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.


I encourage others to Vote in this Very Important Election.

With all these Costly New Sales Tax Increases , AG Sales Tax Extension, Buildings That Are Not Needed, Charter City Power Grab , Special Road Tax Increase , and South County Sanitation Tax Increase in the future.

If these New Tax Increases are approved by Voters it will become a Green Light for the next election and More Higher Taxes Will Come.

” Can You Afford More Tax Increases ‘ Now’ and then In The’ Next’ Election ? ”



I like the idea of a charter city for controlling costs in theory, but it doesnt work out that way. San Luis Obispo is a Charter City, and their budget has grown by over 300% in the last 8 years. Charter City is not a good idea in practice.


I am not going to hand more power to a mayor and city council which have severely abused the power they already have.

My Mom didn’t raise any doorways.


For heaven’s sake.

“Doorways” should be “doormats.”


Evidently, she did raise at least one dumbbell.


Didn’t realize Slow was MaryMalone’s sibling.


Agreed Mary—no confidence=no vote!

Just like the POA vote of no confidence, seems to be the theme this year.


all elections important


how bout appointments? first Caren Ray, then Kristen Fellows Barniech, over many qualified candidates, including Barbara Harmon, who will be elected. That yes seat will come up for election eventually…..


Could very well end up with sleepy ‘ole Joe and Barbara after all.

Tim didn’t help his cause on Tues, guess he was playing to the Fellows and friends bunch.


in new times



I don’t agree with Otis’s opinions on everything and not many of the opinions of those helping get Jim Hill elected….

BUT…. We all agree on one thing…

We believe the police told the truth and someone else lied.

We believe that the Mayor has overstepped his responsibilities as an elected official

AND we believe that S and T did something that the CC and MAYOR wanted to keep hidden.

We believe it is time to shake things up.


Please do not cut and paste large blocks of text from other publications.

A short excerpt and link is fine.




From the comment guidelines:

“Do not submit comments containing large blocks of text, lists, the text of long court filings, copyrighted song lyrics, and such from any source, an excerpt and link is customary and acceptable.”


do you have a link for that?


Check this out…

Planning commission cancelled July 15, September 16, and October 7.

Of the 6 meetings since July 3rd, half have been cancelled.

I am guessing since the PC has not met since September 2nd they might need to actually have their meeting this TUESDAY OCTOBER 21st at 6 pm


It’ll be interesting to see if Mrs McClish is able to make the meeting.

Hope she’s got her attorney on retainer, hang on to your wallets AG taxpayers!

Mrs McClish is gonna make this City Council and us pay for turning a blind eye and keeping Steve.


I smell a workers comp case.


funny you say that… bout a workers comp audit, headed up at Tim Brown’s behest against his enemies? Or a haz mat visit headed up at Joe Costello’s behest against his enemies? Or a tree welfare check headed up by well u know who. Or an anal probe drug check, dually performed by the chief of police and mayor, just for old times sake, with a room donated by none other than Tim Guthrie. yeah, god bless america, while you pay the bill.


With lifetime benefits!


I can’t quite wrap my mind around a police chief handing over the city to the sheriff for the sake of looking impartial. Isn’t his lack of understanding of the police (investigating adultery) what got this thing ramped up in the first place?

Too bad Sheriff P didn’t tell him no.


I can understand it if the officers would have been accused of giving preferential treatment to those speaking against Ferrara.

Not much to fear from the other group, they looked pretty docile.

Good for Annibali for not putting his guys in another situation where they may have been called into question.


I mean really

Who you gonna call when the city council does not have your back?



you have to commend the police or wanting to appear independent, whereas the council could care less about doing the same.


The Council is circling the wagon banding together. Even Mr. Brown has lost his ambition to speak out and be true to himself. So sad.

What do you believe?

Do you believe the officers who wee called to City Hall that night?

Or do you believe Tony that he want to heal the relationship with the City?

The city council are policy makers and hire the city manager. End of story.


Why are they allowing Steve to hang out until retirement?

He’s such nice guy?

Wow I want in on this trick.

This did not work for all the folks they have laid off.


Apparently, there’s some real special treatment guaranteed in Mr Adams’ contract…everyone else?

No such luck, no wonder Steve won’t go away.

Who else gets to wait till their birthday to resign when they should have been terminated?.


More and more I become convinced there isn’t an independent thinker in the bunch, with the exception of Ferrara, and it seems his ability to impose his will on his subjects is stronger than ever.

Mr Brown seems to have surrendered.

Maybe this will end up being ‘Ole Joe and Harmon after all…


I’m trying to understand why the Police Chief would ask the Sheriff and a “Commander” to attend a City Council meeting, unless of course Annibali allowed his gun to be stolen again, and felt like he was incapable of handling a small group of citizens enjoying the right to a peaceful assembly and voicing their concerns.

To even insinuate that our police force would be anything less than 100% professional if called upon to quell the uprising of a handful of folks just pisses me off to no end.

Maybe Chief “Can’t Find My Gun” needs to take a hike too.


Thank you for calling in the sheriff

The council had a visual of what happens when you completely undermine the authority of a department

The Council MUST. Stop listening to Ferrara.

They must ask questions themselves.

Why does Tony think his vote is more important then theirs?

Why did Tony not share with them about the incident ?

This is about the MAYOR.


I cannot believe how low the city council, city manager and the chef of police

is willing to go stoop in regards to this whole debauchery of incompetence

that they caused in the first place.

I watched the meeting last night and was very surprised to see most all of the

seats were filled with save the city council and manager supporters. It was

clearly evident that something was amiss after the 3-4 speaker. I do believe

everyone has the right to voice their opinion in a public forum and not feel threatened

to do so. BUT COME ON! Annibali sends a request for assistance to the Sheriff?

For what? Otis voicing the truth at the last meeting? People holding signs in a

civil and professional display of support? Am I missing information the

citizens of AG are behaving in a violent, disturbing and threatening manner

in this quest for truth and transparency?

Let’s call this latest AG city council, manager, police chief tactic what is really was

and that was an unprofessional and childish behavior. Good God what century is

this? Oh wait maybe one of the citizens is carrying Annibali’s “lost” gun. What

a smuck this chief is. Poor officers that have to work for him.

Just when you think you have heard all there was to hear. Nope the leaders

of AG step it up another notch of ridiculousness and crazy. Each and everyone

needs to go, Adams, Annibali, and Ferrera.

Seriously this is crazy, erratic, and unprofessional behavior. It has gone

beyond embarrassing. I am disgusted.


The council wants everyone to believe this is much ado about nothing, look at the room full of folks rounded up to come talk about their 100 year old fathers, Rancho Grande park, and a million other things except what really matters….THE COVER-UP!

Adams should have been suspended pending an even-your-momma-could-have-figured-it-out investigation. Then he should have been terminated. At some point you’ve got to follow your own rules.

You can’t convince me they never saw Steve and Teresa makin’ goo-goo eyes at one another for as long as this has been going on. If they’re that oblivious the ALL NEED TO GO! These are not the kind of folks you want running the show.

Doesn’t give me much faith in their leadership abilities, the council is sticking to their boy, come hell or high water.

What does Steve have on Tony? Or is the council just trying to let Steve get fully vested, and retire at a $$$ salary, cuz he’s such a good guy?


Morro Bay community has known about the affair for over two years now, why didnt Caren Ray or other Council Members? Are our values pliable?


I heard that same from young family man who knows husband from sailing group.


Yo Tambien


“…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.”” <— Bad form! Just what the hell is going on in AG?


Enough already. Based on Tory Rand’s and Daniel Blackburn’s individual accounts of the October 14 Arroyo Grande City Council meeting … theatrics orchestrated by the mayor and the city council is completely out of order and should not be tolerated.


does anyone who actually post here live in the city?

per reports in paper many more people support council than the few that post on CCN

or is paper lying too? the video tape confirms story


I live in the city and have attended every meeting. The paper reports what Tony wants them to report—do you live the city?????

The video tape confirms nothing……camera six was broken due to “elements” and there was no camera in the office in question….so tapes prove nothing….

And FYI—media does lie—it’s a fact most people do not want to consider because they depend on it for their information rather than attending the meetings and paying attention what is going on themselves……


tape of meeting proves council support as reported per trib not taking about july 3i


Huh? Please translate


does that media include CCN?


Without CCN we would all be still frightened of Tony and the charter initiative would fail anyways.

No one trusts city hall. Get it.


They only include media with credibility.


I live here, own a home here, and operate a business here, and after the dog and pony show of last night have officially decided not to vote for any incumbents this year.

None of them deserve my vote if I don’t have faith in them to do what’s right.


I have been shocked that so many shop keepers ( even in the Village) are ready for TONY to go


Mike Byrd

I live in the city and I was one who could not attend the council meeting due to the mayor’s trickery. Those who care what went on July 3rd are in the minority. But those of us who are deeply troubled by various actions by the mayor both before and after July 3 far outnumber the handful who support this type of government. Come visit our city and take a drive around counting Jim Hill signs if you want a firsthand view of how the informed citizens think about the mayor’s goingson.


I live on AG, and, yes, the Tribune’ s account of what occurs when a local politico gets stuck with his finger in the honey jar. The Tribune prints what the political wants printed.


Yes, I do live in the city. My observation of last nights Arroyo Grande council meeting, open comments, were that those who attended in favor of supporting the council and Mr. Adams were:

1) older citizens

2) Village business owners

3) members of the AG in Bloom or Historical Society

4) past council members (whose daughter sits on it now!)

5) retired employees (enjoying their nice pensions)

So, that tied into Tony’s rude letter to MandJ, shows that his supporters are mostly retirees and friends of Tony and his special interests.

We need to get out there and show what the “common person” feels about being mislead by our current leadership. I believe that many who comment here and many who are willing to post “Write in Jim Hill” signs are definitely AG citizens!


Hey fella

Look around.

There are more and more merchants sporting Hill signs.

People are ready for our council and mayor to be policy makers, not the administrator.

You know, it always happens like this. When the CEO is weak, someone has to take over and that is what has happened with Adams the weak and Tony, the BULLY.


Baaaaaaaaaaah, don’t forget the sheepish council.

Sad to see that even Tim Brown seemed to lose his courage last night, or was he just bowing down to the room full of Ferrara lets-talk-about-anything-but-the-issue faithful.

Poor Tim must have not only gotten, but read the marching orders for the evening.



Yes your paper AADADDYO lies on a regular basis. Or omits many facts. Is this really news to you? Happy you are here reading CCN so you may obtain the TRUTH.


Let’s focus on the bigger issues:

When City policy is broken by top level management, is it allowable to the MAYOR and City Council?

Why did the Council not confer with their HR director for protocols in this situation?

Why did the MAYOR not want the other Council members to know of the July 3rd incident?

Beyond wanting Steve to hang around because Big Tony knows he can push him around…. why is Tony Ferrara so desperate to keep Adams in his position?


And why does the council follow him like a bunch of lost sheep?


THIS IS the BIG question.

Why do so many people ALLOW Ferrara to have his PAWS into everything?



They allow it because they don’t know any better OR they get something out it.


I agree. When a whiner like Ferrara is morphing into The Red Queen (“Off with their heads!”) and abuses his power to restrict public comment, it’s a good idea to have an outside voice to bear witness to what is going on at meetings, especially when Ferrara is blaming AG’s PD for the Adams/McClish trust and subsequent cover up.


Perhaps a sign of desperation? Speaking of signs…

Don’t know about you, but I’m noticing quite a few yellow signs around, at some pretty prominent places.

Time for change in Arroyo Grande.

Write-In Jim Hill for Mayor


Wow! the quarterdeck and Rontal and Chiros and a lot of old AG.



who is tory rand? oh, that guy who posts under his own name.


Because of the lack of capitalization, I assumed your name meant you were sending a message “To Ryan D.” Thanks for clearing up the mystery. Though I will miss Ryan D.


Let’s add to it 2 vandalizations in a week against the same persons vehicles.

What is going on in City Hall?

Big Tony is frightened.

Why must he look over his shoulder?


How about the blah, blah, blah of the Berry Gardens, blah, blah, blah, I did nothing wrong, blah, umm, blah, when the tree fell over in my yard, blah, blah, blah….good lord!

I think King Tony doth protest too much…very similar style to Adams’ resignation letter, or as VAndrews called it, his one page ad in the Trib.

No one spends that much time defending something if it really was NOTHING!


I’m guessing that Adams is here for at least 9 months.

The only way he will leave earlier is if the Council were to do an about face( NOT!) and actually terminate him for cause.

He needs to be fully vested at 55 AND

As long as Steve is in the position TONY CAN RUN ROUGH SHOD OVER THE CITY!!!


Let’s guess, aaaadaddyo is gonna say this is just another coincidence?

It’s part of the plan, daddy, ALL PART OF THE PLAN!


My guess is the mayor will say no chairs removed from the council chambers, and he might be right, but since many of the chairs were moved to line the sides and back along the rail, normally has standing room only, the actually number chair perhaps are the same but no one can claim the setup was the same, and that this was done intentionally


so its possible same number of chairs in chamber so now its how ther are arrainged?

i understand the maximum number of people were in the room per storry , and fire chief per code would not allow more in the room. So that is Mayors fault?

CCN is going to lose al credability if they feel all is fit to print,

I would challenge CCN to make an effort to be balanced in thier reporting. maybe then you would get more advertiseing dollars your call


Ewwww daddy, are we supposed to believe it was all coincidence? Come on, the room has been packed the last few meetings. Tell me you didn’t notice people standing at the back (police) at those prior meetings and NOW there are chairs there, and NO standing room?

I don’t put ANYTHING, ANYTHING at all past this council.

Really tempted not to vote for a single one of them, NOT ONE!

No faith in them = no vote from me!


So is the Council shill saying the police lied?

Cause that has not changed out of Adams mouth.

Where’s Theresa?

Seems like people have given her a break, and I do not know why.

Adams would rather she sue the city so he can get his full retirement, than stick up for her.

What a sham(e)!


If I were her husband I’d be doing a little DNA testing.


Could be a Tony Cronie, or a council member.

After last night’s show, there doesn’t appear to be much difference between the two.




You are right about what the mayor will say, but no, there were less chairs and less room for people to attend the meeting….I don’t care what the mayor says, I know what I saw……I was there.


the first thing i announced loudly to the council prior to the start of the meeting was “where are all the chairs’, despite the presence of the imported big guns…you should have seen the look on Barneich and Guthrie’s faces.


No bayonets….but there was clearly tension between two very different groups of people….


there clearly are different points of view, what is point of your comment?


Two sides, one supports the PD, the other were Tony’s cronies, with Kristin’s daddy leading the parade. Too bad not one of them spoke to the issues, what a joke!


I could ask the same of you for just about everything you write…….


You have your 15 minutes… don’t waste it on a non-answer.


I have a lot longer than 15 minutes and as I said on the other post—your digs are meant to be a distraction for your lack of knowledge and lack of thought—go get an education and maybe you can keep up with the big kids…..



Control your temper and be patient with those who are being “devil’s advocates” here. Otherwise you come across as someone with the same attitudes towards opponents as Crony Tony. I know you are better than that but someone reading about this for the first time may not.

If you think that AAADADDYO or cowtipper are just trolling for a reaction or if you think they are acting for Tony or one of his cronies, state why you think so and let it go at that — or just ignore them from the start.

If you think they are sincere but misguided, restrain your impatience and think through your answer. We need to show some reasonable reactions for those who are new to the debate and haven’t had the opportunity to read the long and sometimes twisted tale of why Tony needs to be replaced.


thank you


Oh there’s a lot of trolling alright, quite obvious from last night’s meeting that the AG council is lurking, without a doubt.

Add dolphingirl to the list of suspicious characters, wants to keep Tony until Barbara Harmon can make a run for Mayor?

Maybe Tony is sending the tree trimmers to her house too, gotta be some good reason for keeping someone who blasts his constituents and then tells the rest of the council not to respond to them…such a charmer.


That you either believe the police or you don’t

Which one is it for you?


Thumbs up for PD


Adams has degraded the police at every opportunity.

They are his employees.

This is what he should be reprimanded for… His lack of ability to LEAD

Because ADAMS cannot lead, FERRARA has taken over the job!


I wonder if they brought their bayonets?


Hi Harry

Glad to see you comment.

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