SLO's city attorney leaving at the end of the year

San Luis Obispo City Attorney Jonathan Lowell has announced he will leave his position to become city attorney in the East Bay community of Pleasanton, bringing to three the number of top officials who will leave the city’s administration in 2010.

City Manager Ken Hampian and City Finance Director Bill Statler have also announced they will depart their city posts. Hampian and Statler have both stated they will pursue consulting and other jobs.

In closed sessions Friday at 8 a.m. and Saturday at 8:30 a.m., the City Council will interview seven candidates for Hampian’s position. City officials do not want to release the candidate’s names because they say it could jeopardize their current employment status. But Assistant City Manager Shelly Stanwyck did not apply for the job.

Hampian said his replacement could be in place by February, and Statler has stated that he will wait until his replacement is appointed by the new city manager to depart.

Lowell plans to step down at the end of the year after working for San Luis Obispo for six years.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my work in San Luis Obispo – I frequently tell people that this is the best job I have ever had,” Lowell said. “However, this new opportunity will allow me to work in another highly-respected, well-run municipality, and will let me be near my elderly parents and in-laws in the Bay area who are all getting to where they need me close by.”

Mayor Dave Romero has also announced he will not run again for mayor in 2010.

“We hate to see Jonathan leave us, but we understand his personal and professional reasons for returning to the Bay Area,” Romero said.