City recognizes employees ranging from 5 to 25 years of work in Atascadero 

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero City Council met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers. The meeting started off with city employee recognitions. 

“One of the best things is when we get to recognize our employee family in front of their families,” said City Manager Jim Lewis. “Atascadero is a choice place to work, and it’s just a privilege to see the loyalty, experience, and just the amazing gifts and contributions our employees make every day. It’s a pleasure to work with them. Today, I get to celebrate tenure from five to 25 years.” 

Fire Engineer and Paramedic Scott Groomer and Police Officer Ryan Gabbard celebrated five years with Atascadero. Senior Building Inspector Bruce St. John, lead zookeeper Katie Mulder, police officer Ryan Sloan, and Deputy Director of Administrative Services Cindy Chavez celebrated 10 years. Deputy City Manager Luke Knight celebrated 20 years. Finance Technician Lori Brickey celebrated 25 years.  


SLOCOG (San Luis Obispo Council of Governments) addressed the council with a presentation on a Potential Countywide Self-Help Measure and Draft Transportation Investment Plan. Deputy Director of the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments James Worthley gave the presentation on. Worthley encouraged the audience watching to go to to see what he was speaking about for the evening. The plan was presented in draft form, with future changes to be expected.

SLOCOG is the regional transportation planning agency comprised of all seven cities and San Luis Obispo County. Its board has 12 elected members, including one from each City Council and all five county supervisors.

“Looking at road maintenance, San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach are doing pretty well with the PCI, Pavement Conditions Index of 67 and 70,” Worthley said. The higher the number, the better off you are. The less it costs to maintain them. Atascadero, in 2023, I received my mailer in the mail, and it came out at 49. You’re trailing everybody at this point.”

Twenty-five years ago, SLOCOG received a grant of $50 million and it was used to improve Highway 101 by widening the Cuesta Grade. The project was completed in the early 2000s. Twenty-five years later, it received another large grant that was used to improve the 101 near the Shell Beach Straights. Currently, there is no money set aside for 101 upgrades in the North County or South County northbound improvements. 

“We can’t wait another 25 years to fix one more project on 101, and the funds that we have available aren’t going to get us there,” stated Worthley.

He went on to say that 89 percent of Californians have a special transportation sales tax, while SLO County does not. SLOCOG’s Local Road Repair & Transportation Safety Investment Plan would add a half-percent sales tax for every dollar spent. The funding would then be allocated to each of SLOCOG’s four subregions in the county based on population numbers. Those subregions are:

  • North Coast
  • Central County
  • South County
  • North County

SLOCOG has been presenting the investment plan throughout the county and will be taking its findings before the SLOCOG board on May 1. If approved, it will then go back out to the jurisdictions again for council approval. If it makes it to SLO County voters, it will need two-thirds of a vote to pass.

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 23, at 6 p.m.