Big guns show for Arroyo Grande Council meeting

October 15, 2014
Steve Annibali

Steve Annibali


Arroyo Grande city officials imported backup law enforcement fire power for Tuesday’s council meeting, but a tightly-regimented gathering of citizens remained in check as debate surrounding a July 3 City Hall incident continued to simmer.

At Police Chief Steve Annibali’s request, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and Commander Brian Hascall were among the audience. Parkinson said they were there to “help maintain the peace.” Annibali, in a Monday memo to Adams, referred to “repeated outbreaks” at a recent special meeting of the council and noted the “repercussions following” the July 3 “personnel matter,” have “placed the role of the Arroyo Grande Police Department in a most difficult position.”

The chief said that “mounting tensions at public meetings and beyond have called for uncommon measures in order to preserve even the appearance of influence over the police department by any side involved.”

In the aftermath of the Adams-McClish incident, Mayor Tony Ferrara and Adams tried to shift blame for the public brouhaha to police personnel, who were at the time involved in contract negotiations.

They suggested details of the incident were leaked to reporters, and that there was disagreement regarding specifics and credibility of subsequent police reports. That caused the police officers’ union to vote no-confidence in Adams and Ferrara, and has caused many residents to vocally assert their support for police at council meetings.

Dozens of people, many carrying signs, marched outside City Hall prior to the meeting, some supporting write-in mayoral candidate Jim Hill, and others demanding the resignation of City Manager Steve Adams.

Adams and a subordinate employee, Teresa McClish, were found in Adams’ darkened City Hall office near midnight July 3 after the pair had been drinking in local bars. When McClish’s husband worried about her health, police were dispatched to locate her.

Adams has been under fire ever since the incident was revealed in an August CalCoastNews article, and he has submitted a letter informing the council he will be “resigning” after a successor is chosen.

That often requires a six to nine months search.

Tuesday’s meeting was closed to many attendees because of city building capacity regulations.

At least two rows of chairs, 20-25 in number, appeared to have been removed from the main council chamber, and most of the remaining chairs were occupied a half hour before the meeting’s start by people supporting Adams, Ferrara and the council. Consequently, the 140-person capacity room was limited to about 55 people, with another dozen-plus in an adjacent room.

Acting Five Cities Fire Chief Riki Heath said he was asked to monitor the meeting by Annibali. Heath said he did not know that fewer chairs had been placed in the main council chamber.



  1. agag1 says:

    “We work at the will of the people, and they need to trust us,” Walsh said. “I think the law is the law, and everybody should be held to the same.”

    This quote from another story, but it applies to any recent story pertaining to the City if Arroyo Grande leadership as well.
    This is what we should expect, but sadly are not seeing.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  2. agag1 says:

    The citywide rally was a huge success, lots and lots of honks for Jim Hill, lots of thumbs-ups, even one shout of “I think you got this!!”

    More and more folks on board with the Write-In Jim Hill for Mayor campaign each day!

    Way to go citizens of AG, let your voice be heard, keep spreading the word.
    We ARE making a difference, and Arroyo Grande will be better for it.

    Let’s make history with this scrappy write-in campaign, it is possible!!!

    (14) 24 Total Votes - 19 up - 5 down
    • doglover says:

      I cannot believe how easy it is to talk to your neighbours and friends to NOT vote for TONY F.
      4 years ago over 1,0000 voters chose not to vote at all for this position though they cast a ballot.

      Tony is NOT well liked and easily perceived as a BULLY and ARROGANT.

      These are the key words, throw in a little over steps his bounds as an elected official and the conversation is so heart warming.

      Give it a try! It is amazing.

      (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
      • agag1 says:

        Heck, you don’t even have to try! Wear a Write-In Jim Hill for Mayor badge, and people will come right up to you and say, “I’m voting for Jim because that Ferraro guy has been in there too long”.
        Or, better yet, “Tell me why my wife and I just voted for Jim Hill, besides the fact that he’s not Ferraro?”

        …just a small group of bitter folks with an axe to grind…

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

        (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
  3. Otis says:


    Ferrara lied when saying there was no COVER UP of the Adams/McClish scandal on July 3rd.

    Ferrara’s managed the COVER UP using CLOSED MEETINGS.

    Ferrara has hid the Adams/McClish matter in CLOSED MEETINGS since July 8, out of sight from the citizens.

    But Ferrara and Council members lied after agreeing to openness in the meeting of August 26, proclaiming TRANSPARENCY.

    But Ferrara IGNORED THE COMMITMENT made in the meeting of August 26.
    Ferrara continued secret CLOSED MEETINGS on September 9 and Saturday, September 20.

    Besides, from July 8 Ferrara has USED gag orders, intimidation and coercion to keep the matter secret.

    Ferrara has lied to the citizens using the COVER UP.

    (11) 35 Total Votes - 23 up - 12 down
    • agag1 says:

      That’s right Otis, we need to be focused on the root of the problem, the Mayor and the cover-up!

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
    • doglover says:

      This is not the first time the Mayor has lied.

      Come to the Planning Commission tonight and tell them the story of the cover up.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  4. agag1 says:

    Looks like Arroyo Grande is in bloom alright…
    Those bright yellow Write-In Jim Hill for Mayor sign are poppin’ up ALL around town!

    (17) 31 Total Votes - 24 up - 7 down
  5. ironyman2000 says:

    This whole thing is worthy of a Monty Python sketch. There must be a dead parrot buried
    here somewhere.

    (-1) 15 Total Votes - 7 up - 8 down
    • Pelican1 says:

      Perhaps we could call it….”The Life of Tony”

      (-6) 8 Total Votes - 1 up - 7 down
      • MajorityFan says:

        More like the life of crazed citizens.

        (-5) 15 Total Votes - 5 up - 10 down
        • doglover says:

          How could there be so many crazed citizens when it is so damn easy to ask to put a sign up.
          People are yearning for a change,

          Why oh why have absolutely NO current employees come to Ferraras defence ..

          (7) 19 Total Votes - 13 up - 6 down
          • MajorityFan says:

            It just seems odd that if the citizens were yearning for a change, why no one entered the race long ago, instead of after the supposed tryst?

            (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down

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