San Luis Obispo chooses Beverly Hills city executive as new city manager

A woman who has served in top leadership positions in Santa Monica, Malibu and Beverly Hills will be the new city manager of San Luis Obispo, top city officials confirmed Tuesday.

Katie Lichtig was the final pick after an exhaustive search that started with 100 candidates vying for the position of the city’s top executive. A news release announcing the unanimous decision is expected today.

Lichtig is the assistant city manager and chief operating officer for the city of Beverly Hills. She also worked in a senior management position in the city of Santa Monica and served 4½ years as the city manager of Malibu. In all, she has worked in government for 25 years.

She has a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University.

Lichtig will replace Ken Hampian, who is planning to leave Jan. 13 after 20 years with the city and nine as city manager. Lichtig will take over Jan. 19.

In closed sessions, salary and contract terms were negotiated that will pay Lichtig $221,500 annually, city Human Resources Director Monica Irons said. Hampian earns $194,300.

“We feel this is an appropriate salary for the caliber of person and experience we are getting,” Irons said.

Mayor Dave Romero said the City Council is “looking forward to having such a motivated and seasoned leader joining our city family.”

In a statement in the city news release, Lichtig described her appointment as a privilege.

“I’m looking forward to living in and working for such a wonderful community renowned for its charm, quality of life and premier city services,” she said.

The city of San Luis Obispo has 358 full-time equivalent employees, and a total budget of $100 million.