Nancy Johnson reconsidering Morro Bay manager hire
August 14, 2014
Morro Bay Councilwoman Nancy Johnson is reconsidering her vote to appoint a retiring Army colonel as the next city manager of Morro Bay now that reports have surfaced of an employment dispute between David Buckingham and the city of Bishop. [Tribune]
On Friday, the Morro Bay council voted unanimously in closed session to hire Buckingham, 49, as the city’s full-time city manger. Buckingham accepted the position on Monday, although the council must still finalize the contract in open session.
Also on Monday, the city of Bishop agreed to pay Buckingham $38,000 to settle a claim he filed over a contractual dispute. Buckingham alleges that Bishop withdrew its offer to make him their city administrator after he already signed a contract for the position.
Johnson said she only learned of the Bishop dispute on Tuesday, and had she known Friday, she would have reversed her vote.
“Regarding the issue in Bishop, we moved ahead with this without full information,” Johnson said. “That’s the thing that bothers me most.”
Johnson added that the lack of disclosure raises questions as to whether Morro Bay’s interim city manager, Ed Kreins, is properly researching candidates for the full-time position. Kreins, as assigned by the council, is in charge of conducting the search for a permanent city manager.
In addition to Buckingham’s employment dispute with Bishop, the Army colonel is also recently removed from a job loss in the military. Following a July 4, 2013 incident in Vicenza, Italy, in which Buckingham verbally quarreled with a military policeman, Army brass removed him from his position of base commander.
Buckingham has since applying for jobs in city management across the U.S.
The Morro Bay council is expected to vote on finalizing Buckingham’s contract at its Aug. 26 meeting.