Atascadero has plenty of job openings these days

Special to The TribuneJune 10, 2013 

Lon Allan


I see that Atascadero and its sister cities here on the Central Coast are collectively helping to move our economy to the “forefront of growth,” according to the 2013 Central Coast Economic Forecast Mid-Year Update. Do you ever wonder why, when everyone else is going under, jobs are being lost, businesses closing and cutbacks everywhere, the firms that do those economic forecasts remain in business?

Here in Atascadero the job market looks extremely good.

With City Manager Wade McKinney announcing he’s taking a job in a town near Palm Springs, there is a job opening right there. In fact, there should be a number of jobs with the city if you consider the attrition that has taken place since the first of the year, losing such great folks as Brady Cherry, Geoff English, Corey Meyer, Jim Lewis and now Wade McKinney. Even Jeri Corgill in the city’s finance department is taking a job in Greenfield.

Local conspiracy theorists are having the time of their life as they point to what they consider the rats deserting the proverbial ship. The official response is that it is all coincidental; that these are normal career-path decisions or that retirement came around at just the right time.

One theory is that the Kelly Gearhart trial may be starting in June and folks are putting as much distance as they can between themselves and the city. I know I’m generally the skeptic, but I can’t say I have bought into that one.

Sadly the city isn’t going to fill all those jobs.

But we need a city manager. So there it is, an opening for anyone who wants to have five “bosses” picking at him or her day and night for a rather hefty salary and benefits package in a small California town that is economically strapped.

And we need a director for the Atascadero Community Band. Charlie Buck is retiring from the classroom after more than 30 years, and this will be his last season as the regular conductor of what I like to call the “Atascadero Pops.” I know the board of directors of the community band is trying to find just the right guy or gal who can multi-task in planning the weekly music programs, buy the sheet music, rehearse next week’s program, write the program notes for this week’s show and inspire musicians ranging from junior high youth to grandparents to play their best, all for practically no pay.

The economic forecast folks are right. It appears to be very sunny here in Atascadero on the 100th birthday of this community.

Lon Allan's column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or

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