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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Any reason Mr. Hill could not appoint any council member as mayor pro tem? I know the post is usually rotated and Ms. Barneich is next on the list but a lot of our current problems are because business was done “as usual” thanks to Ex-mayor Ferrara. I think it’s time to stop the business as usual idea.


Let’s not forget that Tony’s crony Kristen Barneich is up for Mayor pro Tem post Tuesday night. While it is largely ceremonial in nature, the pro Tem job controls meetings when the mayor is not present, and it is a position of honor that this lackey does not deserve. Let’s hope the new members of the council will deprive Kristen the Tool of this assignment.


Oops. Monday is the meeting.


This saddens me. I feel that she is equally arrogant and equally unaware of many things.


So, Debbie will serve as interim City Manager. Come on folks, whose department went above and beyond to assist in the cover-up. Every top level manager at that City knew of the issues at the City and yet they were all complicit in the misconduct, simply because they sat back and did nothing. Otherwise they are complete idiots. The choice is yours, but promoting this individual to the top dog position is a crock.


I was actually pleased that Debbie was assigned interim City Manger. This meant that Steve Adams would not receive pay past this week. The original terms were that he’d be paid until an interim was appointed. I really assumed they would have waited about 3 weeks to do this, and Steve could have racked in another $10,000 of taxpayer money…for NOT working.

So, welcome Debbie. Stay cool, don’t many any decisions, and let’s move on to hiring a permanent new manager.


Debbie was brought over from SLO City where she was the Utilities Finance Manager. She is not a CPA and is way under-qualified to be performing in the position of AG administrative services manager let alone interim city manager.


I believe Debbie was appointed as acting City Manager, until an interim is hired.


Very much looking forward to Jim Hill and the new council getting to work on Dec 2.

Wish them all the best.


It is not really a “new” council. There are still two council members who facilitated all of Ferrara’s underhanded bull$hit.

When Guthrie and Brown are gone, THEN it will be a new city council.


Don’t forget Kristen Barneich, her fingerprints are just as much all over Ferrara’s underhanded dealings. Most people seem to feel she needs to go first.


While not al the members will be new, I am optimistic for a “new” council.

Ferrara’s control dominated the prior council.

Jim Hill and Barbara Harmon will each bring something new to the plate.

Hoping a couple of the holdovers get on board.

Hopefully they learned something from Nov 4.


I believe that, because Guthrie and Brown went out of their way to construct the second conflict-of-interest “investigation,” and then voted with the rest of the Ferrara handmaidens to accept the ridiculous findings as valid, Guthrie and Brown were part of the conspiracy to coverup the wrongdoings of Adams, McClish, Ferrara, the city council and the city counsel.

None of them can be trusted to do anything other than what they have already done….work directly against the best interests of, and clear wishes of, the Arroyo Grande residents.

They have proven themselves to be corrupted, without ethics, and ready at the command of Ferrara to screw us over.

My mother didn’t raise any doormats. Your mileage may vary.


Ferrara was mayor for 12 years – 2002 to 2014

Napoleon was Emperor of France for 10 years – 1804 to 1814

Hitler was Dictator of Germany for 12 years – 1933 to 1945

Roosevelt was President of the USA for 12 years – 1933 to 1945

Napoleon ended up incarcerated on Saint Helena.

Both Hitler and Roosevelt ended up dead.

So what is Ferrara complaining about? Did he want to become King?


dont forget stalin.

Kevin Rice

I’m fairly certain Napoleon ended up dead also. Haven’t seen him on Jimmy Kimmel lately.


How Do the other 3000 or so voters feel now about How Tony handled this Matter?hmm? A real Class act!


I would imagine that even some staunch Ferrara supporters

have to be a bit mystified by his recent rants, and lack of class.

Costello can say it’s because he’s proud,

but who would be proud of anyone who acted like such a poor loser?


Good Morning to all

Hope Thanksgiving was good and all had personal reasons to be thankful beyond politics regardless that joe Costello lost election he served this community well

He was always thoughtful humble and well reasoned .he handled loss with grace

I hope my children will learn something from his example,


I noticed you didn’t say the same about Tony Ferrara…




In Light of the Fact of all the things that have Happened in the Past few months, this is par for the course, In fact the way things were handled this has been a long time coming, Mr. Ferrara got just a small taste of what we In Arroyo Grande for many years, My guess is in Short he Did not like the Taste ,and in my case as well as Mr Ferrara , he just has a bad taste in his mouth! I say Good luck old chum, I hope all the reflection Mr Ferrara he must have to do right now will not get the better of him, He alone was in charge of his actions.

My guess Mr Ferrara , has no interest in handing any one ,a gavel. He can not admit defeat or wrong doing, so He would rather fold up his tent and go home like a little boy.

You Reap what you Sow.


So, obviously Tony Ferraro does not believe in the Democratic process, open elections, and no respect for our process (sounds too familiar nowadays).

This behavior reminds me of the school yard bullying, give me your lunch money, ball, homework, etc. so else…..

Tony, walk out with some respect. No one in the future will respect you because of the lack of respect you have for the process we all live with. People did not like you in the past years, didn’t like your way of governing, your backroom transactions, your fear of threats and behavior, but they had respect for the process that you were Mayor and worked with it until your time came. You now must move forward and respect the future.

If Mr. Hill does not work out, or any other council person, they too will be replaced by the citizens of Arroyo Grande who are now empowered to move forward with the belief that our representatives are now listening.

Good luck in your private life!


QUOTING SLOBIRD: “This behavior reminds me of the school yard bullying, give me your lunch money, ball, homework, etc. so else…..”


It DOES remind me of school-yard bullying, including the obsequious little toadies in the AG city council who kiss up to Ferrara, following his every command.


I think Tony Ferrara will eventually regret his early resignation, mostly because he will realize that “right or wrong” our democratic process functioned as designed. In many countries, the police would have instead staged a coup or the he would have been removed through some truly horrific mob action. Neither of those things occurred. So, even in defeat,being in the City Council Chambers to pass the gavel to his successor is an honor that he should have embraced.


So true.

As parents we always try to teach our children to be sportsmanlike, even in defeat.

I’m sure Ferrara did the same with his kids.

Apparently this is a “do as I say, not as I do” moment for Tony.

I don’t care how many flowers or trees he plants,

he will always be remembered for this most ungracious act.


It was quite a shock to us when we read that he called our request CRAP. No one in any elected office should consider a constitutes opinion crap.

He lost all of our respect a that point, what little we had left.

Now we don’t have to take any CRAP from him!


QUOTING SNOOKY: “I think Tony Ferrara will eventually regret his early resignation, mostly because he will realize that “right or wrong” our democratic process functioned as designed.”


Ferrara MAY regret his early resignation, but it will probably be because he showed himself to be an a$$hole and may have burned bridges that he could have used to in a comeback.

It seems obvious to me that Ferrara does not care one bit about what is right or wrong. What he cares for, IMO, is what facilitates him getting his way, regardless of how badly it impacts AG’s residents.


Tony cares about what is right and wrong.

He cares tha HE’S right,, and thus WE are wrong, period.