Atascadero’s longtime community services director announced Thursday his plans to retire at the end of the year.
Brady Cherry has worked in the public service sector for 38 years, 18 of which were spent in his leadership role serving Atascadero.
“I can truly say it has been my great pleasure to have worked with all of the remarkable people in Atascadero to help shape our community and see some accomplishments realized,” Cherry said in a statement from the city.
Cherry, 57, told The Tribune that it’s the variety of people he’s “had the opportunity to work with that I’ll miss the most.”
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“For me, it’s just hard to leave because I feel very fortunate to have the career I’ve had in public service it’s difficult to say farewell,” he said.
Cherry has overseen various local projects and programs over the years such as the Colony Park Community Center, development of the city’s skate park, new trails, the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial, numerous community events as well as improvements made to the Charles Paddock Zoo, Lake Park and the Sunken Gardens.
Cherry came to Atascadero after serving as a community services director in the beach city of Port Hueneme. Prior to that, he worked in recreation services in Los Angeles County.
Going forward, Cherry plans to spend time with family, including his wife, Cindy, and their three college-age kids, whom they raised in Atascadero. Specifically, he’d like to attend more of his son’s baseball games, enjoy his own fitness endeavors and see more of the world, he said. He may also open a consulting business.
Sticking to his service roots, Cherry also plans stay involved in community services and causes, such as his participation on the Central Coast LINK board of directors. The group works to connect families in need with local resources.
“We’re sad to see him go, but so glad we’ve had his service and positive, can-do attitude for so many years,” Mayor Bob Kelley said in a statement.
Cherry's last day at work will be Dec. 28, he said. A ceremony to honor him is planned for an upcoming City Council meeting, but the date has not yet been announced.