In his 12 years on the City Council — eight of them as mayor —Tony Ferrara has proven himself to be dedicated, articulate and committed to preserving Arroyo Grande’s agricultural, small-town character.
He’s also been a strong voice for small business. For example, while he can’t vote on the Food 4 Less project because he lives near the market’s proposed location, he’s been vocal in his concern that it could hurt the surrounding smaller supermarkets. We don’t necessarily agree that the application is a bad idea — we think it’s premature to say yes or no to the project — but we believe it’s critical to have someone looking out for the interests of those small businesses that have helped make Arroyo Grande one of the county’s key attractions.
We’re impressed, too, with Ferrara’s willingness to go the extra mile to promote the city. For example, at his own expense, he recently attended the national America In Bloom ceremony in St. Louis, Mo., where Arroyo Grande was honored with several awards.
On a more serious note, Ferrara has shown himself capable of confronting challenges and controversies. He led the council during the difficult period when Ed Arnold — a former councilman now facing assault, domestic violence and other criminal charges — was still serving on the council. Ferrara broached the issue of requesting Arnold’s resignation, pointing out that Arnold’s continued presence on the council had become a distraction and a drain on city staff.
It’s also noteworthy that the city of Arroyo Grande has fared reasonably well in the economic downturn — due in large part to early retirement incentives the city offered to employees — and while no one individual is responsible for that, it does point to the strength of the current administration.
Finally, Ferrara has held leadership positions in several countywide and regional organizations, such as the League of California Cities, and we believe those experiences make him an excellent spokesman for the city in dealing with outside agencies.
Ferrara’s only opponent, Tim Moore, is a lifelong resident of Arroyo Grande. He opposed the council’s decision to relocate city offices to the old Farm Credit building — something Ferrara supported. While Moore is passionate about the city, we’re concerned that he’s mostly interested in overturning the city’s decision to relocate City Hall. His lack of experience in municipal government is another big concern.
Bottom line: Arroyo Grande has fared well under the leadership of Mayor Tony Ferrara. The Tribune strongly urges his re-election.
The tribune’s endorsement
Race: Arroyo Grande mayor
Term: Two years
Salary: $405 per month; eligible for health benefits
Candidates: Incumbent Tony Ferrara; challenger Timothy Moore
The Tribune endorses: Tony Ferrara