Monday, January 30, 2023
Text Size
In November 2020, voters passed Measure D-20 to generate revenue to fund many of the community’s and Council’s key priorities. How to spend Measure D-20 funds was discussed in Study Sessions and during City Council and Finance Committee meetings.  Information & videos from these study sessions and meetings can be found below.
Please click the links below for information from the Measure D-20 study sessions which were provided as a platform for residents to participate in community oversight regarding how Measure D-20 funds should be spent. 

  D-20 Study Session Video                 D-20 Study Session Notes

 4-27-21 Council Action Plan Staff Report



Between April 22, 2021 and May 27 2021, the Finance Committee held a series of virtual meetings to review various sections of the budget including General Funds and Measure D-20 funds.  These meetings were open to the public and recordings of the meetings can be viewed on the City of Atascadero YouTube channel by clicking here


Information and detail of the City Council meetings related to the 2020 Sales Tax Measure #D-20, including archived Council meeting videos, staff reports, PowerPoint presentations, Resolutions and other related documents, can be accessed via the following links:

May 26, 2020 Council Meeting

July 14, 2020 Council Meeting

August 11, 2020 Council Meeting

September 22, 2020 Council Meeting

Resolutions and Ordinances

Category: City Manager's Office

Measure #D-20 - City of Atascadero 2020 Sales Tax Measure FAQ’s

Please note: The City is legally prohibited from promoting or opposing candidates, political committees or ballot measures. The answers to the questions posted below are factual statements taken from published reports and/or from the ballot measure language and ordinance, and in no way either promote or oppose the ballot measure up for voter consideration in November, 2020.

Q. What is the local sales tax measure on the ballot this year in Atascadero?  

A . There is one General Sales Tax Measure on the ballot in Atascadero for the November 2020 election, which is Measure #D-20, for an ESSENTIAL SERVICES TRANSACTIONS AND USE TAX".  This is what you'll see on your November ballot:

Q. What is the difference between a General Sales Tax Measure and a Special Sales Tax Measure? 

A. Special Sales Tax Measures require a 2/3 plus 1 majority vote in order to pass, and legally restricts the funds to a special purpose. General Sales Tax Measures require a 50% plus 1 majority vote to pass, and may be used for any legal purpose. Measure #D-20 is a General Sales Tax Measure.

Q. What is the current sales tax rate in Atascadero, and how much will it go up? 

A. Since passage of Measure #D-20, the current local sales tax rate in Atascadero is 8.75%. Prior to the sales tax increase of one percent, the rate was 7.75%.

Q. When would the sales tax increase go into effect?

A. If passed by the voters in November 2020, the tax would become effective no sooner than April 1, 2021.

Q. How much additional revenue is expected from this sales tax increase?

A. Once put into effect; the proposed sales tax measure is estimated to generate $4.5 million in additional annual revenue to the City of Atascadero.

Q. What will revenue from the Sales Tax increase be spent on? 

AAs stated in the description to be placed on the ballot, Measure #D-20 is intended to provide funding for fire protection, paramedics, 911 emergency response, police, crime prevention and investigations, maintenance of parks, public facilities and infrastructure, graffiti removal, recreation, community services and other general city services.

Q. If Measure #D-20 were to pass, will there be any oversight for the expenditure of Measure #D-20 funds?

A At the July 14 and September 22 City Council Meetings, the City Council established a two phase approach to implement public engagement and accountability for the proposed Measure #D-20 funds should the measure be passed by voters on November 3. Phase 1 – Gather Input and Public Process – will expand the City’s current public engagement process to include more public outreach and input with an estimated 20 public meetings discussing the expenditure of D-20 funds between January and June 2021. Phase 2 – Accountability – will include the preparation of an annual report to be reviewed, along with the City’s annual audit, at a heavily publicized  joint meeting of the Finance Committee and Citizens Sales Tax Oversight Committee (CSTOC). The annual report will include metrics and a narrative on what the funds were used for and what was accomplished with the funds. After review of the annual report and audit, the CSTOC will report their findings to the City Council.

Category: City Manager's Office


Website Style Guides

Special Events

Category: City Manager's Office

Zoning Code & Signage Updates!

To many folks it may not sound very exciting, but here at the City we’re really enthusiastic about what we’re doing to update and better clarify portions of the City’s Zoning Code and the Sign Ordinance!

One of the main priorities of the City Council is to build and maintain a business friendly environment. In the City’s ongoing efforts to better meet this goal, Staff has been working on what’s known as the “Land Use Definitions” chapter of the City’s Zoning Code for ease of use and to better reflect current times. This portion of the Zoning Code defines hypothetical land uses so that staff and the public can easily understand and interpret what land uses are appropriate in each zoning district.

The update will simplify land use definitions to make it easier for the public to determine just what they can do with their property, and is designed to recognize current development trends such as microbreweries, clean industrial uses and other contemporary land uses that are not currently categorized.  The update will also amend some of the land use definitions for consistency with current state law. The end goal of this project is to ensure that the City can continue to accommodate the quality and type of development that is anticipated by the City’s General Plan while responding to current development needs. It’s very important to note that the City is not making any changes to current zoning, but is striving to clarify the Zoning Code for ease of use.

The updated land use definitions will become part of a new effort to repackage the City’s Zoning Code into a new “Zoning Handbook”, which is to be graphically reorganized for ease of use and legibility. The new Zoning Handbook will not be a rewrite of the City’s Zoning Code, but it will place the most commonly referenced policies such as land use and property development standards into a separate document that is easy to interpret and understand, and will act as a quick reference guide for both City staff and the community.

In addition to updates to the Zoning Code, staff is also seeking ways to facilitate enhanced signage for Atascadero businesses. We will be incorporating what we’ve learned from our recent Atascadero Signage Campaign to amend the current sign regulations with emphasis on clarifying and updating the ordinance. We’re working to achieve improved identification signage while better communicating the types of signage that the City and the community support. The amendment to the sign ordinance will add new illustrations, graphics and design standards to assist businesses with appropriate sign design and identification while at the same time helping to eliminate any perceived need for temporary and oftentimes unattractive signage. 

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other topic related to the City, please feel free to contact me at


Category: City Manager's Office

The City of Atascadero values transparency, especially when it comes to questions regarding the compensation of public employees. The information below provides a wide range of information regarding compensation for City staff.


The Salary Schedule serves as the pay scale for the City Staff. All positions are listed in the scale.

On September 28, 2021, the Atascadero City Council approved salary schedules for the current fiscal year and upcoming two fiscal years, together with 3-year MOU’s for each employee group. The current salary schedule can be viewed by clicking the link below:

 2022-2023 Salary Schedule


Memorandums of Understanding are signed between the City and each of the City’s four employee associations. MOU’s specify benefits and employment terms for employees in that particular employee association.

2021 - 2024 Fire MOU |  April 2022 Fire Side Letter

2021 - 2024  Police MOU | April 2022 Police Side Letter

2021 - 2024 SEIU MOU | September 2021 SEIU Side Letter | April 2022 SEIU Side Letter

2021 - 2024 Mid-Managers MOU

2021-2024 Executive Management Resolution


Category: City Manager's Office

Mission Statement:

Support the City Council,
provide leadership to the Organization
and legendary service to the Community
by being accountable, responsive, compassionate and connected.


City Manager's Office Main Number - 805-470-3400
City Manager - Rachelle Rickard: 805-470-3400; 
Deputy City Manager/City Clerk - Lara Christensen: 805-470-3454;
Deputy City Manager - Promotions/Events: Terrie Banish: 805-470-3490;
Personnel/HR Manager - Rachel Hunter: 805-470-3414;
Deputy City Manager - IT - Luke Knight: 805-470-3452;
Website/Social Media Technician - Amanda Muther - 805-470-3496; 
Under the direction of the City Manager, the City Manager’s office supervises and administers the programs and services provided by all departments within the City of Atascadero. Specifically, the City Manager’s office performs the following:
  • Administers policies and programs approved by the City Council.
  • Provides timely information to the City Council concerning pending State, Local or Federal legislation which may have an impact upon the City of Atascadero.
  • Evaluates and monitors staff’s progress on Council established policies and programs, and fosters greater employee awareness of City problems, programs, and priorities.
  • Responds to and follows-up on citizen inquiries or concerns regarding City programs and services.
  • Maintains a viable link between the City and news media regarding City activities, concerns and accomplishments.
  • Provides liaison and works to resolve mutual local problems through various intergovernmental regional/sub-regional agencies such as San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, San Luis Obispo County and other Regional and State wide agencies.
  • Manages the recruitment, testing, selection and employee development.
  • Manages technology services for all City departments.
  • Conducts labor relations on behalf of the entire City and enforces the personnel rules and regulations.
Current Projects
The City Manager’s office is presently working on the following major projects:
  • Enhance revenues and find cost savings
  • Implement economic development strategy
  • Continue the Citywide Strategic Planning Program
  • Continue the Downtown Improvement Program
  • Expand the City’s effort to develop tourism
  • Continue the citywide records management program
  • Expand the City’s legislative advocacy effort
  • Extend the use of Technology
  • Implement the Council’s Strategic Planning Goals
  • Assess and update all operating policies and ordinances
  • Maintain an employee handbook to improve employee knowledge of City programs and personnel policies.
  • Update the Municipal Code.


Category: City Manager's Office

The City Manager is the Chief Administrative 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.

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:

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

With questions or concerns, please contact the City Manager at

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.

Category: City Manager's Office

City Manager Rachelle Rickard

City Manager Rachelle Rickard is a native of California and a nearly 30 year resident of Atascadero. She graduated with business degree from California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University in San Luis Obispo in December 1987 and went to work for a “Big 8” accounting firm where she audited companies as diverse as retail giant Macys of California, the San Francisco Symphony and the fruit canning cooperative Tri-Valley Growers.

Ms. RIckard then received a job with Moss, Levy & Hartzheim, working in their Santa Maria office which specialized in audits of governmental entities and non-profit agencies.  Rickard received her first exposure to the inner workings of government by leading audit teams for 13 cities, 14 special districts, 21 school districts and 26 non-profit agencies.  She prepared financial statements and routinely presented the audits to governing boards.

In February 1997 Rickard took a job as the Accountant with the City of Atascadero and was soon promoted to the position of Director of Administrative Services. At the time of her appointment to the position of Administrative Services Director for the City of Atascadero, Rickard was the youngest person ever appointed to that role; she was also the first female Department Head ever appointed within the City. 

As the Director of Administrative Services, Rickard was responsible for all financial planning and reporting, accounting, accounts payable, purchasing, payroll, accounts receivable, cash management and business licenses.  She was also responsible for risk management, litigation management, workers compensation management, personnel, negotiations, affordable housing, grants management, FEMA administration, construction management for the $34 million Historic City Hall project, redevelopment and successor agency administration, regulatory compliance, contract review, agenda review and budgeting.

While serving as the City’s Finance Director and due to her broad perspective and leadership skills, Rickard was consistently called upon to serve as Acting City Manager for the City whenever needed.  Rachelle was appointed to the position of City Manager of the City of Atascadero in June, 2013.

Responsibilities and accomplishments while at the City of Atascadero include:

The rehabilitation of the Historic City Hall: Rickard has led the funding, planning and construction of the Historic City Hall Project. She worked through the FEMA administration process, securing over $16 million in grant funds from CalEMA and FEMA.  She and her team were also successful in competing for and obtaining $2.2 in California Cultural and Historical Endowment funds for the Project. Rickard managed all phases of construction on the Project, which was completed during the summer of 2013 and came in $9 million under cost estimates.

The introduction of a Comprehensive Financial Plan which allowed the City to build reserves that have been critical in this recent economic downturn.  When Rickard started with the City, it had a deficit unreserved fund balance in the General Fund.  In ten years, the City was able to build to an $11 million General Fund reserve.  This fund balance along with prudent reserve policies and financial practices has allowed the City to maintain services in spite of an 18% reduction in revenues.

Contributions as a key team member for strategic planning, inter-department teams and projects such as Walmart, Lewis Avenue Bridge, Colony Square, Downtown Streetscape Improvements, Eagle Ranch, Colony Park Community Center and Earthquake Recovery Projects.

The development of policies and procedures that save staff time while improving internal control.  The City of Atascadero continues to do more with less and Rickard has been instrumental in fostering that ideal among employees and the community.

The application and award to the City of a $1 million Community Development Block Grant for the Colony Park Community Center.  Rickard led a team that competed on a statewide basis for these grant funds that made the Community Center possible.

Rachelle lives in Atascadero with her husband Brett. They have two grown children, Austin and Meredith.

Upon her appointment to the position of City Manager, Mayor O’Malley stated, “Rachelle Rickard is an exceptionally qualified individual. I have worked with Rachelle over the last eleven years and know her strong work ethic, her commitment to see our City prosper and have seen firsthand the respect she has earned from all employees and our community.  The City Council has complete confidence in her and unanimously chose her to be our next City Manager. We have a strong management team and all of our employees believe in service through teamwork. We are proud of our accomplishments as a City even through tough economic times and will continue to work towards our community inspired goals. We all know we have challenges ahead, areas where we can improve and much more work to do. We are all aligned behind doing the absolute best we can to make our City an even better place to live, work and enjoy.”

Contact the City Manager:



Category: City Manager's Office

More Articles...

  1. Human Resources

Login Form

Sign up for email notifications, submit online requests, edit contact info.