By: City Manager, Rachelle Rickard
We’re here to help! We always encourage the members of our community to reach out to our City staff members with thoughts, question, input or problems. We are here to help and want to hear from you. We have, however, found that residents sometimes don’t know who they should speak with, or even which City Department might best be able to help them, and so they’re hesitant to reach out to us. We’ve also heard that locating City phone numbers in local telephone directories can often be challenging. Our hard-working staff members strive to serve the public and really want to assist residents with whatever they may need. This link for the City Directory, which is also available on our website, has some very useful staff contact information. You can always call the City’s main phone line at 805-461-5000 and Judi or one of our other friendly, front-line staff members in Central Reception will be sure to get you to the right person.
There can also be confusion about just what each department of the City actually does, as the official name of the department may not adequately describe the duties that fall under their purview. For example, our Administrative Services Department is usually better known simply as “Finance”, as the folks in that department are responsible for the preparation of our budget, purchasing, payroll, paying all of the City’s bills, and much more. The Community Development Department (more affectionately referred to as “Com Dev”), is responsible for overseeing and facilitating all construction projects and related permitting processes for planning and building activities taking place within the City limits. The Public Works Department handles many core services provided to our residents, including maintenance of all City streets, parks, and buildings; management of the City’s storm drains, storm-water and the wastewater system; traffic engineering, transit services, capital projects planning, development review; and management of the Pavilion on the Lake. The duties of our Fire and Police Departments are fairly well known and self-explanatory; they are responsible for our community’s safety and emergency services. The City Manager’s Office provides support to the City Council; oversees the activities of all other City Departments; manages Human Resources, Marketing and Events, as well as the divisions of Recreation, Technology and the Charles Paddock Zoo.
In addition to being accessible, the City is committed to transparency in local government and we work hard to keep the community well-informed about all of our upcoming public meetings, agenda items, important notifications, budget and staffing information, community events, activities and much more; all of which serves to increase accountability, accessibility and transparency. The City’s website can be a good resource for providing helpful links to find City-related current news and information. Under the “I Want To” tab, you can learn about all of the various ways to contact the City, or ask questions or report concerns under “City Hall Connection”. Automatically receiving email notifications for information about newly posted City jobs, City Council agendas and much more, is as easy as clicking on the items you want to receive updates for under “I Want To/Request/Email Notifications”. These are just a few of the frequently visited sites on our website that citizens find very useful and informative.
Government transparency, which includes clear and easy-access communication with the public, is one of our primary goals. Information about the City may be found on our website at www.atascadero.org; and for social media users, please stay connected with us via our Facebook (@AtascaderoCity), and Twitter (@AtascaderoCity) pages as well! Event, dining and information about things to do in Atascadero can always be found at www.VisitAtascadero.com.
As always, if you have any questions regarding this or any other topic concerning the City, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.