Atascadero city manager announces retirement

February 28, 2023

Atascadero City Manager Rachelle Rickard and Mayor Heather Moreno


Following a 26-year career with the North County city, Atascadero’s chief executive has announced she will retire. 

City Manager Rachelle Rickard has worked for Atascadero for exactly 26 years, as of Tuesday. Rickard will retire in July after the completion of a 10-year stint as city manager. 

Rickard, a Cal Poly graduate, moved to Atascadero in 1989. In 1997, she began working for Atascadero as a city accountant. The following year Rickard gained a promotion to administrative services director. Then in June 2013, Rickard became Atascadero’s city manager.

As administrative services director, Rickard served as the project manager for the rehabilitation of the Atascadero Historic City Hall. The city completed the project ahead of schedule and $9 million under budget. Likewise, while serving as administrative services director, Rickard helped the city eliminate a budget deficit, build reserves and achieve financial stability.

Rickard’s decade as city manager has included achievements such as repairing more than 42 miles of roads; increasing vibrancy and activity in Atascadero’s downtown; and enabling the passage of a sale tax measure that funded police, fire, infrastructure and other critical services, the city stated in a news release. 

Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno released a statement describing Rickard as a tremendous asset for the city.

“Rachelle Rickard is a tremendous asset to the city, having built a strong management team to carry out the key priorities and objectives of the city council from beginning to end,” Moreno said. “As you look at new businesses and infrastructure projects or events and a thriving downtown, her professionalism, strong work ethic and exemplary leadership are manifest citywide.”

“I am proud of our city team and culture,” Rickard said in a statement announcing her retirement. “We have an incredible team of hardworking individuals with a passion for serving the community and the desire to work collaboratively to get things done. It has been an amazing privilege working with them.

“The decision to retire has been in the works for a few years now and I am looking forward to traveling and enjoying time with my husband of 33 years, spending more time with my family including visiting my two grown children, Austin and Meredith.”

In the coming weeks, the city will begin the recruitment process for selecting a new city manager.