ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero extends a warm invitation to all community members to attend the ceremonial oath of office for newly appointed City Manager, James R. Lewis. The event will take place on the front steps of Historic City Hall on Monday, July 10, at 10 a.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the incoming City Manager, and light refreshments will be provided.

James R. Lewis, a familiar face in the community as a longtime resident of Atascadero, returns to his hometown after serving as City Manager for the City of Pismo Beach for the past decade. The City Council, staff, and community stakeholders eagerly welcome Lewis to his new role. With over 28 years of experience in local government, including 20 years in executive and project management, Lewis previously served Atascadero as Assistant City Manager and Economic Development Director for eight years.

As Atascadero’s City Manager, Lewis assumes the position of Chief Executive Officer, overseeing major capital projects, facilitating commercial development, ensuring compliance with city codes and regulations, and managing financial accountability for efficient delivery of city services.


Lewis is actively involved in various organizations, serving on the League of California Cities Board of Directors representing the City Managers of California and the California City Management Foundation Board of Trustees. He holds the distinction of being an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager. Additionally, Lewis is engaged in the Atascadero community through his membership in the Atascadero Kiwanis Club, Atascadero Bible Church, and his role as a Den Leader for Pack 51 Cub Scouts. He and his wife are proud residents of Atascadero, where their two children attend schools in the Atascadero Unified School District.

The City expresses heartfelt appreciation to outgoing City Manager, Rachelle Rickard, as she embarks on her well-deserved retirement after more than 26 years of dedicated service to the community. Mrs. Rickard’s contributions have had an immensely positive impact, and her presence will continue to be felt as Atascadero moves forward on its path toward a bright future.