Be Safe, Be Calm, Be Kind

By: City Manager, Rachelle Rickard

As we all continue to go through this extremely unnerving and stressful pandemic event, I’d like to remind everyone that we will get through this terrible time and we will come out even stronger on the other side, if we pull together and remember to Be Safe, Be Calm, and Be Kind.

Be Safe – Remember, we are all staying home right now to protect our families, friends, neighbors and the most vulnerable in our community, and to ensure that our hospitals do not become overwhelmed. We all have those we care about who are 65 or older, who have suffered from lung disease or heart disease, who have recovered from cancer or have autoimmune concerns. Protecting our friends and loved ones is the reason we are staying home and we are helping to keep our entire town safer by following the Shelter at Home, Physical Distancing, thorough hand washing and other safety guidelines issued by our County Public Health Officer. If you do have to leave your home for an essential purpose, remember to keep a safe distance of at least six feet away from others. In addition, please be aware, smart and savvy – unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous bad actors out there who seek to profit from others during times of emergency who will take advantage through misinformation and underhanded scare tactics. Scammers may use fake websites, email, postal mail, phone calls, texts, and social media. If you are concerned about a possible scam or questionable contact, call Atascadero PD at 805-461- 5051, or the SLO County District Attorney’s Office at 805-781-5800.

Be Calm – Keeping calm during this time of crisis can be challenging. We strongly encourage getting out of the house and into the outdoors as much as possible. Fresh air and sunshine are great for your good health and wellbeing. It’s springtime, warmer weather is here, the hillsides are beautifully green from all the recent rains and the wildflowers are blooming. For both your mental and physical health, enjoy getting outside to go hiking, biking, horseback riding, taking a drive or walking through your own neighborhood. Wave to your neighbors; say hello to those you may pass by on a nature trail – while remembering to always stay safely distant, of course!

Be Kind – Please continue to support our local businesses and their employees as much as possible; many are struggling to stay in business and we want to help ensure that they can remain viable and are able to return to full operation in our community once threat of pandemic has passed. As a kind gesture that works on many levels, consider purchasing online gift cards from your favorite local vendors and then giving them to our essential, front-line workers in the healthcare, grocery and delivery industries. The local retailer will appreciate your business, the recipient will appreciate your generosity, and you will benefit personally from knowing you are doing what you can to help your community and neighbors get through this. And please, during this extremely stressful time for everyone, continue to be kind to one another, considerate, patient and forgiving. Check on your neighbors, friends and family members to see if they need help, or even just to talk. Volunteer if you are able – check in with our local churches, service groups, homeless shelters and food banks, to see how you can lend a hand.

By being sensible, reasonable, remaining calm, being kind to one another and following the guidance being given by our local, state and federal officials, we’ll all help to keep everyone in our community safer, and we will get through this together.

I sincerely wish everyone in our community and beyond continued good health. Be safe, be calm, and please, always be kind. Thank you.


City Manager, Rachelle Rickard

Rachelle Rickard is a native of California and a nearly 30 year resident of Atascadero. She graduated with a business degree from California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University in San Luis Obispo. In February 1997, She took a job as the Accountant with the City of Atascadero and was promoted to the position of Director of Administrative Services. At the time of her appointment to the position of Administrative Services Director for the City of Atascadero, she was the youngest person ever appointed to that role; she was also the first female Department Head ever appointed within the City. Rachelle Rickard was appointed to the position of City Manager of the City of Atascadero in June, 2013.