Mayor Tony Ferrara resigns before term ends

November 26, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrara

Tony Ferrara

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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142 Comments

  1. AGDUDE says:

    “Decades” of abuse of power that says it all,( S.O.P)…

    All these folks time after time , we are in power the Council , staff,and so on , the feeling was we are going to do what “WE” want .. in the name of what ever they saw fit to do..

    BACK LASH! .. now who has the Gotcha!

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. SLOBIRD says:

    OK, Tony is out and change will start. But everyone should take a deep breathe, allow Mr. Hill to get installed, slowly start the healing process and as items play out we will have another election where councilmembers can be replaced or impeached if the voters deem appropriate. ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY and rushing the process and creating more hatred is not the way to move forward and make change.

    As for Debbie, I applaud the Council for appointing her and taking the first step of getting Adams out of City Hall and off the payroll. Debbie has been a competent employee for both SLO and Arroyo Grande. Folks that work with her have a loot of respect for her.

    Addressing City employees not coming forward and faulting Adams and others, how do any of you know they didn’ come forward? How do you know if anyone lost their job because they came forward? Obviously, someone made an earlier complaint about Adams and McClish and no one (meaning Attorney or Council) did anything about it according to Councilman Brown. Why didn’t the other councilmembers speak up. Why should employees lose their jobs when Council and voters didn’t care for how many years? The voters didn’t have the courage to vote the corruption out but bloggers here think employees should sacrifice their careers and livelihood for what?

    Let’s give Mr. Hill, Debbie and others a little space and time before the sharks start the sacrifice!

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

      correction: Adams is still on the payroll, but hopefully not for long.

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

    Did anyone see the LA times story about the disgraced Tony

    (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.