Mayor Tony Ferrara resigns before term ends

November 26, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrara

Tony Ferrara


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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Of course Big T resigned. See any similarity to his partner Wallace’s resignation? In a matter of days in either case, and the boys would have had another “fired” or “loser” on their Resume. Nope, no can do, nah, dem boys don’t like lickin egg off each other faces, run and hide before your azz is handed to you by those your screwed for years. The pain must be more than they can handle. Just for shats and giggles, do a comparo of the two pics CCN uses for ferrara stories. The nice family portrait on this story is happy Tony, smiles and joyful presentation, daddy got a new lolly pop. Check out the one directly below this story. The dark Tony, dark sullen eyes and he moves in on the mic to tell somebody how dare they interrupt his words of wisdom. The body language suggests uncontrollable anger within, the clenched hands and white knuckles verify the anger within. Poor Tony, Big Jimbo stole your lollypop from right under your elitist azz didnt he. But,but,but how could he? Like they say Big T, paybacks are a beotch.


Like most commentators here, I am glad to see Jim Hill replacing Tony Ferrera and, to a lesser extent, the resignation of Mr. Adams as well. However, I think that it is time to get over the gloating and the mockery of people who will no longer be in a position to create more problems.

To continue to attack at this point comes across as sort of an immature, childish attitude and that is not something that will enable us to work with those who do not share our views and distrust our judgment. They may not represent the majority of the AG voters anymore but they still represent a sizable minority and may well be in a majority position on the City Council. It is time to move on and try to find common ground where possible and allow them to feel somewhat comfortable in coming to terms with our views. We can watch out for subversive actions without assuming that anyone differing from us will be attempting such.


QUOTING OTOH: “To continue to attack at this point comes across as sort of an immature, childish attitude and that is not something that will enable us to work with those who do not share our views and distrust our judgment.”


As the old saying goes, “The fish rots from the head first,” and we sure saw that with Ferrara.

However, the saying doesn’t include the reality that, even if the rotting starts at the head of the fish, the entire fish soon becomes rotten, as well.

We cannot have the kind of accountability we worked for without scrubbing away the infection in the city council and city counsel and exposing their putrid dealings to the healing power of sunlight.

If we don’t, we are giving them a blank check to continue doing what they’ve been doing all along…screwing us over.


Ten thumbs up Mary.

Until we get to the bottom of this mess

we are at risk of reinfection.


I have a philosophy that goes something like “Be very careful about attributing to malevolence that which can be explained by stupidity, gullibility, laziness or other less negative characteristics.” This is not to say that there aren’t people who do things purely for selfish, mean or hateful reasons. It is just that I find that is not the most common explanation of why bad things happen.

As it applies to the AG City Council, I think that what has happened is that Mr. Ferrara created an illusion of competence which lulled some of them into trusting his judgment when it wasn’t warranted. (It is possible that the same thing happened to him with regard to John Wallace.) In fact, even some of the most vocal opponents of this group have admitted that the Council and Mayor have done some good things in the past.

My point remains, reform will require a successful recall if bombardment of the current members of City Council with insults and blanket opposition results in a city government that is as dis-functional as our federal government. You don’t have to totally trust the remnants of the old city council and you don’t have to agree with them on every issue. But showing a bit of civility and some respect for the positive things they have done may well create an opportunity to reach acceptable compromises without engaging in constant public battles.

Some of you may love the “fight” on issues but it wears out quickly for much of the rest of the citizenry who have other unrelated issues to deal with in their lives. There is only so much time and energy available to any given person. To expect that they will continue to give if they perceive that your goals are more about dominance and


. . . less about reasonable compromises will cost you the support that you had. Is it really that hard to restrain yourselves from continuing to beat on opponents that we have already beaten enough to gain their respectful attention? Now is a good time to see if calm reason can work. We can always return to fighting if it does not but continuous unrelenting fighting is going to cost you allies and support that we need to actually get some good things done.


QUOTING OTOH: “We can always return to fighting if it does not but continuous unrelenting fighting is going to cost you allies and support that we need to actually get some good things done.”


You don’t compromise over actions that harmed our community, otherwise we are throwing away much of the work we have done to START bringing change to AG by electing our new mayor, Jim Hill.

And, no, we cannot go back to demanding accountability for past and present harm because we will have lost the momentum we have now from the election.

I don’t agree with your term “fighting” for the process we are going through now.

It is accountability with subsequent appropriate actions.

I learned from a very early age that bullies view those who actually believe in the kumbaya myth as being weak and someone they can take advantage of.

It is clear the Ferrara is still engaged in AG politics, and will continue to attempt to manipulate his toadies on the city council into doing his bidding. Part of that “bidding” will be to try to make Jim Hill’s term in office a living nightmare for Jim and all of us.

And you want to just lay down and let them do it again?


Thankyou On the other hand, I have been trying to say the same thing to them with little response. I was one of the people involved in the write in campaign, and as I stated to them.

I wanted a new mayor and I got one, if we want to see Jim fail just keep trying to get this person and that person removed from office. Jim will them spend his whole time just trying to replace instead of trying to get to know the staff members.

Tony is gone, Steve will be soon enough, move on all ready. Don’t prove Tony right by being a vindictive group of people.

I want to see my town come together and work together, what Tony and Steve did is over and done, stop digging up bones.


Gosh I almost forgot ….. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are all supposed to think about and express what we are thankful for … As for me I am thankful for the “Fringe Media”

Thank you CCN … you rock !!!!



From all of us, we bid you a fond farewell………


!!! I totally love it!


How utterly delightful! A politician gleefully burning their bridge behind them…. So long, sukka,watch out for that door behind ya!



Steve and Teresa dressed up and wanted to give you this very special send-off….


Dang! Thwarted by the server!


Adams is married, too? Talk about “stand by your man”, or “stand by his civil service pension”?


So when is Carmel going to resign. Did you see AG paid him 32k for the month. Unbelievable.


Apparently a sh*t ton of public records requests,

and helping out with that “independent investigation” kept Mr Carmel VERY, VERY busy.

If Sintra needed that much help maybe they weren’t worth their fees.


My take on that comment was Carmel was trying to shift blame to the AG residents for the investigation, including the costs of the investigation.

I certainly hope NEXT month’s bill will be itemized.


No doubt Mayor Hill will be expecting that very same thing.


So what else is new? An AG city mucky, muck trying to pass the buck.

Steve blamed the POA,

Tony blamed the POA, Steve’s bad judgment, a vicious write-in campaign, CCN, other fringe media, uninformed voters and just about anyone or anything else he could.

Tim Carmel is blaming the citizens for wanting transparency.

Teresa’s attorney is sure as shootin’ about to blame somebody.

So when does Steve step up, get honest with his wife and family, and apologize to Mr McClish and the POA?

When does Tony start blaming himself instead of others?

When does Carmel get honest and admit his involvement in the cover-up, bad advice, and involvement in the “independent investigation”?

When does Teresa get honest with her husband and family and admit she is just as guilty as Steve?

Honesty is a big part of healing, let the healing begin.


Sorry agag1, but all of that will be a COLD DAY IN HELL !

Still going to have to get through some more weeds and garbage to finish the clean up…healing ? I didn’t get hurt, all I wanted from the start was the right thing to happen to the right people. I wanted them to see what is GOOD FOR THE GOOSE is GOOD FOR THE GANDER. I wanted my children and grandchildren to see what great things can come from Honesty and Integrity, and that it was possible to effect change.

Everyone wants to thank Tony Ferrara and Steve Adams for their service all these years, and the good they did for the City of Arroyo Grande. I DO NOT THANK THEM. They helped themselves, fed their own Egos, mislead the citizens they were suppose to represent and put us all in the situation we found ourselves in recently. To thank them for anything, in my opinion, is like thanking a Rapist for a good roll in the hay….


You tell ’em, VAndrews!


I am guessing, where ever Adams worked before, he had to leave that position under the same circumstances.

A skunk doesn’t change its stripes over night.


“Guessing” is right. Your vitriol is beginning to get ugly. Please don’t cast a putrid pall over the remarkable process that culminated with the citizens of Arroyo Grande, CA electing Mr. Jim Hill as their new mayor.

There’s still work to be done, but it’s time to take the high road.


Not vitriol…just stating my opinion of the probabilities.

Do your REALLY think McNish is the first employee he’s banged while holding a superior position at work?

Didn’t it sound like Adams wife was just a tad too familiar with making excuses for her husband’s screwing around behind her back?

I am all with taking the high road…as long as I don’t have to be a doormat to do it.

We need accountability. We won’t get accountability by playing mealy-mouthed toadies to Adams, the remaining fools on the city council, Ferrara and the city’s legal counsel.


If you are waiting for apologies you are not going to get them.

As far as Steve and his wife, that really is between them. And the same goes with Teresa, it really is none of our business. As was stated from the get go, it was not about an affair, so why worry about what they tell their families? Come on think about it, they do deserve to keep that private.

If honestly is the big part of healing, we will never heal. I think being transparent is more about healing. And that is not going to happen with the past players, we must hope and trust that Jim will demand transparency.

With transparency comes truth,flaws, mistakes and hopefully improvement.

If one does not know they are doing wrong, they can not correct. So making a mistake is not a bad thing per se, but make it over and over again when you know it is wrong, then it becomes a bad thing.

We have brought to light the wrong doing, know we need to make sure they correct it. We can not change the past, we can learn from it however, and that is what “I” hope to do, I hope others will too.


Oh, I’m not holding my breath for an apology,

I think the police are due one from Ferrara and Adams especially,

but they will never get it.

What I’m awaiting for is the truth.

Steve can leave, Tony can leave, so what?

If we don’t figure out what happened, and more importantly how it was allowed to happen, we will never prevent it from happening again.

I for one, do not want a repeat, I just want the truth.

For me, honesty and transparency go hand in hand.


Were you thinking Sintra was worth their $17K fee?

C’mon, Hookstra himself admitted he DID NOT provide the city council anything more than what the public saw ( 7 pages of nothing other than to declare 1. Lots of people at City Hall think something is going on and 2. The Police union had nothing to do with this.)



What happened to the “independent investigation”?

Why was Carmel so intimately involved?


My guess is there actually wasn’t one.

My hunch is Ferrara and Carmel did exactly what they’ve done on other occasions, THEY controlled the investigation behind the scenes, just as they dealt with prior complaints regarding Adams & McClish.

It becomes more and more clear that Carmel isn’t just an advisor to the council, he and Ferrara have been co-conspirators, acting as they see fit.


QUOTING SURFERDUDE: “Why was Carmel so intimately involved?”


Because no one, up to Jim Hill’s election, has held anybody involved in city management accountable for their misdeeds and cronyism.