Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election

City of AtascaderoCandidate for Mayor

Photo of Heather L. Moreno

Heather L. Moreno

7,347 votes (43.63%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Foster a diverse, local economy, where the amount of good-paying jobs is on par with our housing supply, so that residents have the ability to live, work, shop & dine in Atascadero.
  • Maintain fiscal stewardship through responsible allocation of taxpayer dollars, setting aside reserves, and engaging the community throughout the entire strategic planning and budgeting process.
  • Ensure investment in public safety and infrastructure to keep our community safe and enable us to serve our residents for the long-term.



Profession:CPA; Owner Heather Moreno Wellness Services
Trainer, Coach, Heather Moreno Wellness Services (1997–current)
Mayor, Atascadero City Council — Elected position (2018–current)
Member, Atascadero City Council — Elected position (2014–2018)
Member, Atascadero City Council — Appointed position (2012–2014)
CPA, Controller, Paranetics Technology, Inc. (2008–2013)
Member, Atascadero Planning Commission — Appointed position (2008–2010)
Chairperson, Atascadero Planning Commission — Appointed position (2010–2010)
CPA, Assistant Controller, LA Fitness (1996–1997)
CPA, KPMG Peat Marwick (1990–1996)


Fuller Theological Seminary M.A., Theology (2013)
California State University, Fullerton B.A., Accounting (1990)

Community Activities

Volunteer, El Camino Homeless Organization (2014–current)
Committee member, volunteer, Lighthouse (Atascadero Greyhound Foundation) (2014–current)
Volunteer for Dancing With Our Stars, Friends of Atascadero Library (2014–current)
Member; Board Member (2017-2019), National Association of Women Business Owners, California Central Coast chapter (2017–current)
Member; Board Member (2007), Human Resources Association of the Central Coast (2005–2008)



As Mayor, I am deeply committed to the health of our community and the health of our economy. I initiated a public outreach campaign to ensure your voice is heard as we make decisions about the future of Atascadero. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together. With your support, I will continue the work of building a strong, balanced economy, sustaining fiscal stewardship, and strengthening the connection between you and our City.


I worked as a CPA for KPMG, auditing the financial statements for small and large clients, ranging from companies with under $500M in annual revenue to large, publicly traded companies. As a manager at the firm, I directed audit teams, coordinated with the tax and consulting departments, and was the point person for both clients and the firm’s partners. Later, I worked as the Controller for Paranetics Technology, an Arizona-based company that manufactured cargo parachutes for the US military, responsible for tens of millions of dollars in revenue and a range of human resource functions for 100+ employees.


As a small business owner, I understand the challenges our local businesses face doing business in California. Since moving to Atascadero in 2004 with my husband Mike, I’ve actively supported initiatives in our community to promote a positive business climate and protect homeowner’s property rights, both off and on the City Council.


I was appointed to our City’s Planning Commission in 2008, serving as Chairperson in 2010. I became an Atascadero City Councilwoman in 2012 and served as Mayor Pro-Tem during 2015-2016. I serve on the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, Regional Transit Authority, and SLO County Economic Vitality Corporation. Since 2012, I have also served on the Design Review Committee and as Chair of the City’s Finance Committee for three budget cycles.

I have the leadership experience our City needs at this challenging time.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Dan Dow, District Attorney, San Luis Obispo County
  • Atascadero Police Association
  • Jordan Cunningham, Assembly Member, 35th District, California State Assembly

Organizations (1)

  • Atascadero Professional Firefighters Local 3600

Elected Officials (4)

  • Donn Clickard, President, Atascadero Unified School District Board of Trustees
  • Gere Sibbach, Treasurer, City of Atascadero
  • Ian Parkinson, Sheriff, San Luis Obispo County
  • Debbie Arnold, 5th District Supervisor, San Luis Obispo County

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California and Elect Justice CA (2)

Does your office have any plans to include currently or formerly incarcerated people in your decision-making process as it relates to criminal justice issues? What would that look like?
Answer from Heather L. Moreno:

Atascadero implements policies to ensure that every member of our community feels valued and respected. The only criminal justice issues we encounter at the city level are in the police department. Our police department has policies in place that prohibit discrimination of any kind. We actively work to ensure our officers don't engage in that behavior. Any complaints are investigated thoroughly, and officers wear body cameras and use in-car video systems so that all communications with the public are documented. We routinely review that video, especially if any complaint is received, to see if it is legitimate.

The discussion of criminal justice policies is most germane at the county level and above.




With 8,000 people eligible for release from CA prisons to help stem the transmission of COVID-19, how, if at all, would your office aid these Californians and their families in navigating reentry?
Answer from Heather L. Moreno:

As noted above, Atascadero is committed to policies ensuring that every member of our community feels valued and respected. As Mayor, I listen to the needs in our community and if there is something the City is able to do for those in need, most often through referral to appropriate services, we do what we can to facilitate assistance for the most vulnerable in our community.


Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


I believe when we serve our community, we prosper together. Atascadero’s thriving volunteer spirit and strong community partnerships are key to keeping our City vibrant. That’s why, like countless others in Atascadero, I am a dedicated community volunteer. 


I am committed to preserving the uniqueness of Atascadero, which means working to protect local control. I am for accountability, decision making and power at our local level. I believe we should bring back accountable decisions for our communities to the level where people live and are most effected by those decisions.


Fiscal responsibility is key. The City’s money is the people’s money and every decision I make is guided by that principle.


I believe that the private sector and non-profits often provide better support for those most in need, and do it more cost effectively, than government can. As Mayor, I believe that if we want to truly help individuals in need, we should support these efforts in ways that we are best equipped to do (e.g. grant funding, facilitating cooperation between agencies and non-profits, land use and other related policies).


I support our police. Our officers need to know we have their back. Some in the “Defund” movement propose diverting funds from public safety into social services. I oppose taking funding from our police; rather, Atascadero must increase police funding so that we have sufficient capacity to serve our growing population and maintain our quality of life. Currently, our City partners with the County, embedding mental health and crisis workers with law enforcement to help get people off the streets and into housing, and I support seeking funding to expand this effort.


I believe that an informed and engaged citizenry leads to better government, which is why I proposed the City’s Talk on the Block initiative in partnership with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce. These gatherings provided a casual, comfortable environment for citizens to meet City Council Members and City staff in their own neighborhoods, to talk about City operations, ask questions and provide feedback. The more we engage, the better our City.


Ultimately, I am for smaller, more efficient government. I think we need to regularly look at what we’re doing to see if it still makes sense. Government is different from business, for good reason, but we can learn and implement business practices to gain efficiencies and better serve our constituents.


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