

AND THE NUMBER ONE REASON MAYOR TONY SHOULD BE RE-ELECTED….

1. It’s an offer you can’t refuse


surferdude

And if you do refuse it….. He will make it that it would “be in your best interest”, “might be looked favorable on” or “might be able to make that zoning to pleasure”


THIS CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE MAYOR has transformed the MAYOR election.

Please support those businesses with the bright yellow Jim Hill Signs. Support he POLICE and the UNIONS.


Tony (the boss) Ferrara and Sleep Joe Costello too!


VAndrews

I left the council meeting before it ended, and have just watched what I missed. I have always stated what I believed the truth was, even if it didn’t suit my purpose.


It is my opinion based on past experiences of the same nature, that Mayor Ferrara was within his rights (we all would and do have this same right) to utilize City Crew to assist in the removal of a tree he was responsible for, but posed a risk to public safety as it had fallen across a public walkway. Generally what the City would do is take care of removing the obstruction and leaving the rest for the property owner. As I have evidenced in Arroyo Grande, sometimes employees go a little bit extra and do more than “required”. I think they do this with many, why not the Mayor ? Now, if the Mayor was demanding of this “extra” service, that would be a different story, but I haven’t heard that. I do think this is a really good example of what Great City Employees the City of Arroyo Grande has, and the feeling that maybe the City Council, Mayor and Staff don’t acknowledge or give the employees the same credit the public does, but support and errant staff.


As irritating as it is to witness blind faith in government at any level, those people all have the RIGHT to do so. I just need them to remember that RIGHT applies to all people.


NOW, after the Mayor completed his “treegate” explanation, he went on to speak for himself AND THE COUNCIL, that they were withstanding a lot of attacks and it has been very painful and difficult. He went on and on with a political speech to all the people out there watching at home that he expects this all to go away after the election. Every time I think the Mayor is starting to get it BAM ! He just can’t. He just won’t. Arrogance at it’s loftiest.


doglover

The Mayor invited the community to call to “hear the rest of the story”


In an earlier post someone listed his number as 550-6446.


StakeHolder

Why is he offering to listen now when on Aug 21 he responded to the other 4 council members that he is NOT going to take this CRAP from anyone?


Whoa, 10 weeks later and the crap is still flying!


VAndrews

He only intends to respond about the tree story…he made it perfectly clear he still supported the staff…


surferdude

TONY FERRARA IN the COAST NEWS Tolosa Press

Page 34


“But most of all, I would want it remembered that I, along with the council, worked hard to heal our City; mend relationships, and that we re-energized our community spirit.”


Give me a BREAK.

How’d you like that V Andrews?


VAndrews

I don’t.


He must have recalled that from a dream because I have witnessed NONE of those actions by the Mayor, Council or Disgraced City Manager Adams!


What the Mayor doesn’t understand is this is NOT going away after the election is over ! We will heal and mend relationships when the PROPER ACTIONS have taken place. Until that happens the only energy I have for the community and it’s spirits is going into making sure they do the right thing, and are ousted from their positions if they fail to do so.


doglover

Check out the slo span commercial for Tony Ferrara at the end of the 10/28/2014 meeting.


He once again tried to dis CCN and Dave C, but best of all he dissed his own constituents.

NICE!


agag1

I’m sure the League of CA Cities and whoever else is keeping an eye on our dear Mayor will find his actions a bit desperate.


Jorge Estrada

Bottom line, corrupted lip service and political ties will be squashed by the regular class. This is why we in the regular class need to support law enforcement.


agag1

Those stand up for Tony and Steve folks have NO idea how dumb it was to remain seated, rather than stand for the police.

I’m sure they were more focused on the us vs them visual at the time, but really???

THAT is not a pretty picture!


VAndrews

Luckily for all of them, the AGPD is a dedicated, and professional agency that will always give the citizens 100% no matter who they support.


What drives me crazy is this blind support because they were told it’s so, and by the offenders no less. It infuriates me that Adams is still occupying his office and calling shots, even after he insulted, maligned and has tried to pit City employees against each other over labor relations which are supposed to be kept confidential. Kind of like the closed sessions the Council and Adams have gotten to hide behind.


I wonder what page out of Steve Adams playbook of Sleazy Lousy tactics to slander and turn the table away from the guilty and onto the reporter of fact, was used ? Adams talked in his AD that there was confusion from people unfamiliar with government procedures who compare his situation to incidents involving potential criminal action or when a formal personnel complaint is filed, which HE BELIEVES and the Council obviously concurred, didn’t apply in this case. Well no one filed a complaint because you kept it a SECRET, (we call it a Cover-Up) This is what the sheeple that support these egregious actions don’t understand. Just cause they are Nice guys, doing a “great” job (which they get paid very well for) is not a reason to support what I consider a betrayal of this City and so arrogantly document it in writing. This was under the guise of giving the public and future City Manager a heads up to what they may be facing after he leaves.


Adams, the Mayor and Council’s support of his continued occupation at City Hall has further encouraged the public to scrutinize the police officer’s motivations, and integrity, which I hope does not interfere with their ability to do their job. If the City Manager and Mayor can publicly question their Police Department’s ability and integrity, it gives the public carte blanche to do the same. We have already seen it in letters to editors of newspapers…and sadly when they remained seated when the question of police support was raised. I blame all of them, they lied and continue to do so.


I really hope this Investigation shows the facts…the TRUTH


Write In Jim Hill for Arroyo Grande Mayor, don’t forget to fill in the bubble.


Slowerfaster

That picture of mock horror by the woman looking at the ‘wet paint’ sign is hilarious.


Unintentionally ( I think ) it illustrates the ramped up hysteria of the Chicken Littles involved in this phony imbroglio.


Julie

I’m having trouble reconciling the Mayor’s explanation for using city crews on his private property.


What does the Harvest Festival being the next day have to do with it? The Mayor’s home is nowhere near where the festivities are held. The tree would not impede anyone from getting to the parade held in the Village or enjoying the day’s events.


If there really was a concern for “public safety,” city crews should simply have cut the part of the tree that crossed the sidewalk, pushed it all onto the Mayor’s lawn, and let him call a private company to clean it up and haul it away.


This story, as told by the Mayor, smells just as fishy as “sobering up” over a two hour (remember on July 3rd McClish opened city hall at 9:38pm and officers didn’t make contact with her until 11:40pm) “cup of tea.”


The cover up is always worse than the crime.


surferdude

Just looked at the mail.

Now that’s a whopper

Ferrara and Costello at their finest


And the stories.

Damn A. G. , I thought Ed Arnold topped it, but you.ve out done yourself now.

Old joes gotta go.

Tony, the boss, Ferrara too!


AAADADDYO

what mail?


surferdude

The 8 1/2 x 14 glossy colored hit piece by integrity SLO.


agag1

Hope the League of Cities got their copy.

When someone cares enough to spend their own $$$ on a piece like that,

they must really want people to know what the Mayor and his chum Costello have been up to.


Gotta believe the stars are aligned on this one…

Ol’ Joe is on Congalton today at 4!

Get yourself a cold one and a comfy seat, should be interesting to hear Joe try to wiggle off this hook.


surferdude

If you have not received yours

Integrity SLO helped the Jim Hill campaign by sending a 2 sided Jim Hill poster on one side and 2 damning articles of Ferrara and Costello and NO on the charter city all in one colored slick flyer

The photos do look like the Mafia.

Says VOTE out Tony & Joe

Bad for Arroyo Grande.


AAADADDYO

thanks


doglover

Yeah that colored flyer will be good for Tim Brown and Babs!


Pelican1

If a tree falls in Arroyo Grande and the taxpayers aren’t around…do they still have to pay?


dogeatdog

How do I get the city to come grind down a stump from a tree that feel over and I took care of. I will gladly pay them a small fee to grind a stump on my property, please give me the correct number to call.


agag1

805-Ibe-MAYR


adustum

The City’s Public Works Director is Geoff English and phone number is 473-5460.


The Supervisor of Streets and Landscaping is Ron Simpson.