City of Atascadero logoAtascadero City Council is pleased to announce that they will consider approving a contract with James R. Lewis for city manager at their May 9, 2023 regular Council meeting. Once appointed, Lewis would take office on July 1, 2023 replacing retiring City Manager Rachelle Rickard, whose last day will be July 12, 2023, allowing for a time of preparation, familiarization and transition.

Jim Lewis will return to Atascadero, his current hometown, after having previously served the community as its assistant city manager and economic development director for eight years, leaving in February 2013. Lewis has served as city manager for the City of Pismo Beach for over 10 years where he has led the community through a decade of major capital projects including a new pier, plaza, Pismo Preserve, and the Shell Beach Streetscape, the implementation of public art and several placemaking investments, and he has positioned the City to be in its strongest ever financial condition. Lewis has developed an energetic, service-oriented employee culture and has initiated several citizen engagement programs.  The City has also received several state and national awards during his tenure. He brings over 28 years of experience in local government, which includes over 20 years of executive management and project management. 

“Jim brings a proven track record in local government success and is a knowledgeable, approachable, dynamic leader that will work for our community,” said Mayor Heather Moreno. “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 has resided in Atascadero with his family for nearly 20 years and is very involved in the community.  As Atascadero’s city manager, Lewis will serve as the City’s chief executive officer and will be responsible for enforcing City codes, ordinances and regulations, managing financial accountability, delivering major capital projects, facilitating commercial development and ensuring the efficient and economical delivery of City services.  

Atascadero City Manager Jim Lewis

Atascadero City Manager Jim Lewis

Lewis said “I am deeply honored and privileged for the opportunity to serve as the next city manager for Atascadero. This is my home, where we are raising our family, and I simply love this place! 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. I appreciate the confidence of the mayor and City Council and will work diligently to achieve the goals of the city.”  

Mr. Lewis currently serves on the League of California Cities Board of Directors representing the City Managers of California and on the California City Management Foundation Board of Trustees.  He is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager.  He is a long-time member of the Atascadero Kiwanis Club, Atascadero Bible Church and is involved in Pack 51 Cub Scouts as a Den Leader.  He and his wife love living in Atascadero, and they have two children attending schools in the Atascadero School District.

For any questions regarding this media release, please contact Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish at (805) 470-3490 or