Will Arroyo Grande support its police in 2015?
December 30, 2014
OPINION By OTIS PAGE
The Arroyo Grande Historical Society — named as the South County Historical Society — is an important asset to the quaint village and the visiting public. The Society is located adjacent to the Rotary Band Stand that resounds with music and entertainment during the summer period, and is a terminal destination for the historic swinging bridge.
The membership of the society is made of true natives of the village — many being historic descendants — and those who have moved here dedicated to preserve the change their moving here results. These latter members are the “out of towners” whose monetary and social appetites are quenched by youthful chronicles of the past — relishing times gone by.
As the “ancients” pass on, the society’s membership is diluted by those “not of us,” a natural progression of change as the area grows.
As we depart from the year 2014 and enter 2015, one major issue remains in Arroyo Grande. That being the adversarial attitude of the past mayor, a man revered by the Society, towards that of the police, represented by Arroyo Grande Police Officers Association (AGPOA), and it’s chief in the recent cover up controversy regarding past City Manager Steve Adam’s indiscretion.
Many of the society’s members seem to harbor a bitterness towards the matter, for their man, Tony Ferrara, was beaten and lost his position as mayor to another new comer, Jim Hill. Aghast — out of Oceano — no less.
That bitterness confronts the issue as to who was right on a major question that exists in city politics? Ferrara in his accusations against the police? Or the police in their resounding accusation of the cover up and charges how it was spun by the city management and the past council dominated by Ferrara?
This question is particularly challenging considering the national crisis regarding the police in New York City and Saint Louis. What does this mean to the citizens of Arroyo Grande and the total political domain of District 4 as exemplified by Jim Griffin’s opinion in CalCoastNews, “Plans for reducing police violence?”
This agony highlights and begs the question as to who was right, Ferrara or the police?
If certain members of the Historical Society believe Ferrara is right are they saying the police are liars? That is the rub of the matter. Should the Arroyo Grande City Council resolve this matter? Or should it be massaged by the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury?
Given the format of the national question, the local matter in supporting its police in Arroyo Grande must be resolved by its council. I support the police and I believe the council must take a stand to clear the record in its first meeting in 2015.