Mayor Tony Ferrara resigns before term ends
November 26, 2014
By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN
In an unusual move, Arroyo Grande Mayor Tony Ferrara announced at Tuesday’s council meeting he intends to resign Friday at 5 p.m., three days before his term ends.
The early resignation means that Mayor Pro Tem Jim Guthrie will serve through the weekend and pass the gavel to mayor-elect Jim Hill at a ceremony Monday. After 16 years on the council, Ferrara lost his seat to Hill, a write-in candidate.
City residents allege Ferrara is responsible for a decade of abuse of power and the more recent cover-up of an alleged sex scandal involving former City Manager Steve Adams and a subordinate.
In the aftermath of the July 3 City Hall incident, Ferrara and Councilman Joe Costello lost their jobs, and Adams has been placed on paid administrative until the council selects a new city manager.
Until then, Debbie Malicoat, the city’s administrative services director, will serve as interim city manager.
Twelve members of Adams’ family were in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting. Steve Adams’ wife Rose spoke during public comment, relating how much the city and city staff meant to her family.
“He considers them his family too,” she said. “We are going to miss our friends and coworkers. We are going to miss our home.”
In addition, several speakers questioned why city staff had not put two engineering consulting contracts out to engineering firms for requests for qualifications before contracts with the Wallace Group and Water Systems Consulting were to expire. In response, city staff said a recently-hired city engineer planned to begin the process shortly.
The council then agreed to a compromise — shortening the proposed extension from six months to three months to allow time to properly finish the engineering consultant process.
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