Arroyo Grande residents vote for change
November 5, 2014
By KAREN VELIE
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.”