Arroyo Grande top staffer let go, SLO creates a position

November 27, 2019

Teresa McClish


Arroyo Grande’s Community Services Director Teresa McClish was the first of three top staffers to leave the city this month. All three have taken lower level positions with other public agencies. [Cal Coast Times]

On Nov. 1, city administrators removed McClish from a position she had held for more than a decade, which included a $154,380 yearly salary. Even though McClish did not choose to leave the city, according to Arroyo Grande City Manager Jim Bergman, McClish left the city on good terms.

“Ultimately, as the city manager, I am seeking a community development director with a different skill set and experiences to lead the department team,” Bergman said. “I am currently in the process of completing a recruitment to fill the vacancy.”

As for McClish, she is scheduled to start work on Dec. 2 for San Luis Obispo City’s Community Development Department. McClish will work directly under Director Michael Codron, as special programs manager, a newly created job. The position, with a $57,300 salary, was opened online for about an hour, long enough for McClish to be the only applicant.

Administrative Services Director Shannon Esenwein, who oversaw both the city’s finance and human resources departments, resigned on Nov. 15, after less than a year with the city. No one is currently filling the position.

“I am in the process of placing an interim director as we undergo a recruitment effort,” Bergman said.

Last week, Esenwein went to work as a deputy director for Stanislaus County’s Parks and Recreation Department, for a large reduction in pay.

City attorney Heather Whitham also left the city, and the law firm of Carmel & Naccasha, on her own accord on Nov. 15. On Monday, she began working for Santa Maria, as an assistant city attorney.

On Tuesday, Tim Carmel took over the position of Arroyo Grande city attorney.



Jeez! What the hell is going on in AG that everyone is jumping the ship? It’s obviously not the money. Something else is malfunctioning.


Carmel was City Attorney for Arroyo Grande a few years ago, and Asst. City City many years ago when Roger Lyon was City Attorney. Nothing has changed.


AG residents were paying for Carmel’s advice when Ferrara pronounced the tea party was no big deal, and the city had conducted their own in house investigation into the matter. To no one’s surprise the city could not find that Adams had violated any policy…SHOCKER!!

Carmel can’t be trusted any further than we can throw him, and for that reason he should get the heave ho for once and for all but Caren Ray and the rest of her crony council won’t have the guts to do it.


Hmmmmm……………….If I remember right, isn’t Mc Clish the one that’s husband called because she didn’t get home on time, sent the fire department to City Hall because he was worried about her heart condition, they found her half naked on the previous City(who was fired for the incident) Administrators desk, I figured at the time she had no heart at all!

I guess the new City Administrator didn’t find her services as valuable!!

The new City Administrator is showing some positive attributes by getting rid of the dead wood!!!

Travis from SLO

Seems totally legit. Expect some late night tea meetings at City Hall in San Luis Obispo. Isn’t that how Kamala Harris got a boost back in the day with Willie Brown?


What a perfect example of musical chairs, but it’s not music that propels them, it’s taxpayer dollars.

Gil left the city of SM as top attorney, after he left his moonlight job as the San District atty and now Heather is sliding into that still-warm SM city seat. And look’it – both with Carmel & Naccasha on their CV.

And what an amazing co-inkydink! Tim slides right into the AG spot. Tim CARMEL.

It’s incestuous, this firm’s relationship with the area government entities.

Also, let’s talk about how every pay raise/exorbitant hire salary given to AG government employees is argued for with “BUT! WE HAVE TO PAY THEM SO MUCH BECAUSE [name city next door] PAYS THAT MUCH AND WE WON’T ATTRACT QUALITY CANDIDATES IF WE DON’T DO IT ALSO!”

Yet here we see McClish taking a HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR A YEAR pay cut, from a town with more money in their budget than AG has.

Who is the financial fool? McClish? SLO City? The taxpayers of AG?

For too long now, it’s been the taxpayers of AG and I don’t see them learning from their fiscal irresponsibility any time soon. The question is, what are WE going to do about THEIR fiscal waste, this upcoming election?


What can we do?


Protest Tim Carmel as city attorney.



Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Stop corruption in local government, DO NOT vote for incumbents.

Keep government small.


There’s something very wrong with opening an online application, having it open for an hour and then close it after only one person applies and then hiring that person, especially in a government position. Isn’t there any states and or federal laws laws that address such a practice that’s obviously been done to benefit one person and one person alone? I would think so…


Oh, the plot thickens… The HR Director of the City of SLO is none other than Monica Irons, wife of former corrupt Morro Bay mayor, Jamie Irons. Where does McClish live? Morro Bay, of course.

They’re all members of the same club. The incestous nepotism of this area stinks. But in the end, voters get what they deserve… remember that come next election.


Not illegal on how SLO HR filled the newly created position. It wreaks of cronyism to post an opening for a ringer without the courtesy of interviewing internal candidates. If there are qualified internal SLO City candidates that could lateral or be promoted within they should be given notice of the job posting window. It would be up to the San Luis Obispo City Employees’ Association (SLOCEA) to file a discrimination lawsuit against SLO HR if past policy wasn’t followed. Generally, HR in large companies require a panel interview with scoring on prepared neutral questions that are screened to be discrimination free per American Disabilities Act and those interview records are kept on file.


So Codron created a position for McClish. Former AG City Manager Steve Adams had a special position for her too.


Way too funny. Then again, I’m really tired of laughing at SLO county government.

Russ J

Nobody loves government like the lessthans they employ. Less than motivated. Less than competitive in the private market. Less than useful.


I could not have said it better. You’re spot on.