Atascadero official to be Pismo Beach's new city manager

Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis

After considering more than 80 candidates to replace outgoing Pismo Beach City Manager Kevin Rice, the City Council has chosen a new manager who currently works about 30 miles north.

Jim Lewis, who has served as Atascadero’s assistant city manager since 2004, has been selected to succeed Rice. The Pismo Beach City Council will consider a three-year employment agreement with Lewis at its Dec. 4 meeting.

If approved, Lewis will start work in mid-February as an at-will employee with a base salary of $156,885 a year, according to the proposed agreement. He will also receive $500 a month to be put into the city’s deferred compensation program, a $300 monthly vehicle allowance, and a monthly $75 cell phone allowance.

Lewis’ hiring comes after the city had approved a two-tier pension program, which means he’ll be paying more toward his retirement than employees hired prior to July 7, 2012.

As Atascadero’s assistant city manager, Lewis oversees economic development, human resources, labor relations, technology, and special projects.

During that time, facilitated the construction of a new 10-screen movie theater downtown, and worked with local business and property owners to improve the appearance of their storefronts, according to a news release from Pismo Beach.

He previously worked as assistant to the city manager for the city of Claremont. Lewis graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in public policy and management and received a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University.

Rice will end his tenure with Pismo Beach on Feb. 28. He was hired in 2004 after he retired from his position as former commandant of the Presidio of Monterey and president of the Army’s Defense Language Institute.

Rice’s base salary when he was hired at Pismo Beach was $116,102 annually. He now earns $172,966 a year, the top step in the city’s pay scale.