Arroyo Grande residents vote for change

November 5, 2014
Jim Hill

Jim Hill


Amid a scandal and allegations of abuse of power, the Arroyo Grande mayor and two incumbents failed to get 50 percent of the vote.

With 5,041 votes counted, Mayor Tony Ferrara has 2,353 and write-in candidate Jim Hill has 1,967 votes leaving 721 either blank or with the write in candidate’s name without the box checked. In cases where Hill’s name is written in, but the box is not checked, a review of the ballots will result in votes for Hill.

Hill’s campaign was launched several weeks after ballots were mailed out. As a result, Ferrara prevailed in the early mail in ballots, but lost at the polls.

With provisional and late mail in ballots still to be counted, even though Ferrara is in the lead by 9 percent, the race is still undetermined.

With two seats open, Arroyo Grande Council candidate Barbara Harmon received 37.4 percent of the vote garnering one of two seats while incumbent Tim Brown came in second with 32.3 percent of the vote and Joe Costello was third receiving 29.3 percent of the vote.

“After talking to over 1,500 people in Arroyo Grande, people want a change,” Harmon said. “We need to have an environment where you can speak about what you believe to be the right thing to do even if they don’t all agree with you.”



  1. agag1 says:

    With an ineffective City Manager
    acting at the behest of an ineffective Mayor,
    advised by Mr Carmel,

    WHO is really running our city?

    (15) 17 Total Votes - 16 up - 1 down
    • willnose says:

      They are…..were, won’t be much longer!

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. Julie says:

    Tony made a remarkable recovery and attended the Sanitation District meeting, representing Arroyo Grande, at 6PM on Wednesday night.

    (14) 22 Total Votes - 18 up - 4 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      As the Church Lady would say…..

      “How convenieeeeeeeeent!”

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
    • MajorityFan says:

      Thankfully he did not find your donut shop.

      (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
      • agag1 says:

        Is that the donut shop which proudly displayed the Write-In Jim Hill for AG Mayor sign?

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. surferdude says:

    KSBY at 11pm November 5th
    After our story aired Wednesday night, Ferrara sent us the following statement:

    “The results of the election have clearly indicated a need for the City and the Community to find ways to better communicate. It has also exposed the disconnects that can often occur when people believe everything they read on an internet site or hear on talk radio. It is troubling when no attempt is made by reasonable people to verify false assertions made through these media. Hopefully, we at the City can open the door wider at City Hall for the community to feel comfortable and welcomed to do so in the future. We will also be welcoming a new Council member and this will provide an opportunity for all of us to share new ideas about the future of the City and also exploring more opportunities for comprehensive communication and outreach for the community.”

    Still blaming others…

    (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
    • citygirl says:

      Did anyone really expect the ego maniac Tony Ferrero to do anything other than to pass blame and bash others?

      (20) 26 Total Votes - 23 up - 3 down
    • VAndrews says:

      He can open the door as wide as he wants, the trouble is their “HEARING” what is being said to them, and not dismissing those views because they aren’t in accord with “Your” agenda Mr. Mayor !

      (14) 20 Total Votes - 17 up - 3 down
      • doglover says:

        I’m sure the mayor and city manager are scrambling to procure special meeting dates up to the time Harmon takes her oath.
        Gotta take advantage of old joe’s loyalty as long as the mayor can abuse it.

        (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
      • agag1 says:

        While those doors are wide open, why not open them a bit wider and move out that sofa in Steve’s office?

        Perhaps some action would go a long way towards improving those disconnects, or is the fact that a sofa exists one of those false assertions?

        (12) 16 Total Votes - 14 up - 2 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          They’ll have to dispose that sofa as hazardous biological waste.

          (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        There is not much use in opening the door, say to a city council meeting, if Ferrara packs the meeting with his toadies, leaving few seats for the rest of us.

        (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
    • AAADADDYO says:

      so the Mayor insults the voters of arroyo grande by saiyng they are lead like sheep by
      everything they read and are not capable of making up thier own mind?
      This is better communication?
      insults and finger pointing are not going to help city heal.

      (18) 26 Total Votes - 22 up - 4 down
      • agag1 says:

        Right DaddyO, more of the same from Ferrara. He just doesn’t get it.
        I’m sure CCN and Dave will be happy to hear the Mayor believes more than half of AG residents are their sheep.

        (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
      • dogeatdog says:

        AAADADDYO so now you are switching sides and bashing Tony?

        Make a stand one way or the other, my neck is getting sore from all this back and forth crap you do. I know you are a politician now.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
        • agag1 says:

          Easy dog, maybe he’s just become educated, and… evolved.

          (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
        • AAADADDYO says:

          not basing anybody just stating fact someone who wants better communication does not go around insulting and pointing fingers that is true for people on both sides of the issues we can all do better

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

        Ferrara simlly cannot acknowledge the glaring fact: we, the residents of Arroyo Grande, just aren’t into him anymore.

        We are ready to end the relationship and move on, but– like a piece of used bubblegum on the bottom of your shoe–he will not SIMPLY GO THE *UCK AWAY!

        What is it going to take to get rid of him? A resraining order? Will we have to move city hall when he isn’t looking?

        I am open to suggestions here…

        What do you think it will take Ferrara to go away?

        (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
        • agag1 says:

          How about we buy ANOTHER city hall at a fair and reasonable price,
          and sell the overpriced one back to Nick just like the surf shop guy did?

          And to answer your last question, it will take ONE more vote than Tony gets to make him go away, unless…
          the independent investigation truly is independent and the part we get to actually see isn’t a watered down version of the first one.

          (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
    • agag1 says:

      Looks like KSBY may have just escaped becoming part of the fringe media Ferrara often refers to and refuses to

      (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
      • agag1 says:

        Refuses to acknowledge in any way but backhanded.
        Surprised he realized so quickly how badly the KSBY story reflected on him.

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

      Hey Mr. Mayor
      What are the “false assertions”.?

      That you hold special meetings at times when the public cannot participate?
      That you limit comment by reducing chairs and running meetings differently each go around?
      That you never shared with the media about the city manager’s “poor judgement?”
      That you called the police regularly to complain about campaign signs?
      That you continue to blame others instead of telling the truth and apologizing?

      This all could have been over on July 8th if Mr. Adams was not rude to the officers and if the Council did not try to hide the events until after the election filing period.

      So you Mr. Mayor STOLE this election and stealing is a CRIME.

      (16) 18 Total Votes - 17 up - 1 down
      • agag1 says:

        If in fact this ends up going Ferrara’s way, Mr Ferrara can NOT possibly be proud of himself or his ability to hang onto a thin lead from ballots returned early on.
        Those who went to the polls had a much different opinion, they’d witnessed the daily increase of those glorious neon yellow signs (gives new meaning to Arroyo Grande in Bloom) and voted for change.
        What is Tony going to say, “thanks to the less than 50% of you who rushed to vote, thank goodness you didn’t listen to the fringe group of nearly 60% of those who voted on Nov 4th?”

        Here’s a perfect example of why NOT to vote early.
        Makes you wonder how many wish they could have a do-over…

        (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
    • surferdude says:

      From KSBY
      Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara finally responds to victory in November election
      It was a close call for the Mayor of Arroyo Grande on Election Day.

      Incumbent Tony Ferrara faced a write-in candidate, Jim Hill. Although Ferrara won the race, write-in votes as of Wednesday afternoon made up about 46% of the ballots cast.
      Even though Ferrara won re-election, the community has yet to hear from him. On election night, KSBY reached out several times to Ferrara and his assistant through unanswered phone calls and emails.

      On Wednesday, KSBY tried again. This time, an email was sent back from Ferrara saying, “I’m a bit under the weather and have been for the past several days. Not available for interviews or comment at this time.”

      So, KSBY went to the experts to find out if this type of reaction to a victory is normal.
      “It is absolutely bizarre not to show up and if you are not going to have a victory party, you should at least thank your voters,” says Cal Poly Associate Professor Michael Latner.

      Looking at the numbers from Tuesday night, with a high number of write-in votes, Latner thinks that might just be the cause for Ferrara to want to stay out of the public eye.
      “Knowing this has been a controversial election, there may be some motivation to let things calm down and get things back to normal as soon as possible,” says Latner.
      But whatever the reason may be for Ferrara’s absence after a tough victory, some residents say they would like to hear from their mayor.

      “It is always important to reach out to your voters, and to reach out to the community if you are re-elected,” says Frank Bruner, who grew up in Arroyo Grande.
      “I mean the people elected him and re-elected him and he should thank the people first of all. People want to hear from him,” says Janeen Wallace, a resident of Arroyo Grande.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
      • dogeatdog says:

        Tony could have done a lot of things to make this better, claiming he does not feel well is Bullcrap. How hard is it to just say to the news, I want to thank those of you who voted for me, however right now I am under the weather so I will speak more in a couple of days. But no he could not even do that, he is a bully.

        When people strike back against a bully they don’t know what to do, so they retreat and regroup. That is all Tony is doing, he was able to go to a meeting last night and get his $100, so why did he not contact the news then?

        Tony you are a coward a 6’4″ coward, and most bullies are cowards. You have the mentality I will get them before they get me.

        Now when I go to the store instead of asking for signs, they want to know if we plan a recall.

        all the b.s. you spread through the years has made for fertile soil,and the homegrown folks around here want you gone. not out of office GONE.

        (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
        • agag1 says:

          SadInsider advised not falling for the Tony is gonna change his spots routine.
          Seems as though he/she knows a lot more than they’re able to tell–for now.

          (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  4. SamLouis says:

    I smell a recall coming if Ferrara does indeed “win” the election. Ferrara is a terribly polarizing and untrustworthy figure. No way will he be able to effectively govern after the hideous way he has acted. He lacks the character to resign so he’s going to have to be removed. I suspect the process will begin in 3-4 months. I’ll say goodbye now, Tony because it’s going to be one helluva rough process on you.

    (25) 35 Total Votes - 30 up - 5 down
    • agag1 says:

      Even if Ferrara does win the election, he’ll have lost much more than a victory will provide him.
      He’s lost the respect of half the voters who clearly want change.
      He’s lost his grip on ‘ole Joe.
      He’s lost his Caren connection to the BOS.
      Yet, TBD is whether or not the League of CA Cities finally demands his resignation, since he told them this was no big deal, just a few unhappy residents.

      (30) 36 Total Votes - 33 up - 3 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      There better be a recall!

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

    I think we all need to realize that AG made history last night. I am so glad the Charter was soundly defeated. I wonder if the council realizes what happened last night? They have been slow on the uptake so far, so I am not so sure of their level of awareness even with the events from last night.

    Quick question: are VBMs the provisional votes? And how do we make sure that the other ballots are not scanned, but hand counted????

    (26) 38 Total Votes - 32 up - 6 down
    • Mike Byrd says:

      VBMs are vote by mail.

      (20) 26 Total Votes - 23 up - 3 down
    • agag1 says:

      If I understand correctly, provisional ballots are those with some sort of issue, a signature discrepancy, incorrect address, possible double vote, etc. They may be deemed valid, or not.

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

        No. Provisional ballots are used when someone votes at a different polling place then where they are assigned or if their address or name has changed. They are allowed to vote “provisionally” and their voter registration is manually checked later to ensure no one voted twice and/or ensure they are the correct registered voter they claim to be.

        Ballots having issues are “challenged” ballots–not the same as provisional. Signature discrepancies and addresses on VBM (vote-by-mail) ballots are most common. These are further examined and determined to be “valid” or “rejected”.

        Another category is “non-processed” ballots. These are ballots that didn’t scan correctly in the machine (folded, spindled, mulitilated, poorly marked, etc.) Non-processed ballots are duplicated by an election worker onto a new ballot, then scanned.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  6. agag1 says:

    Would be interesting to hear how Tony, as President, spins his election results to the League of CA Cities.
    A Write-In candidate, with a grassroots campaign and neon yellow homemade signs (gasp!) trails by a narrow margin.
    His Charter City Initiative fails miserably.
    He and his council are now 0-4 on ballot measures…ouch!
    His claim that only a few citizens are leading the charge for change is grossly understated and obviously incorrect.
    The investigation continues.
    His police still have a vote of no confidence against him.
    AND he’s facing a potential recall.

    Is it any wonder he stayed home last night?

    (51) 61 Total Votes - 56 up - 5 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      That about says it all.

      Great post.

      (20) 32 Total Votes - 26 up - 6 down
    • surferdude says:

      Poor Ferrara home in a dark night alone with his convertible wishing he, the Republican could be haning’ at the Creek with the “liberals” on the Council.

      So his fringe group had NO celebration planned? They are all gonna stick together.
      Sounds like the same when they are on the dais.

      How much did Tony’s debacle and failure to ACT affect Ray’s campaign?
      Who needs a friend like that?

      (21) 29 Total Votes - 25 up - 4 down
    • doglover says:

      That Council should be pissed off that Tony Ferrara continues to muck up and embarrass them.
      Have they given over their vote to Tony?

      (18) 26 Total Votes - 22 up - 4 down
      • agag1 says:

        KSBY is onto our Arroyo Grande City official’s antics! The gig is up!
        First Steve Adams, and his “It was just a tea party, no, no, definitely not an affair” infomercial,
        and tonight the “Why won’t Mayor Ferrara respond to us, but gives a quote to the Lompoc Record?”
        Tony is going to have to expand his list of fringe media sources if KSBY isn’t careful, they may soon make the dreaded list.
        Yes, the muck up continues and the embarrassment escalates.
        What a mess…and it could have been so simple.

        (20) 24 Total Votes - 22 up - 2 down
        • doglover says:

          KSBY bashed him!
          They were probably pissed he wasted their time on Election night.

          Those young reporters are laughing at the tea party story.
          I have not yet seen S-T-U-P-I-D on our foreheads yet!

          (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down

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