Retiring head planner to be saluted in Pismo

In the more than 10 years he’s worked for Pismo Beach, Randy Bloom has overseen the city’s downtown core revitalization, the design of Chumash and Dinosaur Caves parks and numerous commercial projects.

The community development director, who will end his 37-year planning career on April 30, said he’s watched Pismo Beach become more sophisticated and Shell Beach gain more of an identity through its improvement group.

“Pismo’s financially and physically, to a certain extent, come of age,” Bloom, 60, said Monday.

The City Council will honor Bloom at its meeting tonight.

“Randy has sort of a dry sense of humor. He’s very even-keeled, very pleasant to work around,” said City Manager Kevin Rice, who was hired in 2004. At that time, Bloom was serving as interim city manager. “He’s a first-class guy.”

Bloom oversaw the revitalization of downtown, including the addition of diagonal parking spaces in the center of Price Street, an upgrade of downtown sidewalks, new street lights and more public restrooms.

Bloom said he’s proud of the city’s Home Improvement Program, which offers up to $15,000 in grants to low- and very-low-income homeowners for home repairs.

The city has hired Los Angeles-based executive search firm Teri Black & Company to search for Bloom’s replacement, a process Rice expects to take about four months. The salary range for the job is $106,845 to $129,871 a year.

In the meantime, Michael Draze, San Luis Obispo’s former deputy director of community development, will serve as Pismo Beach’s interim community development director, starting May 10.

Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.