Steve Adams letters released

January 22, 2015
Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams

Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams

Former Arroyo Grande City Manager Steve Adams sent a letter to the city last week threatening a lawsuit if the council does not pay him six months severance. The city will meet in closed session on Thursday at 7 p.m. to discuss the threat of litigation.

Following a Sept. 17 Arroyo Grande Police Officers’ Association vote of no confidence, on Oct. 1 Adams announced his resignation as soon as a replacement was hired.

On Nov. 19, after reviewing the investigation into the alleged sex scandal., the Arroyo Grande City Council voted unanimously to place Adams on paid administrative leave where he remained until last week.

Earlier this month, the city hired interim City Manager Robert McFall. Though the city accepted Adams resignation in September, he was able draw full pay until last week when McFall was hired.

In his letter, Adams says that his resignation was to take place after a permanent and not an interim city manager was hired. He contends that he was terminated on Nov. 19 when placed on paid administrative leave.

He is demanding six months severance including benefits.

Adams is currently 54-years-old and will turn 55 in late 2015. If the council agrees to extend his paid administrative leave and he utilizes his accrued vacation and sick leave, he could greatly increase his monthly retirement package from the city.

Fredersickson Pick LLP Correspondence


What a guy!

Steve is “respectfully requesting” his severance payment, and “He hopes to end this relationship in an amicable manner.”

All for the simple sum of $105,000.00, thank you very much.

How much does it cost us if he doesn’t want to do what’s in the best interest of the City?

Rex Quadrovecchio

The best interest of the city, and BY FAR THE LEAST COSTLY for taxpayers would be to REHIRE STEVE ADAMS!

If you happen to not agree with that, please do tell: What do you see as the downside of REHIRING STEVE ADAMS?


Really, you should lay off the stuff. It makes you hallucinate.


Please come to the next city council and pitch this idea!



Rex is passing out joints … here kids smoke this//


Steve resigned stating he could not do his job because of all the publicity, and now you want severance pay. Read your contract Steve you are not entitled to it because you Could not do your job.

Take your wife, kids and sister wife and go away already.


Look at it from Adams’ point of view. He has a contract which says he’s entitled to this and that. You may not think he merits those things, but he has a contract, so for him it’s reasonable to ask for what the city guaranteed him, and he’ll probably win in court, if it ends up there.

Every high official in this county has a contract like this. His successor will have a contract like this. What these contracts do is make it so costly for elected officials to change managers that they’re scared to make changes even when changes are needed. That empowers city managers to be jerks. If you’re upset about the situation, attack it at its root — which is the contract language that leverages the power of city managers at the expense of public good. This isn’t about Adams, it’s about good government.

Cities say they have to offer contracts like this because everybody else offers contracts like this. It’s an unproven proposition. Somebody should offer a contract with good pay, with a truly at-will definition of job tenure, with no funny financial disincentive stuff, and see what happens. I’ll bet there are lots of honest, capable folks who’d be willing to be hired that way. Being city manager shouldn’t be a contractual entitlement program. It’s time to change the terms of future contracts for managers.


You’re right.

This isn’t just about Adams.

It’s about the poor representation served up by Tim Carmel,

and our previous City Council, who wanted to help their good buddy Steve.

Steve should have immediately been placed on administrative leave,

and then terminated WITH CAUSE!

Thanks to Joe Costello, Jim Guthrie, Kristen Barneich, and Tim Brown.

You’ve given our new council member and Mayor quite the initiation.

Thank goodness Ferrara isn’t here to “handle it” for us.


I am happy to see someone knows whats going on..


Excellent analysis — you saved me the effort of stating pretty much the same thing!


The Council should terminate him for cause.

They verbally warned him on July 8th that he used poor judgement. And since then he has brought nothing but embarrassment and negative limelight on the City. If he did not resign, then the half page ad in the Tribune on Ocyober 1st is cause to terminate for continued poor judgement. That’s progressive discipline.

Do not pay this lame ass ex city manager another penny.

The City Attorney CARMEL must go. He does not understand his position – limiting exposure.

Get the broom Mayor Hill and thank you Councilwoman Harmon.

Rex Quadrovecchio

I believe Mr. Adams request is appropriate and fair and I have no doubt the courts will agree. Adams was railroaded. First of all, there is no proof to back up the allegations of the haters and blue-nose moralists and uptight, sexually-frustrated married folks who judge him so harshly.

Besides, what is so bad about sex at the office? Can’t we all admit that is among the top five places that humans engage in sex?

This witch hunt is shameful and Arroyo Grande taxpayer will pay dearly. Jim Hill has a terrible record as a politician. His hiring judgement in Oceano was awful. He talked a good game but was impotent as to solving problems. Then, when the jig was up, he split town.

Sure, Hill gets all kinds of brownie points from his PG&E employers for being in local politics, just as it is for John Shoals.


Hey Rex, where’d you get that HR degree from?

Rex Quadrovecchio

You are mistaken (again.) I don’t have an “HR degree.” I would appreciate it if you get your facts straight before going off all half cocked in these forum postings. Thank you!


Hey Rex, it was a question.

I am not mistaken, simply asked you a question.

Thanks for the chuckle, you’re a hoot!


I agree with Rex. Shameful best describes the behavior of the bully mentality of the minority. You should pay every dime and be thankful he did not sue for damages.


What minority was that?

The over 3,100 voters who wrote in Jim Hill for Mayor and defeated Tony Ferrara?

Looks like you have your terms confused.

The small group of malcontents is now the majority.

Adams, Ferrara and you Minorityfan do not understand who the bully is ( Big Tony and his little puppet Stevie).They both created their own problems.

Rex Quadrovecchio

Doglover, you seem not to understand the basics of how the Arroyo Grande city government works Stave Adams serves the City Council. He is supposed to, in a sense, be a :”puppet” and do the things that he is asked to do by the council. THAT IS WHAT HE WAS HIRED BY THE PEOPLE TO DO!

Anything less and he wouldn’t be doing his job.


Steve – There’s no more free lovin’ nor a free loading place for you in A.G. I cannot believe you’ve had free vision coverage yet cannot see the writing on the wall.

We’ve hired a city manager. You can take or leave the word interim off the title and it still says city manager. I would hope by this time you’ve thouroughly irritated those who’d hoped you silently slip away and now will suffer the wrath of a nifty little bad faith lawsuit from those who placed you in a position of trust……I’d watch it my friend!

Go away and go away quietly remembering to keep the lights off unless you need them to find your socks!!


Shakedown alert! I thought he resigned? Severance for quitting?


Teresa McClish already increased his monthly package. That should be the only raise he gets.


That letter sounds like a THREAT to me! That bastard should rot in hell! What gives him the right to call the shots? He quit his job, making a feeble offer to keep working until they can replace him. Well, they did. An Interim can do just as good of a job than he ever could.

I say LET HIM SUE. Then all the details will once again surface their ugly head. His poor wife feels that CCN readers are making threats to her? It is her husband that won’t let this drop. Let’s drag your personal life through the mud one more time for the sake of raping the city for more money. Go Steve!

And what about Teresa, who has been unusually quiet these days? Will she see the same cash cow and sue the city for sexual harassment? She better hurry because a jury might find that Steve and Trish were not so that innocent that evening, and then she has no case to sue for sexual harassment.

Please, Steve, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, JUST DROP IT!


QUICK ! Somebody Google up a copy of the Brucie Gibson/Cherie Aspero “no sue” “matters of heart/sex between subordinate/supervisor” agreement document, and shove it in front of McClish and Adams, make ’em sign it. It’s worthless in a civil action but worth a try…….


That’s what lawyers do, write threatening letters in the hopes of settlement.

The IRS also employs that same tactic.

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