Council Holds First Public Measure D-20 Meeting •

ATASCADERO – The Atascadero City Council met Tuesday night for the first time in the new year and began a discussion on Measure D-20, the one-cent sales tax passed in the November election.

The meeting began with a video of Atascadero’s new police chief, Robert Bob Masterson, who was appointed on the 4th. Janvier officially took office and attended the administration’s swearing-in ceremony. Local agent Craig Martino was then introduced and congratulated by his new boss for his work last September.

About a year ago, Officer Martino suggested we wear a tourniquet on our service belt to protect officers and the public, Masterson said as he stood on the steps of City Hall. In the performance of his duties, Officer Martino intervened on the 25th. September 2020 on a shooting outside Paso Robles and Templeton that claimed the life of San Luis Obispo’s assistant district attorney. Officer Martino intervened, found the injured deputy alone, applied a tourniquet, which he offered to take away, which ultimately reduced the deputy’s blood loss. This apparently saved at least his leg, if not his life.

To view a video of the ceremony online, click here.

Officer Craig Martino receives a recommendation from new Chief Bob Masterson. (Photo courtesy of Luke Phillips)

For his quick thinking and potentially life-saving work, Officer Martino was congratulated by the Chief and received a pin on his uniform from his fiancée.

After a few brief updates from the city manager, the city council addressed the only item on the evening’s agenda, but received far less community input than expected on a topic that was so polarizing just two months ago.

The city presented a 24-minute video detailing Atascadero’s planned spending, starting with public safety.

During the video, Atascadero Fire Chief Casey Bryson, Atascadero Police Lieutenant Robert Molle, Public Works Director Nick DeBar and Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore explain where funding is needed and how underfunding has and will affect the city in the future.

During the meeting, Mayor Heather Moreno stressed the importance of public participation in one of the nine remaining virtual study sessions, as they allow for small group discussion.

Each session begins with the same video presented during the Tuesday evening session, followed by a question and answer period before smaller groups are formed. It’s important for community members involved in the project to remember that the city has a big picture, which means it’s better to ask for money for street improvements than to tell them you have a hole in your street.

The Council also stressed the importance of presenting well-developed ideas, in particular on how to implement a project worth investing in and possibly monitor its success.

To register for one of the nine remaining meetings, click here.

The last nine meetings of Measure D-20 are as follows.

Training Session 1 : Thursday the 14th. January, 10 a.m.

Training Session 2 : Thursday the 14th. January at 14.00 hours

Training Session 3 : Wednesday the 20th. January at 16.00 hours

Training Session 4 : Saturday the 23rd. January at 10am.

Training Session 5 : Thursday the 28th. January at 6 p.m.

Training Session 6 : Friday the 29th. January at noon.

Training Session 7 : Monday the 1st. February at 1.30 pm

Training Session 8 : Thursday the 4th. February at 4pm.

Training Session 9 : Saturday the 6th. February at 9.

To follow these or other City Council meetings, go to Youtube and sign in on the City page.

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