Politics & Government

3 Atascadero City Council members plan to run for re-election

Tom O'Malley
Tom O'Malley The Tribune

All three Atascadero City Council members whose seats are on the ballot Nov. 4 plan to seek re-election.

Possible challengers haven’t surfaced yet.

Mayor Tom O’Malley, Mayor Pro Tem Brian Sturtevant and Councilwoman Heather Moreno have filed papers signaling their intentions to run.

July 14 is the first day candidates can officially pull nomination papers with the city.

The council seats are for four-year terms, while the mayoral seat is a two-year term. The mayor pro tem spot is a rotating position by council appointment.

A possible ballot measure to raise the city’s sales tax by a half-percent to likely fund road maintenance could take the forefront of the council and mayoral races this year. Economic development will also play a key role as the city continues its climb out of recession-era shortfalls.

Last month, the council directed its staff to prepare a general sales tax proposal for consideration at its June 24 meeting.

O’Malley, who owns a bed and breakfast in town, told The Tribune that he plans to run a campaign that focuses on continuing to expand the city’s economic base of jobs, housing, shopping and playing; work to improve the city’s infrastructure on projects like Atascadero Lake Park and the Charles Paddock Zoo; and “make Atascadero a family-friendly place to live.”

O’Malley has been on the council since 2002 and was the city’s first popularly elected mayor in 2012. Before that, when the council was on a rotating mayor schedule, he served as mayor twice.

Sturtevant, a mechanical maintenance supervisor at Diablo Canyon Power Plant, plans to focus on continuing efforts to bolster economic development, safety and communication between government and the public.

Sturtevant has been on the council since 2010 after serving on the city’s Planning Commission for two years. He hopes to strengthen existing businesses “by simplifying regulations and providing assistance, and laying the groundwork to attract new businesses to Atascadero,” he said.

Moreno, a controller and local business owner, was appointed to the council in 2012 to finish out the two remaining years on O’Malley’s council seat when he was elected as mayor midterm, so this will be her first run for public office. Before joining the council, she served as a planning commissioner in Atascadero from 2008 to 2010. She also served as the commission's chairwoman.

Moreno says she plans to campaign for citizen engagement and transparency; fiscal stewardship of the city's finances; and work toward “a vibrant local economy.”