The fight to clean up Arroyo Grande
November 21, 2014
OPINION By LEANN AKINS
I attended the special meeting in Arroyo Grande on the evening of Nov. 19 to learn the much awaited and anticipated fate of City Manager Steve Adams. While the council has placed him on paid administrative leave until a new manager is hired, there are so many things left undone with regards to this situation in particular.
The information shared Wednesday night by Councilman Tim Brown regarding Mayor Tony Ferrara’s attempts to keep information from the council about a prior incident involving both Adams and Teresa McClish alone points to the idea that this entire situation has been grossly mishandled by AG’s City Council as well as the City Attorney Tim Carmel.
Mr. Carmel should not be commended for bringing the above information to light at this late date, he participated in the engineered cover-up and has not absolved himself of anything. He has continued to play a role in our city which assists in creating a climate where people cannot talk about what they know to be true, not to mention that he has clearly given our elected leaders, bad advice.
It is time for Mr. Carmel to resign.
The fact that there were glaring omissions from the investigation points to the very apparent fact that this investigation was neither independent, nor was it impartial. An additional conclusion is that the choice of the Sintra Group to undertake this investigation was not fully vetted as originally promised by the council itself at the special city council meeting on Oct. 8.
The report from last night continues to attempt to cover up a known fact of an inappropriate relationship at City Hall. We paid for a report that is keeping the truth from being known—a complete waste of money. I have to be honest; I am not pleased with the outcome of last night’s meeting or the “investigation,” if you can call it that.
The council and Sintra should be ashamed for thinking that the report from last night would suffice and put an end to citizen frustration with the council, their actions, and their decisions. I can assure you, it has not.
While no other investigation will happen with regards to Adams and McClish, please understand that a large number of citizens in Arroyo Grande will not stop holding the current council accountable for their actions. Make no mistake about it, this council still underestimates the citizens of AG, they still think they are untouchable, they still are not listening, and they still refuse to take responsibility for their decisions. The leadership continues to try and dupe the citizens of AG, or they are still hoping we will tire of being vigilant and just go away. I can assure you that will not happen.
As Jim Hill takes the seat as Mayor, healing needs to happen in our town. However, there is much more to clean up and change as well, this disruption is bound to cause more hurt feelings and emotions to arise, but cleaning our own house must continue—even though it might hurt a little bit. In the long run AG will be better off.
I truly hope that new leadership will continue to take up the cause of transparent, honest, and open government for the sake of the citizens and the well-being of AG. We need to remain active, aware, and alert about what our elected (appointed in some cases) leadership is doing. We cannot allow the continued dismissal of the citizens of AG. We deserve better than what we have experienced over the course of this year (and prior years for some), but we need to continue to work for those changes—the fight is far from over.