Ken Hampian said if he had roses, he’s not the kind of guy to sit around at home and smell them.

After 35 years of public service, Hampian is stepping down as the city manager of San Luis Obispo.

Hampian became the Assistant City Manager in 1989 and was named the City Manager of San Luis Obispo in 2000.

Hampian defined himself as an all or nothing kind of guy. He said it was time to change things up and is looking forward to what will come his way.

“I thought long and hard about timing. The end of the year, or shortly into 2010 is a good time to pass the baton on to someone else,” Hampian said.

Council member Andrew Carter said Hampian is well regarded in the community and from all ends of the political spectrum.

The current Assistant City Manger, Shelly Stanwyck, said that Hampian was a constant encouragement, and inspired her to enter into the public sector. She has worked with Hampian since 1997.

“He is doing it for all the right reasons. He still wants to do some fun things,” Stanwyck said.

Stanwyck said that she is not seeking the position of City Manager at this time.

Hampian said his leaving will create a great opportunity for someone else to come in and be a star in San Luis Obispo.

There will be an open recruitment and an external search for the city manager position. Stanwyck stated that applications will be ready come September. She encourages people from all over to apply.

Hampian launched economic development programs, speaking to the San Luis Obispo community that focuses on having sustainable jobs. He championed successful sales tax initiative and kept a balanced budget during these hard economic times.

Hampian is involved in police training and is collaborating on a book about Municipal Finance.

Louis Dettorre can be reached at