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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who “runs” the City of San Luis Obispo?

A: The short answer is: the citizens do. It is the citizens who elect the Mayor and City Council to represent them, and council members and staff are ultimately accountable to the citizenry. The longer answer is that the City Council establishes City policies, goals, and priorities based on their collective view of the interests of the community. City staff is headed by the City Manager, who reports directly to the City Council. The City Manager is responsible for assuring that Council policy and goals are implemented and that the day-to-day operations of the City run smoothly. The City Manager is assisted by several department heads and other staff. For more information about the City structure click on:
City Organization Chart
City Structure
Bio for City Manager Katie Lichtig

Does the City have any special goals and priorities, and if so, what are they?

The City of San Luis Obispo has a very comprehensive and participatory way of establishing its goals and priorities that is linked to the City’s two-year Financial Plan and Budget. Once established, these “Major City Goals” are monitored by staff with periodic status reports provided to the City Council and community.

Q: How can I get more involved in my City government?

A: Residents have many opportunities to offer their opinions and to actually participate in the activities and programs of the City. Council meetings are open to the public and attendance and comments are encouraged. In addition, the City has numerous commissions and committees that offer advice to the City Council in such areas as land use, parks and recreation, cultural heritage, human relations, and tourism promotion. These advisory bodies are composed of community volunteers. For more information about how you can participate in your City government, visit the City Council or City Clerk web pages.

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