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City Manager

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Note: Email correspondence sent to or from staff members via the City's website are considered public records and may be subject to disclosure pursuant to the Public Records Act.


The City Manager: As the administrative head of the City Government, the City Manager is appointed by the Council to enforce municipal laws, direct the daily operations of the City, and prepare and observe the municipal budget. More specifically, the formal duties of the City Manager include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices, and agencies of the City.
  • Keep the Council advised of the financial condition, current and future needs of the City.
  • Prepare and submit reports to the Council concerning the needs and operations of City programs, departments, offices, and agencies.
  • Appoint employees to the City pursuant to requirements set out in the ordinance establishing a merit system of appointment and employment.
  • Prepare annually, submit, and administer the budget, capital improvement plan, and other plans and programs of the City as required by the Council.
  • Enforce all City laws and ordinances.


The City Manager is the Chief Executive Officer of the City, and is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing all administrative activities. The City Manager, in concert with department managers, works to develop all personnel; to continually evaluate the organizational structure of the City; implement programs to improve the community; and directs employee relations and personnel management. The City Manager makes recommendations to the City Council on program alternatives and makes sure programs adopted by the Council are implemented.

The City Manager writes monthly articles that run in the Atascadero News, as well as frequent Newsletters that are emailed to anyone requesting to receive them.  Please see the Home page for current news updates.

With questions or concerns, contact the City Manager at

City Manager, Jim Lewis

Portrait of City Manager Jim Lewis in front of City Hall.
City Manager, Jim R. Lewis

Jim Lewis has the privilege of serving as City Manager of Atascadero, CA. He is passionate about public service and is committed to building quality and sustainable organizations that serve the public to their best and most efficient ability.  

Prior to returning to his hometown of Atascadero to serve as City Manager in July 2023, Jim served for over 10 years as City Manager of Pismo Beach, CA, where he transformed the downtown, invested in placemaking and legacy capital projects such as a new downtown plaza, pier and streetscapes, established the city’s strongest ever financial position, and built an award-winning employee culture.  Prior to Pismo Beach, Jim served his first tour in Atascadero for over nine years as the Assistant City Manager and President of the Office of Economic  Development. In this role, Jim was responsible for economic development, human resources, labor relations, technology, organizational development, the creation of new revenues and operating efficiencies, and several special projects.  

Jim served as President of the League of California Cities City Manager's Department in 2018 and currently serves on the League of California Cities Board of Directors. He also serves on the California City Management Foundation Board of Trustees and served as President of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) in 2001.  Jim is an ICMA credentialed manager (ICMA-CM).

Jim graduated with honors and received a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California and a Master of Public Administration at Syracuse University.

Jim proudly lives in Atascadero and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Atascadero, Atascadero Bible Church, Atascadero Elks Lodge and Cub Scout Pack 51. He is married with two children who attend school in the Atascadero School District.

Professional Local Government Managers

The following video was prepared by the International City/County Management Association to raise awareness of the role professional local government managers play in building communities we're proud to call home. Local managers play an important role in making local government and the services it provides more effective, efficient, ethical, and transparent.