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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The four most beautiful words in the English language:

“… former Mayor Tony Ferarra…”


It’s Thanksgiving…….less than 24 hours and no more mayor Ferrara, and hopefully soon no more city manager on paid leave.

Mike Byrd

All of Sintra’s notes, transcriptions of interviews etc. should have been included in the final report to the council. It appears that they weren’t. For 17 grand they should have received something substantive. Instead they settled for a baseless set of opinions without a single fact set forth.

My hope is that the new council will immediately request Sintra to produce all materials they accumulated and not pay the bill until Sintra has complied. Further, I hope that these documents will be made public, albeit properly redacted only so far as to comply with personnel requirements.


I think one of our local activists is already on it.


So Tony had to “go out on his own terms”.

Once again, it’s ALL about Tony–no mention of doing the right thing,

being a gentleman, or showing respect for the office he held for so long.

So much for going out with his head held high,

his resignation makes him look like a spoiled rotten child

and an incredibly sore loser

who cant suck it up long enough to participate in a gavel hand-off ceremony.

Obviously he can’t see past his own disappointment to realize

how much folks would have appreciated him rising above this

as a show of support for the new Mayor and council.

His actions are speaking louder than his words.


We’ve only just begun to live

Write-in votes and promises

A thanks from Jim and we’re on our way

We’ve only just begun

Before the risin’ sun, we fly

So many roads to choose

We’ll start out walkin’ and learn to run

And yes, we’ve just begun

Sharing horizons that are new to us

Watching the signs along the way

Talkin’ it over, as Jim leads us

Workin’ together day to day, together

And when the evening comes, we smile

So much of life ahead

We’ll find a place where there’s room to grow

And yes, we’ve just begun


Be sure and check out Arrogant Tony on the front page this Thanksgiving

The narcissistic tool!


Tony, as a parting gift, the community has gotten together and purchased a Life Line Crony Alert Service. Now that you have fallen, should you not be able to get up, just push that button and ALL your friends will come running. Enjoy


OMG, Pelican1… “Life Line Crony Alert service”…that is PRICELESS!


4A. $1254 if I remember correctly.


MaryMalone wrote: “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.”

Mary, that was my impression also – blaming the high invoice on ‘the people’ who are (implied) wasting his legal office’s time – through public records requests and by demanding another investigation.

Tim Carmel is proving himself to be another Tony Ferrara when it comes to opening his mouth. The moment he ‘explains’ something to us peons, he digs himself a larger hole and also opens up another can of worms.

1) That he doesn’t make the council vote during closed session, thus there is no “reportable action” is ludicrous. Those folks have discussions and make decisions based on those discussions. Decisions that are acted upon ARE, by their very existence, “reportable actions out of closed session” and to tell us otherwise is disingenuous.

2) The Sintra Group presented their findings November 19th. A billing cycle usually cuts off at the end of the month. Getting a bill into the payables and onto a consent calendar should take a week or two after it was received. If Carmel’s office was so involved in the Cintra Group investigation (which is that can of worms!), then we still have more taxpayer dollars to shell out for this.

3) That means the (roughly) $17K expense of the Cintra Group investigation has an additional (roughly) $10K to add (and possibly more) when you factor in what Tim’s billing out to be involved in it.

4) While I know that Carmel’s bill is subject to heavy redaction due to mandatory confidentiality issues, it is not unrealistic for the council to request a breakdown of WHAT they have been billed for to-date.

A) How much did he charge for the initial “investigation” of Steve & Teresa’s Independence Eve tea tryst? No confidential info needed – just a total.

B) How much has he charged, to-date, for all the “closed session” meetings regarding Steve’s performance reviews/reprimands/etc? Again, we’re just asking for a total.

C) How much, total, will we be ultimately paying for his law firm to be involved in the Sintra Group investigation?

D) How many billable hours has Tony himself eaten up with direct communication to Tim in the last three months?

We need to continue to ask the hard questions and not let Mr. Carmel or any other accountable person think we have been placated with the removal of Tony and Steve. We’ve only just begun.


Great synopsis, ajdury.


Well said.

Given that Hookstra admitted there was NO separate report to the council, what the hell was Carmel redacting?


Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Especially since they found no wrongdoing, that should require little to no work on Mr Carmel’s part.

Like so many other parts of this story, it just doesn’t seem to add up.


I think it is Sintra’s participation in the coverup that took so much redacting.