ATASCADERO – The Atascadero City Council met for the first time in the new year on Tuesday night and began the discussion around Measure D-20, the one-cent sales tax measure passed in the November elections. 

The meeting began with a video of new Atascadero Police Chief Robert ‘Bob’ Masterson, who officially started on Jan. 4, taking part in the Administration of Oath of Office before focusing on local officer Craig Martineau who received a commendation from his new chief from his work in the field last September.

“About a year ago, Officer Martineau proposed that we carry tourniquets on our duty belts to offer life-saving to officers and the public,” Masterson said, standing on the steps of City Hall. “In the course of officer Martineau’s duties, he responded to a shooting on Sept. 25, 2020, in which case a San Luis Obispo County Deputy was shot outside of Paso Robles and Templeton. Officer Martineau responded, singularly tracked down the wounded deputy, applied his tourniquet that he proposed we carry, which ultimately resulted in diminished blood loss to the deputy. Which, in all reality, helped at the very least to save his leg, if not his life.”

To watch a video of the ceremony online click here.

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Officer Craig Martineau receives the Chief’s Commendation from new chief Bob Masterson. (Photo courtesy of Luke Phillips)

For his quick thinking and potentially life-saving work, Officer Martineau earned the Chief’s Commendation and had his fiance place the pin on this uniform. 

Following a few brief updates from the City Manager, the Council dove into the only item of the night but received far less community participation than was expected for an issue that was so polarizing just two months ago. 

The City presented a 24-minute video that explained in great detail where money needs to be spent in Atascadero, starting with public safety. 

Throughout the video, Atascadero Fire Chief Casey Bryson, Atascadero Police Department Lieutenant Robert Molle, Public Works Director Nick DeBar, and Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore explain where funding is needed and how underfunding has impacted and will continue to impact the City going forward. 

During the meeting, Mayor Heather Moreno stressed the importance of the public attending one of the nine remaining virtual study sessions as they will provide opportunities to break into smaller groups for discussion. 

Each session will begin with the same video presented in the meeting on Tuesday night, followed by a question and answer period before forming smaller groups. It is important that community members participating remember that the City is looking at the larger picture, meaning asking for money to be spent on roadway improvements is better than telling them you have a pothole on your street. 

The Council also stressed the importance of presenting fully formed ideas that include ways to implement and potentially track any project’s success worth investing in. 

To register for one of the nine remaining meetings, click here

The final nine Measure D-20 meetings are as follows:

    Study Session 1: Thursday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m.

    Study Session 2: Thursday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m.

    Study Session 3: Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.

    Study Session 4: Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m.

    Study Session 5: Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.

    Study Session 6: Friday, Jan. 29 at noon

    Study Session 7: Monday, Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m.

    Study Session 8: Thursday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m.

    Study Session 9: Saturday, Feb. 6 at 9 a.m.

To watch this or any City Council meeting, visit Youtube and subscribe to the City’s page.