Arroyo Grande picks SLO County planning director as new city manager

Jim Bergman
Jim Bergman dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from a previous online version to include information on Bergman’s proposed contract.

Arroyo Grande may soon have a new city manager — and it’s someone who has already worked at City Hall.

The City Council has tentatively tapped San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Director James “Jim” Bergman as the new manager, according to a city news release.

The council will consider approving Bergman’s contract at its meeting Tuesday.

An Arroyo Grande resident, Bergman previously worked for the city for several years in various planning positions, the last of which was planning manager.

According to a staff report, when he left his job with Arroyo Grande in 2011, Bergman said his dream was to return as city manager.

“I am very excited with the prospect of returning to employment with the city of Arroyo Grande,” Bergman told The Tribune on Friday. “I love Arroyo Grande. This community for me is very special because the citizens are special.”

Bergman was chosen from a pool of 50 applicants to replace former city manager Dianne Thompson, whose employment was terminated for unknown reasons in June 2016.

Under the contract, Bergman’s total compensation, including salary and benefits, will be approximately $237,100 annually, including a base salary of $179,000 (the same as Thompson’s). Of that, the city will deposit $2,200 annually into a retirement savings account. Bergman also will receive a $400 monthly car allowance and a monthly cell phone allowance of between $70 and $100.

His current base salary with the county is $159,000.

Bergman’s proposed contract also stipulates the City Council will review his performance within six months of his May 1 start date, and then annually each April.

Bergman’s previous work experience includes community development, planning and building director for the town of Windsor, and most recently the planning and building director for the county of San Luis Obispo.

Bergman has a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Chico, and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cal Poly. He was named Kiwanian of the Year by the Arroyo Grande Valley Kiwanis Club in 2007.

“I’m a public servant, and I find meaning in public service,” he said. “Arroyo Grande has a well-run city government and I look forward to giving all my effort in serving the mayor and City Council in continuing their great work.”

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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