Arroyo Grande city manager resigns suddenly

May 1, 2020

Jim Bergman


Arroyo Grande Manager James Bergman resigned suddenly on Thursday. Bergman was hired in March 2017 for a yearly salary of $179,000 plus benefits.

During an Arroyo Grande City Council meeting on Tuesday, city officials discussed a $1.2 million shortfall the city is facing because of the coronavirus. City officials voted themselves large pay increases in late 2019, on the heals of employee reductions. In March, Arroyo Grande furloughed another 23 part-time employees.

In Dec. 2019, the council discussed Bergman’s performance and his possible discipline or dismissal in a special closed session.

The council has called a special meeting for 3 p.m. today, to discuss appointing an interim city manager. Members of the public can participate in the virtual meeting by calling (833) 493-5844.

Bergman replaced former City Manager Dianne Thompson, who the council had voted to terminate.


I know Jim Bergman. He is smart, decent, ethical, humble, and honest. Apparently these traits disqualify him from serving as City Manager under Karen Ray/Tony Ferrara.


Do the right thing, AG City Council. All over the country people are making huge sacrifices. Show just a smidgeon of integrity and roll back that raise you voted yourselves. Shame, shame, shame.


That likely will not happen given how upset Mayor Ray was when enough of the council finally wanted to push the raise out a bit, I believe until after the next election. Mayor Ray’s main concern then was to get another few percentage points raise because of the delay. The best thing to do, if the raise does remain and not happen until after the next election, would be to make sure Mayor Ray is no longer in office to receive the raise. Actually that needs to happen no matter what, she clearly only has an interest in helping a select few, herself included, and not the main group of Arroyo Grande residents.


Arroyo Grande has a systemic problem.


Wow! Crooked Karen continues to maneuver things behind the black curtain to promote her not so hidden agenda. Watch out you good citizens of Arroyo Grande. This looks similar to what we had to deal with in city I live in 15 years ago. The citizens eventually had enough and got rid of those who had personal agendas and a obvious greed for power and control. They knew nothing about listening to the majority of the citizens let alone running a city government. Hold them accountable. They work for you! I encourage you all to start a citizen group in A.G. and start looking for candidates that have common sense, morals character, a sense of community and the desire to serve the majority of the citizens, not the minority the council currently panders to. It takes work. You have a great community. Work to get back on the right track.


A sad day in sad times. Jim Bergman was a breath of fresh air. Be well Jim…


Karen’s probably looking to contract city management to RRM, the pinnacle of influence peddling in lieu of any sort of competence.


Arroyo Grande citizens pay attention there is now no opposition the City Manager was a fiscal conservative. Watch for tax increases now. This is time to really pay attention to your city government are they really looking out for you? Everyone on council always vote in unison. How can we be served when there is no contrast. Jimmy Paulding maybe on occasion a opposing vote. Mr Bergman thank you for your service.


Who else remembers Caren Ray taking great issue with the fact that Arroyo Grande changed their city manager while Jim Hill was mayor? She promised she could do everything oh, so much better…

Karma for Caren –let’s hope it comes soon.

Jorge Estrada

Hope Mr. Bergman will be ok, thought he gave his all when working for the county.


Once again too smart, decent, ethical, humble, and honest. Unacceptable to the County/Adam Hill and unacceptable to RRM/Karen Ray.


yes, lower the headcount and then give yourself a raise.


Not just any raise but for Mayor Ray a 97% raise. Of course we all know the next city manager will likely be hired at the same salary if not higher regardless of their qualifications or experience, and again with a nice golden parachute. All we can hope for is that Mayor Ray doesn’t just appoint herself as the city manager, since they stacked the council no problem getting the votes if needed. Obviously I’m kidding, I hope that’s not possible but nothing would surprise me with Mayor Ray. Anyone who would give themselves a 97% raise knowing a budget problem was growing, and I am not talking about Covid, there were many other budget disasters on the horizon, such as the FCFA, infrastructure funding and pensions for starters.


Do you really think that Caren Ray thinks about any of that s**t at all?