Write-in Jim Hill wins Arroyo Grande mayor’s seat

November 18, 2014
Jim Hill

Jim Hill

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN

Amid allegations of poor leadership and abuse of power, write-in candidate Jim Hill has scored a stunning victory in the Arroyo Grande mayor’s seat, trumping incumbent Tony Ferrara by 95 votes, according to unofficial results released by the San Luis Obispo Clerk Recorder’s Office on Monday. Ferrara is newly elected to the prestigious post of president of the California League of Cities, a long-sought title he now will be forced to abandon.

Following police officer allegations that Ferrara participated in a cover-up of a city sex scandal, a group of concerned citizens asked Hill to run for mayor. Those citizens then ran a four-week campaign that included papering Arroyo Grande with hundreds of neon yellow hand-made signs.

In response to the campaign, without being approached, local business owners donated approximately $6,000 to elect Hill. Many of those donors accused Ferrara of abusing his position as mayor and financially harming their businesses, campaign staff said.

On July 3, a late night rendezvous at Arroyo Grande City Hall involving two city officials ended abruptly when emergency workers, responding to a 911 call about a missing spouse, discovered City Manager Steve Adams and Community Development Director Teresa McClish in the darkened building.

Two months later, the police officers association took a vote of no confidence against Ferrara and Adams. The officers said city official elected to ignore allegations that Adams had lied to officers, was belligerent when discovered, and had engaged in conduct that had cost other employees their jobs.

After much debate, the city council voted to hire the Sintra Group to investigate the July 3 incident and how it was handled by the city.

At a special meeting on Wednesday, the council will discuss the possible dismissal, discipline, or release of Adams. The council will also review the Sintra Groups investigation report.

According to a summary released Monday, even though multiple employees told the investigators that there was more than a working relationship between McClish and Adams, the investigators could not find substantive evidence of a romantic relationship. They did, however, question Adams’ leadership.

“Adams, in his position as city manager, should have been aware of this perception and should not have perpetuated it on July 3,” the report says.

On Dec. 1, Hill is slated to be sworn in as mayor. As a write-in candidate, Hill’s name did not appear on the ballot. Nevertheless, he won with 3,090 votes while Ferrara received 2,995 votes.

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Kevin Rice

Arroyo Grande- Great job filling in the empty bubble (the mayor’s seat).


Pelican1

Not bad….for a “fringe group.”


agag1

Takes all kinds Pelican, takes ALL kinds…


Pelican1

I was quoting the now defunct mayor.


agag1

Oh I know! And those of us on the fringe consider it to be a good thing. Let the fringe flow!


Stunned

Now I like that big goofy looking yard sign. How do I get that back? I wanna change it to “I voted for Jim Hill”


MaryMalone

I think buttons should be printed up with that phrase: “I voted for Jim Hill.”


agag1

We should have Jim autograph the remaining ones as a fundraiser and donate the $$$ to a worthy organization!


MaryMalone

Fringers Unite! Our cause is just!


Pelican1

Action is the foundational key to all success. Citizens of Arroyo Grande…you have just proved that. Well done.

Jim, once again, congratulations.


doglover

Can you do an encore of your Imagine rendition Pelican?

It was beautiful.


Pelican1

Imagine Jim as Mayor

It’s easy if you try

No more Tony to bully us

Above us only sky


Imagine all the people

Living for today


Imagine no late city hall tea’s

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to hide or get fired for

And no special deals, too


Imagine all the people

Living life in peace


You may say Jim’s a dreamer

But he’s not the only one

I hope someday you will join us

And the Arroyo will be as one


Imagine no more lies

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or cover-ups

A brotherhood of man


Imagine all the people

Sharing all the town


You, you may say Jim’s a dreamer

But he’s not the only one

I hope someday you will join us

And Arroyo will live as one


TaxMeAgain

Great job voters. Here comes some reasonable, logical, leadership.


MaryMalone

There are still going to be battles ahead because of the remaining city council members and the Ferraro cronyfied power structure left behind.


Pelican1

While there may be more battles, we have won the war.


doglover

Yes look at the 3-5 thumbs downers. It’s OK, they just need to walk in many businesses outside the Village to hear their stories.


Let me see, start at Pro Real Estate, Rontal, the Vet Clinic and even the doughnut sho Then keep shaking hands and listen to stories. Those that believed in Tony will shake their heads too.


Forgive them because they really just are unable to see the lying the cheering and the bullying.


That want what is best for AG as do we. Give us our city back and let’s be welcoming and honest in everything we do.


Many people knew of the inappropriate relationship, especially the Mayor and City Attorney!


Glad Jim will have some free thinkers joining him on the Council.


agag1

Again, our sincere thanks to Jim Hill for stepping up

to take on this challenge.

We are hopeful that with a new tone, new leadership

will bring much needed change to AG.

Thanks to the residents of Arroyo Grande,

who recognized it was time for change,

and embraced our scrappy little write-in campaign.


kayaknut

Spoke with someone at The League of California Cities and as soon as the vote is certified Mr. Ferrara is out and the VP moves up.


MaryMalone

OMG! Now THAT is great news.


StakeHolder

I just finished reviewing the Sintra Report. One salient point is missing. Within the police memorandum there is the comment from the officers that states when they first approached Adams in the city hall corridor, he was asked if “Trish” McClish was in the building, and Adams stated no.


If the officers had accepted his statement and not gone towards Adams office to check, but instead left the premises, the police and fire departments would have had to mount a search and rescue effort. Who knows to what cost and extent of effort this would have resulted.


I interpret that as Adams not being truthful with our police officers.


There is no excuse, Adams should have been and still should be terminated immediately with cause. Who ever gets a “second chance”?


agag1

And no mention of tea or the tea party in the report.

Could it be the investigator made no reference to it

because even he didn’t believe it?


kayaknut

If there is no written report of the interviews and we are told they were not done under oath it possible Mr. Adams dropped the whole “we were drinking tea” excuse in his interview because he knew no one believed it.


agag1

Going back to city hall to drink tea and sober up

was the premise of Adams’ initial explanation for being at City Hall.

Now, the report says he claims they went there to rest.

So resting is what caused Adams and McClish to become disheveled…

hmmmm, doesn’t sound very restful.


doglover

Funny how the summary also forgot to include the belligerent tone that Adams attacked the officers with.


If he had been cool, like a big Oops! They might have been also.

BUT the SOB verbally accused them, said no one was in attendance and said the lights were on.


I know the IT guy goes in and out at odd hours to bring the server down, I’d sure like to visit with him

( oh that’s right, If he did not witness any penetration, then it must not have occurred )


aft50s

Where can one view this report?


agag1

Go to http://www.arroyogrande.org

On left side of page, click on ct council

In middle of page click on most recent agenda

Under item 8a click on investigation summary


Prepare to be underwhelmed. Our 25K was a huge waste of $$$.

Who’s surprised?

Perhaps only council members Brown and Guthrie who waged to believe they were going to get the Celeste and thorough investigation they’d asked for.


SLOBIRD

So, after reading this report, I am to conclude that, short of having a third person in the privacy of the office or an actual video recording behind closed doors, lights out, disheveled appearances, hair amiss (Adams), half dressed with a garment hanging in front of her (McClish) and when the police walked toward the office door, after Adams says “Tish” is not there, there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Adams or Ms. McClish. This certainly brings new meaning to “innocent until proven guilty”.


Did I miss in the report the missing video tape?


When the day is over, I guess this does not matter because the people of Arroyo Grande have won from this corrupt government. If only we could do this in other cities!


SLOChuck

This is such great news! Congratulations to Mr. Hill, and congratulations to the City of A.G.


toryrand

“like”


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