San Luis Obispo City Manager Takes Job in Santa Monica

After seven and a half years at the helm, San Luis Obispo City Manager Katie Lichtig is leaving. She’ll be heading south next month to join Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole who just appointed her Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer.

The progressive seaside town in L.A. County is familiar territory for Lichtig. She began her career there, first serving as Assistant to the City Manager for Management Services from 1992 to 2001.

"I am thrilled to re-join the team in Santa Monica," Lichtig said. "The community and city staff are tackling important issues and it is exciting for me to be a part of the innovation and change that is envisioned. I look forward to bringing my skills, experience and knowledge of Santa Monica to help the team make the vision for a 21st Century city a reality."

A city press release praised Lichtig’s work in San Luis Obispo, which began in the midst of recession. She is credited with leading the city through a number of important infrastructure projects, helping to address the housing shortage, and combatting the issues of rising pension costs and aging software.

Lichtig’s tenure has not been without controversy, however. There were some questions about her high starting salary in San Luis Obispo, which she agreed to cut by $39,500 in 2011 as part of a cost saving effort. Then earlier this year, she and the city’s fire chief were reprimanded for taking part in a mock video featuring “sexy firefighters” for a Chamber of Commerce dinner.

Lichtig will earn $275,508 plus benefits in her new role.


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