Arroyo Grande police union backs change

October 11, 2014

agpoliceAmid a vote of no confidence against Mayor Tony Ferrara, the Arroyo Grande Police Officer Association voted unanimously Friday to endorse write in candidate Jim Hill for mayor.

Following police officer allegations that Ferrara participated in a cover-up over a city sex scandal, a group of city residents announced their plans to unseat the controversial mayor by running a write in candidate. In addition to allegations of the proposed coverup, the group contends Ferrara has done favors for special interests which have cost the tax payers millions.

Hills supporters contend Ferrara is running roughshod over the citizens and staff while promoting supporters such as the Wallace Group.

“Ferrara is not for open government, violates the Brown Act by making decisions before meetings, ignores conflicts of interests and supported misspending of funds and mismanagement of the sanitation district,” said Mike Byrd, the Write in Jim Hill for Mayor 2014 treasurer.

In addition to endorsing Hill, the Arroyo Grande Police Officer Association endorsed Lynn Compton for San Luis Obispo County District 4 supervisor over former Arroyo Grande Council Member Care Ray, discounting Ray’s union member status. Ray’s close ties with Ferrara and her actions while a Arroyo Grande City Council member were noted as reason she was not endorsed.

In continuing a push for change, the police union also endorsed Arroyo Grande City Council candidate Barbara Harmon. Harmon is running for one of two open seats against incumbents Tim Brown and Joe Costello.


Noticed a +$9,000 payment to the Wallace Group, more of Mayor Ferrara’s handy work, in the agenda for next Tuesday.


Also see Steve Adams is making the recommendation to cancel the Nov. 11th council meeting. I thought in Steve’s “resignation letter” his said n=he could no longer perform the duties of his office, I guess their are still some “duties” he can perform.

Also see Teresa McClish is involved with a report on wanting to relocate funds due to an audit requiring a repayment because of ineligible CDBG activities, possible someone else can no longer perform their duties?


Rally 5:15 Tues evening prior to the council meeting. Come join us and show support for the city we love with a No on Charter, We support our police and Write in Jim Hill.

Let’s show Tony you cannot intimidate us, we are not going away we are in it to win it.


OK Kids, practice your singing skills. On Tuesday, You are all going to have the opportunity to join in and sing OUR version of “My Way.” Make The Chairman of The Board proud…

And now, the end is near;

And so YOU face the final curtain.

Mr. Mayor we’ll say it clear,

We’ll state our case, of which we’re certain.

We’ve had enough of all your lies.

Your cover-ups and angry cries

But more, much more than this,

We’ve had enough of YOUR way

Regrets, We’ve had a slew

But then again, far too many to mention.

You did what You wanted to do

And screwed us without exception.

YOU planned each crooked course;

Each careful step along YOUR byway,

But more, much more than this,

We’ve had enough of YOUR way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew

When YOU bit off more than YOU could chew.

But through it all, through all the doubt,

YOU continue to rant and angrily shout

YOU could have faced it all while standing tall;

But no, you chose to do it your way

To think YOU did all that;

And may we say – not in a right way,

“No, oh no not YOU

You did it your way”.

For what is a man, what has he got?

If not integrity, then he has naught.

Let the record show it’s time to go

And do it OUR way!


ELVIS (Tony) is leaving the building!!

Write -In Jim Hill for Mayor!

Darken the bubble!

November the 4th





Save Otis

Save AG!


So the city made a firm line on Union negotiations with the POA and now everyone is surprised by the POA position? If the POA had received what they had asked for they would be supporting the current council and we would have never heard about the July 3rd evening. The POA and other members of the community who have old issues with the city have banded together out of convenience. Almost everyone in the community appreciates the work that the POA and the council have performed but are generally disappointed to be polite, with the gadflies that are using this as a means to settle old scores. Very sad that we can’t do something positive for the community rather than the destructive path upon which you have embarked.


I would encourage you to speak with other non POA city employees. They believe it is a clear retaliation and unfair. The other employees made great sacrifices during the recession and the POA and its legal counsel continued on with its tactics. The POA was treated better than any other union.


Tony Ferrara has lied, bullied, and directed everything for years.

Please do not think we were happy with Tony before this.

He was elected on his pro AG stance and brings in smashed up condos by the hospital, builds on prime soils in the Village and now wants to slam 88 houses off of East Cherry.

The employees are tip toeing around city hall with mixed emotions. And Steve does not have the balls to bow out and be absent so they can catch their breath again.

If givin my druthers, I will back the olive, before Big Tony and his cronies.

Check out the signs today…. This is not about people who have done business with the city – Tony and Steve have shamed us and need to go away.


I would back the police it meant to say.


As much as it may not seem like it, I also back the police but I am convinced they have been given some bad advice by a very ill advised and underhanded attorney who doesn’t care about our community. He only cares about winning at any costs. With that attitude it leaves behind a destructive and toxic environment. He has sold the POA a bill of goods and they have bought it. Unfortunately, we do need new leadership, but the combination of a very weak candidate and the gadfly hysteria talking back and forth to themselves forces most of the rest of us to support Tony over a write-in. I think Barbara Harmon could be a breath of fresh air. Ultimately, I hope civility can reign.


You seem to know a lot about the POA attorney, will you explain how?

You say we need new leadership but aren’t willing to give anyone else a chance. A lot of people I’ve spoken with don’t care who runs against Tony, they’re willing to vote for anyone BUT Tony. They have no specific gripes with current leadership that I know of. Today I was placing Jim Hill signs for residents who had requested them, I didn’t ask why, not really my business. Also had lots of folks who honked and waved as they drove by, I have no idea who they were. I don’t think we’re only talking to ourselves…others are listening, and seem to be ready for new leadership.

Gadfly hysteria? There are a lot of very upset folks out there, I guess we’ll see how many vote for change.


agag1, I don’t think that just voting for anyone BUT Tony is a good idea. That is a very low standard to set for someone to oversee our city. I can’t really believe you or anyone would be really serious about that either. I would like a change as well but it must be in improvement. Jim Hill is a lateral move at the very best. Ask anyone that worked with him or his wife while he was involved in Oceano. We can’t afford that here. A better effort would be to take the time to recruit the right candidate and put the effort into getting him/her elected in the next election. I think Barbara has great potential to be that candidate. As for Gadfly’s, I encourage you to watch on line the council meetings and you will see the same group of what is perceived by the general public as disingenuous critics with an ax to grind over some past issue complaining. They use this tempest in a teapot as a place to again and again try to get even for old griefs right or wrong. It would be funny if it was not so sad


I think you are wrong about this being solely (or even primarily) a setup based on past POA salary negotiations. However, even if you are right about that, Ferrara has done enough damage in other ways to justify voting him out — his failures on the Board of the South County Sanitation District alone should get him the boot.

I understand your perception of “gadfly hysteria” — some of the people commenting here seem to be perpetually outraged and not too discerning in what they let create that outrage. However, sometimes it is justified and this is one of those times.

I don’t know much about Jim Hill (except that he objected to some of worst behavior in the SCSD) but am willing to take a chance on a relative unknown over a known negative quantity. If he turns out to have significant problems too, we can vote him out as well.



I am merely relating to you the comments I’ve heard. Some folks are THAT desperate for change, they are willing to take a chance on someone else.

Perhaps if Barbara had known of the issues relating to the July 3rd incident, SHE would have filed papers to run for Mayor. We will never know, since the filing date conveniently(?) slipped by without the public knowing the lengths to which city officials had gone to keep the “personnel matter” on the DL.

With regards to speakers at the council meetings, perhaps you do not understand how difficult it is for residents to come forward and speak publicly.

They fear the same retaliation as some City employees who are afraid to come forward. Granted, they do not have to work in City Hall and face Steve, or Tony every day, but they are subject to other forms of harassment.

Did you read the email from our Mayor to one of his constituents who chose to write, rather than speak publicly? Did you read Tony’s comments to the other council members?

Maybe those documents will give you some insight into thee type of treatment those who speak out receive.

Maybe they will help you understand why some are willing to give someone else an opportunity to help AG heal.

Jim Hill will publicly say that if the residents of AG are not happy with him after two years they will vote him out. He believes we should have term limits.

Do you think Mayor Ferrara would agree to this?


I keep wondering why you want Tony to remain in office…what’s your connection?


Where are the city employees who are happy with current leadership? The ones that aren’t are quietly working behind the scenes. If things are so honky dory at City Hall, why not come speak up? Tell us if you get invited to late night get togethers in OUR City Hall, we’d be interested in knowing.


As a complete outsider, meaning not a city employee, it seems to me like maybe the guys and gals who have to wear a bullet proof vest should be more highly compensated than anyone. I would not want their job, but I would gladly accept a lot of the other jobs the city has to offer.


Dolphin girl, you are going to blame the police for what the city has done? You are really that ignorant to believe they made that story up to get a fat raise. From what I have read they received a really low ball raise com paired to the city manager. So why didn’t the police union fight for a bigger raise if the had the city by the throat? All you are reading is what the city is putting out there to deflect their wrong doing. So like I said do you believe the police set this whole thing up? They paid off mclish and her husband to set up steve adams, that is as believable as the tea story.


udontknow, I don’t have any issue with the police but I think it is a mistake to only tie together the POA raise in 2014 with the city manager raise in 2014. By the way, I don’t know the city manager. However, other union employees in the city went without raises for several years. The city manager went without a raise. Because he received a larger raise in one year than the POA is offset because the POA received a raise (several times I think) when he did not. It is unfair to characterize this differently and without disclosing the period when most employees received no raise


Sounds like the private sector to me, welcome to the real world!


agag1, I am sorry but I don’t understand your last statement.


Many people don’t get a raise just because they feel they’re due one.

In the private sector there is no set schedule for raises, for many it has been far longer than even Mr Adams had to wait. No one I know of has ever received a 10% raise…in my world it’s unheard of.

Mr Adams was well paid, even before the raise. Explaining his behavior as simply bad judgment is gross understatement.


agag1 Tony’s comments have no place in a public discourse. I agree with that. Many people have received a 10% raise. This is known as a “catch up” if it occurs after a period where raises are suspended for various reasons. My point was that I saw the complaints from the POA as a bit disingenuous if they did not also acknowledge that through the recession they received raises and the city manager and many other employees did not. You seem to be informed as anyone. Is the basis of the wrongdoing from your perspective, that two city employees came back to the city hall to sober up and for that they should be fired?


I’m self employed. I sure would like a raise!


No kidding! Sign me up for “catch up” raises. Sounds like the way to go!


What do the negotiations of the AGPOA have to do with the City Manager violating his Contract and City Policy, not to mention the law ! You dolphingirl are making some pretty big assertions and accusations about those police officers. At least the “gadflies” you speak of have proof of the wrong doing, and who the perpetrators are !

You have made a passive aggressive statement that cast doubts on the credibility of Police Officers at the Arroyo Grande Police. This as well as many of your other faulty statements are very egregious and serve no purpose other than to slander. If you are getting all your information eggs from the Steve Adams basket…you are in for a rude awakening…

By the way, the City Employees also have Union representation, obviously just not as good as the POA’s.


the history of salaries in AG is as follows police get the highest and most increases firefighters are next SEIU are always last always.


That is how it goes every where you silly!


I just finished reading Mr Adams employment agreement. I am not an attorney, but can you please point out the section that clearly shows that he violated his agreement and deserves to be fired? Thank you. And although I think Tony is a pompous a@%, I don’t see how this deserves anything more than a campaign for his opponent. The mean spirited cynical diatribes is disheartening. Go campaign. Focus on the positive. Enjoy the good and don’t relish the mean spirited victories. It accomplishes nothing, for any of us. I know as I am guilty of the same thing at times


Did you read the conduct clause?

I don’t have my copy handy, but isn’t their something in there about embarrassing the city? I think month of being above the fold in the Trib (more for the poor way the city has handled this in order to protect Steve, than the incident self) is past embarrassing, it’s shameful. Apparently I am not alone.

You’re forgetting he intentionally mislead, or lied to the police, sent on a medical call.

Misuse of city property? We don’t need to rehash that.

Those are just off the top of my head, gotta run…more Jim Hill for Mayor signs to install. Just got home, need to deliver 3 more!

PS. Signs are going to people I don’t know, who must be upset about something going on at City Hall.

Even if you’re not willing to take a chance on a new candidate, others are.

Have a good day.


Sounds like dolphingirl is in the city managers back pocket. Soooo much knowledge of city goings on, yet still wants Tony to remain…why???


Oh dolphin boy

You are misled.

I have no ax to grind, except King Tony’s god damn arrogant attitude, his sexist holyier than thou ways and his absolute disregard for public participation..

Every time that man opens his mouth he says way too MUCH.

He takes a lot of time to talk about process and practically tutor the residents through the meeting. But when it comes to the important issues, he would rather not be bothered.

He is so insulting.

Without the July 3 rd incident, there would be plenty of us NOT voting for Big Tony.

Vote Jim Hill

Do not forget the bubble!


Without a doubt the AG Police Officer’s Association put a lot of thought into endorsing Jim Hill, a Write-In candidate with a long shot chance of winning the Mayoral race. Why would they put their necks on the line to support him?

The answer is, they have ALWAYS known more about what goes on at City Hall than all the rest of us put together. Rest assured, they are not taking this lightly.

Support our police officers, Write-In Jim Hill for Mayor!


The extent of thought ended at how can they give the city counsel the finger. The city of AG asked the union to except the same sort of accommodations all the other city employee unions agreed to during the recession. They refused to work with the city and its recession impacted budget when all the other unions agreed to help maintain services during difficult times. When the next round of negotiations came, the police union wanted even more while the other unions were still trying to come back. The City drew the line and exposed the police unions tactics and now they want to hurt those involved. So much for public servant.

Compton literally has said she does not support unions. Slim ball tactics,supporting the same.


I attended the forum on Friday and did not hear Lynn Compton say anything about not supporting unions. Please post her legitimate comments supporting your comment, otherwise your statement holds no weight.


It does seem a tad odd for the POA to endorse a candidate who doesn’t support unions.


Goes to show how little faith they have in Karen Ray, a former city council member…there’s obviously more to the story than we know.


This has nothing to do with Caren Ray. It is about getting back at Tony or anybody associated with him. Caren has been supportive of the unions. Tony is not a fan of Compton. T


“Caren has been supportive of the unions”? Some certainly but not necessarily all. I actually don’t hold it against her if she fought against the POA demands during contract negotiations but could understand why they might do so. And, given the relatively large pay raise Adams received, I can see why they might even have good reason for their position.

However, the issue with Ferrara and Adams does not seem to be related to the union negotiations without really stretching for a conspiracy theory. The negotiations were completed when all this went down and it seems incredulous that 5 cops could come up with the idea of staging a scandal at a moments notice for some vague future leverage.


I don’t believe any cops staged a scandal and I never said that. I also don’t believe they lied. I just don’t see where they have provided clear facts that was a crime or an offense worthy of termination. Was there a case of poor judgement, absolutely. Was there a case of breaking an employment agreement? I have never seen their agreement and I doubt if the police had either. Maybe it’s just because I am Portugese and occasionally have my glass of wine and sometimes one more than I should, I just don’t see the big deal in this.


Adams caused scandal no one else.

but if you read up on POA attorney is what gives attorneys a bad name


Oh dolphin girl you sound like a Tony fan, time to come up for air


I’m wondering if her employer lets her hang out after hours and use the workplace for private time? In the private sector, dolphingirl, that gets you FIRED, end of story.


This is about the COVER UP and Tonys desire to keep everything under wraps.

He could have if Adams was not such a hole when he stumbled upon the officers in the hallway.


Pops onto the scene, how many weeks into the story? Portuguese, drinks wine, grandpa was a Democrat, so much personal information…sounds phishy to me dolphingirl.


DG Steve Adam’s contract is on line for all to see, it falls under what is called the open information category.

I appreciate that you say that you have a glass of wine or two, it explains why sometimes you are not clear in your statements.

Please come to a city council meeting and maybe you would understand the big deal in this. They make the rules WE have to live by and sometimes it serves them and not us.

And they don’t follow the law ( Brown act) when making these rules,and it can cost us money out of our pockets ( ie sanitation dist) and how is that fair, right or legal to do? It’s not, AND that is our point.

We just want everyone to have to play by the same rules, is that so much for us to ask?

Have a glass of wine for me, please!


I just finished reading Mr Adams employment agreement. I am not an attorney, but can you please point out the section that clearly shows that he violated his agreement and deserves to be fired? Thank you. And although I think Tony is a pompous a@%, I don’t see how this deserves anything more than a campaign for his opponent. The mean spirited cynical diatribes is disheartening. Go campaign. Focus on the positive. Enjoy the good and don’t relish the mean spirited victories. It accomplishes nothing, for any of us. I know as I am guilty of the same thing at times


It proves that the


And please notice, the FCFA union has NOT endorsed Ray.


how many times have you heard here speak? she has said this many times and it was said directly to the fire union reps early on before her handlers taught her how to hide her real thoughts.


So you do or do not have any proof???? None given at this time so no way to prove your statement.


Caren Ray was a member of the Arroyo Grande City Council during the times the sex scandal at the sewer plant was being covered u by Big Tony. She was informed of all the dirty little details, and turned a blind eye to it.

If you ask her today about it she’ll blame it on Adam Hill and say it’s his area. She’s avoiding the fact that as an elected Council Member for the City of Arroyo Grande she failed in her duties.

Even more concerning is the fact now that she’s lying and saying she was never informed of the mismanagement and negligence of the former District Administrator, John Wallace (The Wallace Group).

If you ask her about it now she’s quick to point out “that’s not my area of concern”.


This is NOT about Caren Ray, this is about Tony and Steve


You think it is wrong for folks demanding pay for what they are worth?


Not at all. The point was during a difficult economic patch the city of AG asked the various unions to share the burden. All worked with the city to keep the city financially strong. When it came time for the police association, they decided fight, hire lawyers known for underhanded and possibly illegal tactics and pushed right up to going to court. There current actions are more of the same. The law firm they used even published a play book that tells them to be the giant that no one dares mess with. Are they part of the community or not.


“Are they part of the community or not”, the same can be asked of the mayor and the city council.

Mike Byrd

I’d like to know what “tactics” AGPOA actually used, if any. Apparently some defunct law firm had some hardball tactics posted on some website and, apparently, two big city police unions employed some of those tactics. I’ve heard AGPOA tarred and feathered for hiring counsel to assist negotiations but I’ve never heard of one single instance of AGPOA doing anything underhanded. If someone knows something specific say so. Otherwise let’s end the inuendo.


Excuse me…

If I am not mistaken the City uses an attorney in negotiations. The other side should too. If the other employees think that management will be nice to them because they are nice people. Wake up, people. That is not how this works.

The police answered a call at 11 pm from Dana McClish to locate his wife. How does that have anything to do with the AGPOA negotiations?


good point


Respectfully, Mr. Byrd, the same could be said about proof of a “tryst.”


This sounds a lot like Steve Adams speak.


How do you determine what they are worth. As an example, why is a SLO cop paid more than LAPD? There can not be that much violence along the creek.


From where did you acquire your knowledge of the thought process of the AGPOA? How do you know the details of their negotiations with the City of Arroyo Grande? They are confidential…..

Who from the City drew the line and “exposed the police union tactics” ? Who from the AGPOA has made plans to hurt those involved? (who do you mean).?

If this has occurred let it be shown


Lynn Compton is a really classy lady who is transparent and not looking for a lifelong political career. that right there should tell you something.



Video for cops theme song youtube► 3:38► 3:38


It is never to late for the Mayor, Council Members, Legal Staff, and Administrative Staff to walk back on this problem , fix the past mistakes , take responsibility for their actions and then focus on a ‘new citizen centered plan’ for our future.

Sometimes in life and even politics, some very good people make mistakes, or can even get caught up in a power vacuum that can impair their decision making abilities and leadership.

I hope ” ethical leaders” who live in our communities, guide our churches, and volunteer in our communities, will step forward and calmly help bridge the divide within our local communities.

Lets encourage others to Vote, make the Democratic Process stronger, and then most of all Respect The Will Of The Majority.


Very well said Falconbh, I hope the council members read this post as division is never good for a community.


Given Mayor Ferrara’s recent comment ” Not about to take this crap from anyone” in response to emails from A.G. citizens concerning their concerns on the city manager issue, the chances of him changing are very, very, very, very, very, slim.

The best chance the citizens have is mayoral change.

At least a change in one council member, by by Mr. Costello and of course a very big “NO” on becoming a charter city.


Please city council listen to this.

You cannot change yesterday, but you can move forward and ACT appropriately.

I have faith in Tim Brown to lead the charge!


different point of view from what I have been reading, thanks for the perspective


I could accept that from some of the council members who haven’t been total stooges for the mayor. In fact, I could have accepted that from Adams had he immediately ‘fessed up without the lies and trying to deflect the blame.

But Crony Tony has done too much for too long and needs to go. Even had this recent scandal not surfaced, he should be voted out for his incompetent oversight (at best) of the South County Sanitary District. They are facing $1.1 million in fines and who knows how much more in waste from his willingness to tolerate a blatant conflict of interest and failure to oversee John Wallace’s operations while he ran up those debts. That alone is reason to send him back to a quiet life of retirement.

Ben Daho

Th screwing their gettin for the screwing they were doing.


This is about the COVER up and the actions of our arrogant puffed up MAYOR

I am sure he cannot stand to go to bed without checking out CCN? Ha! Keep jacking up those hits, Big TONY


I wonder how many city employees check CCN more than once a day?


If they want to find out what’s going on in town, they should be.

Only scoop the Trib got was Adams’ resignation. They’ve been late, or reluctantly slow to respond on anything having to do with this story.

Hard to tell if they’re just really out of the loop, or protecting Tony by not reporting the news.


I bet everybody who doesn’t hate the mayor checks it several times a day, MM, afraid they’ll be next.


Yeah Ish, CCN spends lots of times writing articles on folks who have absolutely nothing to hide or fear. Are you afraid?


Not that many. They are well educated.


So.. Tuesdays agenda again has Adams performance in closed.

What do you think they will talking about?

You got it…. The investigation.

And… They have on their regular agenda cancelling the Nov 11th meeting.

Another opportunity to stuff the meeting with discourse about the way they run things and wht they cannot cancel.

This could have been so easy.

It is TIME for the MAYOR and ADAMS to leave!


How many times should one City Manager have his performance evaluated in the course of a few months?

What employer needs months to determine what their personnel regulations are for one person, while the others all wait to see how things turn out?

The City is the perfect example of what NOT to do.

Follow the policies in place, they are meant to be clear and easy to follow, usually black and white, so as to avoid the slippery slope of gray area—never a good thing.


AG residents need to comment on this Performance Evaluation. Tell the council to let him go now! Do not wait for a permanent replacement. Find an interim manager and be done with him.


The POA has it right, we have to break up this ‘ol boy’s club and get some new people in the Mayor, Councilman and Supervisor’s seats.

Too much back room favors being played. Let’s bring politics back to the front with honest representation.

Don’t forget you have to actually write in JIM HILL and the bubble next to your write in. He can win this!


I agree we need new leadership but the POA is only concerned with their next set of negotiations.


And just what is the city council and the mayor concerned with?, certainly not the citizens of A.G.,


Not concerned with the Brown Act!


I am not sure that you are entirely right but that is certainly one possibility. However, the AG Police do not have quite the history of greed and “us against the world” thinking that some other local agencies have shown so I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt. I am not going to assume that their motivation is only (or even primarily) a stronger negotiating position for the next contract.

The important thing is that we remove an incompetent, arrogant and possibly corrupt mayor along with those who have supported him. I hope that you can focus on that too.


Here, here!

Perhaps new leadership would create a better work environment for city employees, and a more harmonious feeling for the residents as well…THAT would be a breath of fresh air. Time to clean house!


I have to disagree, they responded to an accident yesterday involving someone I know. They were very helpful, and genuinely concerned for the safety and welfare of all persons involved.

Also very quick to respond when another friend was a victim of vandalism last night. Two encounters with the PD in one day. Both times, nothing but professional and helpful.

Are you with another union in the city? How is keeping current leadership which you agree we need to change going to make things better for you?

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