Hill overtaking Ferrara in A.G. mayor race

November 6, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrera

Mayor Tony Ferrara


A spectacular political upset may be brewing in the colorful race for the mayor’s seat in the village of Arroyo Grande, with write-in candidate Jim Hill gaining substantial ground Thursday on longtime incumbent Tony Ferrara as county election officials continued counting additional ballots.

Ferrara’s initial 9-point lead, fueled by early mail-in tallies, plummeted overnight to 3.5 percentage points, with 800 more ballots to be counted, probably by the end of Friday’s work day. Hill collected more than twice as many new votes as Ferrara today.

Another 1,216 votes are slated to be counted, most by Friday at 5 p.m.

If needed, 717 additional ballots — either left blank by the voter, or with the write-in candidate’s name written, but without the oval blackened — would finally be counted.

Ferrara’s advantage has been eroding ever since the opening of polls Tuesday morning. At today’s end of counting, he claimed 2,545 votes, or 51.79 percent, and Hill’s total had climbed to 2,369 or 48.21 percent. The candidates now are separated by only 176 votes.

After avoiding the media for days following the election, Ferrara finally contacted KSBY with the following statement, in which he blamed reporters, radio personalities, city residents and police, and a lack of communication for what he called “the results of the election.”

“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.” (Tony Ferrara)

Hill’s brief but fast-moving campaign evolved from community dissatisfaction with the handling of a July 3 City Hall incident in which City Manager Steve Adams and a subordinate employee, Teresa McClish, the city’s community development director, were found near midnight in Adams’ darkened office by police responding to an emergency call.

Citizens accused Ferrara and the rest of the council with fashioning a cover-up of the incident — and then suggesting that responding police officers were lying about the circumstances to further ongoing contract negotiations.

Ferrara is the newly elected president of the powerful League of California Cities, a post he’d have to vacate if he loses to Hill.

Also, next Tuesday’s regularly scheduled city council meeting has been cancelled.



  1. Rich in MB says:

    Can someone please direct me to Former Mayor Tony’s grave so I can go stomp on it..there…I said it.

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

    Let’s get rid of Tony’s inept incompetent appointed yes vote:


    (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
    • VAndrews says:

      I am so tired of people being called a bully if they have a differing opinion. I have threatened no one to my knowledge. If you put yourself out there and made a statement, be prepared to defend it…Just because we don’t agree, doesn’t make me or you a bully. If you want to be treated like a grown up, act like one. If the truth is too hard to hear that would be your problem. I don’t want a wimpy puppet for a political representative Kristen Barneich.

      I have always believed that you Say What You Mean, and You Mean What You Say ! At least that’s my code. I use my name, and I am not afraid to express my opinion. I don’t like to intentionally hurt anyone, and only take the time to point out errors if the error matters or concerns me or mine. If you choose to put yourself into the political arena, you have made yourself my business, and anyone else you seek to support your political aspirations and endeavors.

      I deny the right of no one to express their opinion as well, in fact I invite it. But if you are going to state an opinion Kristen Barneich, have the courage to leave the opinion in writing, instead of removing it from that VAPID INANE Facebook page of A Ochs after being confronted over it here on the CCN blog.

      How is it Ms. Barneich you were so quick to state in that FB entry you were “glad those police union members who didn’t agree with the POA playing politics with CCN to get their point across” in your 11/3/14 entry on the CalCoastFraud (Truly a fraudulent sight ). Was it ok to state beause you thought the “right people” were looking? Why did you remove that biased comment before the results of this expensive investigation have even been revealed ? Or, could it be you read the CCNews and realized you made a big mistake making such a biased statement, AND basing it on anonymous sources.

      Kristin Barneich has continued to back Adams, Ferrara, Cal Coast Fraud, and her loving father with his silly little webpage/Steve Adams playbook of bad defenses. The gig is UP ! Please resign. PLEASE

      (21) 25 Total Votes - 23 up - 2 down
      • toryrand says:

        Aaron Ochs has officially come to Kristen’s defense. Kristen is imploding.

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

        Ochs uses about all the illogical fallacies in the book; if my memory serves me well, “blaming the messenger” was one of his favorites.

        For instance, say you criticize the actions of one of his favorite politicians, Ochs accuses you of bullying him…..sound familiar?

        It really is true: once you’ve seen him inposting action three or four times, you know the drill. After that, you are wasting your time.

        And that is what folks like Ochs are: timewasters. While doing the posting dance with Ochs or his like, you are wasting precious time doing something more productive and more enjoyable.

        So don’t take him seriously…he is basically a cartoon with a keyboard.

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

          Ochsy-moron; dictionary definition * Commonly known in the greater San Luis Obispo area as Aaron the internet troll. Master of nothing, delusions of grandeur. Goal in life. Irritant for sport without merit or knowledge of fact. Role Models, Kim Kardashian, Caligula, Jim Jones.

          (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  3. ratherbefishing says:

    “After avoiding the media for days following the election, Ferrara finally contacted KSBY with the following statement, in which he blamed reporters, radio personalities, city residents and police, and a lack of communication for what he called “the results of the election.”

    Comedy gold! He blames everyone including CITIZENS. Lay off the sauce Tony

    (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down
    • LeAnn says:

      Mr. Ferrara will never come to terms with the role he played in the debacle here in AG–just like he hasn’t taken responsibility for anything that hasn’t gone well in the AG. He also cannot see that he has lost site of the reason he is office in the first place—people put him there—now people are making a new choice and he truly doesn’t understand why. He is unaware of the tide that has has engulfed him, the city council, and the city management.

      For those on this post that are asking for us to “not stomp on the grave”—let us remind you of the significant uphill battle this election was, that any write-in election is—and that this a huge victory. We will celebrate when the final results are announced and we have a right to—we have affected positive change for the citizens of AG and have sent a strong message to local leaders who want to do business “as usual”. We will however, celebrate with respect as we not only represent ourselves and the message of the campaign, but for those of us who worked on the committee, we also represent Mr. Hill and we are well aware of that fact.

      Condemn us if you must, but try to understand the gravity and scope of this mayoral race.

      (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        QUOTING LEANN: “For those on this post that are asking for us to ‘not stomp on the grave’….”


        Good heavens! We have to stomp on the grave, otherwise we risk his resurrection.

        (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  4. VAndrews says:

    I have to admit I was a bit curious about that ridiculous “CalCoastFraud” and checked it out on Facebook. Low and behold the first entry on the page was a big long wordy retraction of accusations they have made against Velie and Blackburn.

    If that wasn’t enough, further down on the page on 11/3/14, is another wordy and very boring entry by CCF beginning “Critics have pointed out that we use anonymous sources for some of our work. Some have asked, “What makes you different than CalCoastNews?”

    While we don’t prefer using anonymous sources, we recognize the need to protect anonymity. When granting anonymity, we ask our sources to state their motives and provide documentation to support their claims……” It goes on and on ….
    What irritated me most ? The following facebook comment from one of Arroyo Grande’s City Council members:

    Kristen Fellows Barneich : ” I’m glad to hear there are members of the POA that disagree with how the union was playing politics w/CCN to get their points across. I look forward to sitting down with these members and more, after the election and investigation, and seeing how we can work to get back on track and heal this deep wound that has divided the City”

    It is obvious what Ms. Barneich thinks and what she thinks concerns me. This is just one of MANY facebook comments Barneich makes on the ridiculous facebook page that I hate even drawing attention to. My Point ? This councilwoman needs to go ASAP with an attitude and belief like this prior to the expensive investigation being completed. I certainly hope the Investigator takes note of these inane comments from these elected officials which incites further discord, and NOT healing.

    I say RECALL actions are in order …I want a Clean Fair INTELLIGENT City Council Member, not a puppet of Tony Ferrara’s.

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
    • kettle says:

      What irritated me most ? on aaron’s facebook, the managing editor at the New Times Ashley Schwellenbach had this to say about Karen Velie:

      “That’s true, but it’s sort of like the drunk, belligerent animal at the watering hole at this point; someone’s gotta take her down for her own good, and for everyone else’s.”

      Sadly this Ashley, managing editor did not realise that the image that was posted (that drew her ire) was a photoshop.

      (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
    • agag1 says:

      Our City official, Kristin Barneich has officially become unhinged.
      If any of the rumors regarding Mrs.Barneich and her harassment of the police over campaign sign are true, we have a bigger problem on our hands than we thought.
      It becomes more and more apparent that THE reason she was appointed to the council was to be Tony’s bobble-head, I’ll second that motion, token blonde babe.
      Even her Daddy Chuck can’t protect her from those deer in the headlights stares, or her incessant rambling.
      When is SHE up for election?

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

        We have proven we can affect change—so let’s keep on keepin’ on! I am sure that we can not only produce a viable candidate to run against her, but that we can run an equally effective campaign….so, who should the candidate be??????

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

        After reading some of her FB comments on that FB page created by Aaron Ochs, It is very apparent that this appointed “council member” is also delusional in thought (I know, I am giving her credit for even thinking). In fact, if Kristen Barneich can even give that FB page or his website any credibility, (which she does) it provides proof that she is not only divisive, but a very unintelligent puppet of Tony Ferrara’s. Here’s hoping Ferrara will indeed lose the Mayoral race, and Barneich will RESIGN ! Either way, I want her off our City Council yesterday !

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

        Well, I think it is a given that the sign nonsense was done by Ferrara’s instruction.

        By the way, there are still Caren Ray signs in our area.

        (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
        • agag1 says:

          I had to laugh, once again the Trib does not disappoint!
          Joe Costello gets their Morning-after award for picking up signs on Wed

          No mention of the fact that the majority of the Hill signs were removed Tuesday night. And the Hill signs outnumbered the Costello signs 10/1.

          But good for you Joe!

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

            good point. I am thinking more like 30 to 1, though.

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

        Ms. Barneich tends to be not very smart , or have any class, and in general has a bit of a Rude tone, come to think of it she is very much like Caren Ray, I do think in some time , Ms. Barneich will be as Ray voted out of office..

        It is a shame of the direction the council went, the clones have spoken.. I wish Robbin Williams were here..

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

          They both have the same nasty disposition when you go against them.

          (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
      • MaryMalone says:

        She is just doing Ferrara’s bidding, like she always does.

        She is like HowdyDoody with lipstick, and Ferrara is her puppetmaster.

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

      Here’s a thought do any of you recall any of the Past Mayor’s I will be honest , Most in my eye’s even after Leaving office , they never acted like Mr Ferrara , and I do not remember City council member having such a IN Your Face Attitude.

      It seems to me , the concept that they work for the people ?

      Do You remember why Pete Dougle (sorry Spelling Pete is a Good man by the way)was voted out? walmart, in this day & time that seems to be a small sin, compared to this “Gang of Thugs”.. they seems to be more interest in kicking in doors,and punching people in the mouth, If you side , on the side of right it is not necessary to justify your position. I feel the over tone of all this was The City Staff,Mayor & Council, will do what “WE” dam well please, and no We are not accountable,

      So now The city Of Arroyo Grande will Have a new start turn the Page, I’ve seen in other Group how people in power for a long time ,turn into Bad Player’s , their mind gets clouded.

      There Are no more Clouds in Arroyo Grande, there are a few things left undone, but rest assured they will be a time ,and a place for other changes. There are many Long time families in Arroyo Grande, the town needs good leaders, Where are they young people today, Some of these long time families ,should be telling them the city needs their Kids to take part, Arroyo Grande is not about Farm Land & little house, its about attitude working together for the common good of the city, We need to be respectful of others, listen to them & decide as a city, The people who should lead the city,should be the good people who remember the past, that can listen and decide the issue for the good of all the city not just a few special interested parties.

      So all this people working in the background ,I would say this is one of the biggest things to happen Arroyo Grande, keep the ball rolling make the hard changes that need to be made.

      By the way, beware of the Power of your next City Manager, let them know we want AG to be a better place & not to read about in the paper’s, and by God Do not get your mind be clouded with power as ,the People will be watching!

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

    The more I reflect on the Mayor of Arroyo Grande Tony Ferrara, his actions, statements, and behavior….I am convinced he really does suffer from a disorder and I think it’s
    Megalomania : a psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, omnipotence, and by inflated self-esteem

    I don’t apologize for this observation, it just allows me to understand how any person could be so ENTITLED and ARROGANT. How he just doesn’t get it…

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
    • Rich in MB says:

      No….he’s just the perfect example of what happens when people hold public office too long…they grow arrogant and lose touch with the voters and why they are there. Happens to most and is why we need term limits.

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

      Entitled , Arrogant , Say VA are you sure those are Strong enough words..
      More Like times 10 !!

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  6. MaryMalone says:


    Are we going to have to wait until Monday?

    [taps foot impatiently]

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  7. Big Tony says:

    Allright, we’re gonna stop this madness right here and now. I’m officially declaring the following:

    All “write-in/fringe/crazy cat lady” ballots are null and void.

    I’m proclaiming a national holiday on July 3. It’ll be called “Steve is a dunce and cost me Lois Capps seat in 2016” holiday.

    I”m also changing the name of Arroyo Grande to “TonyVille”.

    We’re now out of speaker slips and the room has went past capacity so we have to evacuate….ummmm……and……oh yeah……

    You can have my gavel when monkeys fly out of my butt. pfffttttttt

    fringers/nutjobs/and crazy cat ladies polluted the minds of the voters.

    You’ll be sorry when you don’t have Big Tony to kick around anymore.

    (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
    • LeAnn says:

      I object to AG being called Tonyville. Wait, did I need a speaker slip to say that????

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
    • AGDUDE says:

      No I do not think “we ” will be sorry when we do not have Big to kick around any more ,
      Thanks Mayor for those fine thoughts

      Tony Sucks I’m out , Jim Rome..

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  8. Pelican1 says:

    Not to sound overly optimistic, but……

    So long sad times!,
    Go ‘long bad times!,
    We are rid of you at last
    Howdy,JIM times!
    No more TONY times,
    You are now a thing
    Of the past, cause:


    Happy days are here again
    The skies above are clear again
    Let us sing a song of cheer again
    Happy days are here again
    Altogether shout it now!
    There’s no one who can doubt it now
    So let’s tell the world about it now
    Happy days are here again
    Your cares and troubles are gone;
    There’ll be no more from now on
    Happy days are here again
    The skies above are clear again
    Let us sing a song of cheer again
    Happy days are here again

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

      I have lived in the Central Coast area for over 20 years and a resident of AG most of the time.in my opinion the City of AG has been the best run city of all of SLO including Ascadero, Paso Robles and the tri-city areas. It appears there have been several immature comments that may have affected the election and Tony’s ability to continue being Mayor.

      (-3) 9 Total Votes - 3 up - 6 down
      • AGDUDE says:

        I guess WDV 20 years is not enough time to see what is really going on? Just saying Best wishes! Its time for a change! The people have Spoken!

        (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.