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City of Atascadero to appoint new city manager

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Posted at 11:15 AM, May 02, 2023

Atascadero City Council will appoint a new city manager during their May 9 regular council meeting, the city announced Monday.

James R. Lewis, an Atascadero resident for nearly 20 years, will be appointed to the position. He previously served as the Atascadero assistant city manager and economic development director for eight years until February 2013.

“Jim brings a proven track record in local government success and is a knowledgeable, approachable, dynamic leader that will work for our community,” Mayor Heather Moreno said in the release. “Mr. Lewis is recognized in our region and throughout the state as a leader. These strengths will allow us to continue delivering on the positive trajectory Atascadero businesses and residents are so excited about.”

Lewis, who is replacing retiring City Manager Rachelle Rickard, will take office on July 1, 2023. Rickard will continue in the position through July 12 to assist with the transition process.

Lewis has over 28 years of experience in local government, which includes 20 years of executive management and project management.

He is best known for his work during his tenure as city manager for Pismo Beach. He led the city through several major projects, including the new pier, plaza, Pismo Preserve, the Shell Beach Streetscape, and has positioned the city to be “in its strongest-ever financial position,” according to the City of Atascadero news release.

“I am looking forward to working with the Atascadero community, council and staff to enhance and preserve Atascadero’s unique character and quality of life,” Lewis said in the release. “I appreciate the confidence of the mayor and city council and will work diligently to achieve the goals of the city.”

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"I am looking forward to working with the Atascadero community, council and staff to enhance and preserve Atascadero’s unique character and quality of life," Lewis said.

Lewis currently serves on the League of California Cities Board of Directors, where he represents the City Managers of California, and serves on the California City Management Foundation Board of Trustees.

Lewis is married with two children, who attend school in the Atascadero School District.